Getting Out of Your Own Way

“We’re closing down the location.”

The words always make me smile. I’ve heard them dozens of times, and it’s almost always good news. This time it was Frank (let’s call him that), one of my Clear and Open Members. He was sober and pleased.

“But why now?” he almost demanded. “Why did I suddenly realize we need to close the store now? Opening it was the first thing I did after buying the business fifteen years ago from my parents.” Frank was, as usual, a wonderful combination of frustrated, hungry, and curious.

It’s fascinating how people answer their own questions if you know how to listen.

“That’s the reason,” I said, “It was your first big business decision. What did it symbolize for you?”

He paused, concentrating, but it only took him a moment.

“Proving to my parents I could do it,” he laughed, knowing how much he has matured from that need.

“So there’s your answer,” I said. “You no longer need to prove anything to them. Therefore you looked at the store’s numbers without bias, and made the decision. Magic, isn’t it?”

We often say, “I know I’m in my own way.” It has become cliché.

But do you know exactly how you’re in your own way? It doesn’t really help to only have a belief about it, unfortunately. You need to proactively discover how.

Frank worked on his relationship with his parents, his frustration with employees, his trigger-reactions with his ex, his meditation practice, and much more for months. His passion, curiosity, and desire for excellence served him well. The money followed, and closing the unprofitable store would certainly bring more.

This is what is meant by the Clear and Open tagline: Businesses grow when people do. Whatever challenge is before you, ask yourself, “How is this challenge inviting me to change?”

If you don’t, you’re probably unconsciously asking, “How do I change the outside without having to change the inside?” Life usually answers the second question by keeping things the same.

Unfortunately, if you have an emotional block that stops you from looking at numbers objectively, no amount of financial knowledge or skill helps. (Click to Tweet)

This is why the foundation of Clear and Open is about expanding your awareness. This is the essence of the rare ability we call common sense.

It is relatively easy to gain the knowledge or skill you lack. But awakening yourself to what you could not see before? These are hard-won battles. Are you ready to walk this path? You’ll love having Frank as a colleague. 😉 He’ll teach you a thing or two.

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