Over the past six years, I have tried half a dozen unsuccessful business ideas.
I work 9 to 5 and have been desperately trying to do something, anything, to create a business on the side, and it just hasn’t been working for me. Last October, I was getting burnt out from my endless and somewhat, mindless pursuit of entrepreneurship. I felt like nothing was in alignment and questioned why I was trying in the first place.
One of my dear friends suggested I take a sabbatical.
At first the idea was incomprehensible. My time is already so tight, how could I spend precious time away from my projects?! She lovingly convinced me, and I settled on a month. I thought, in the grand scheme of it, taking four weeks off wouldn’t kill me.
Even though I was taking a break, I knew I still needed to do something to fill the time but not something that would cause me more stress. I looked at my bookshelf filled with books that I would read “one day” and decided that one day had come.
Reading was my new post-work agenda.
Serendipitously that week (don’t you love when that happens?), Marie Forleo’s interview of Elizabeth Gilbert came across my Facebook newsfeed. I loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love in 2008. It opened up a whole world of spirituality, vulnerable rawness and feminine realness in my life.
The interview titled “What Elizabeth Gilbert Wants You To Know About Big Magic” could not have been more intriguing. I watched the whole forty-seven minutes hanging on every word. After watching the interview and reading the first chapters in Amazon, I knew that I had to read Big Magic during my sabbatical.
The book has been a total game changer in how I now approach my creative projects.
The biggest concept I took away from it was to create for myself and do what I do because I enjoy it, not to help others.
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
“It’s okay if your work is fun for you, is what I’m saying. It’s also okay if your work is healing for you, or fascinating for you, or redemptive for you, or if it’s maybe just a hobby that keeps you from going crazy. It’s even okay if your work is totally frivolous. That’s allowed. It’s all allowed.
Your own reasons to create are reason enough. Merely by pursing what you love, you may inadvertently end up helping us plenty…Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.
The rest of it will take care of itself.”
I felt like I finally had the permission I needed to do whatever the heck I wanted to do.
I had placed too heavy a burden on my ideas to support my and my family’s dreams. Can you relate?
That pressure was paralyzing me from creating anything sustainable. I was primarily creating for my ego, to make money, and to make a name of myself. I thought I was serving my soul and my passions but I had completely forgotten about them in my pursuit of doing. Doing is busy work that feeds the ego. Creating feeds our soul.
[bctt tweet=”Doing is busy work that feeds the ego. Creating feeds our soul.”]
This is how I now approach my projects. They’ve gotta light me up on a soul level, not make me see dollar signs. I no longer place that pressure on my ideas and I have never felt more free.
How have you been approaching your projects? From your ego or your soul?