One of my favourite books is The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks.
It’s all about taking “The Big Leap” beyond what Gay calls our “Upper Limits” as we learn to live in our “Zone of Genius”—a place where we are in flow, expanding in success, and abundance each and every day as we inspire our clients and others around us to do the same.
Liberating and expressing your natural genius – the things that you drawn too, value and are inherently great at, provides you with the ultimate path to fulfillment.
When you are in this place, in your Zone of Genius, feelings of resignation or resentment are left far behind. There is inherent excitement and joy – you are doing what you are here to do.
The calling to open yourself to this powerful place of purpose increases in intensity as we move through our lives. We start to develop this sense of urgency, this desire to “do something that matters”, and if you have an entrepreneurial mindset, this has the potential to be clearly reflected in your business.
You have a message to share, often based on your own life experiences and unique blend of skills. It’s time to enter your own Zone of Genius – and I believe that’s what needs to be built into the core of the business you develop. It becomes the foundation of your services and the WHY that fuels you.
Gay tells us “By age forty, many of us have tuned out to the Call To Genius and are getting loud, repeated alarms hidden in the forms of depression, illness, injuries and relationship conflict. These alarms are reminding us to send more time feeding our natural genius and letting it do its magic in the world”.
I can personally relate to the Universe sounding the alarm when you are ignoring your call! For me, it was ridiculously high blood pressure and the tendency to cry at the drop of a hat, often. Thankfully I did begin to listen to the call and let go of my marketing agency at the end of 2012 to create this business instead.
Now, what about you?
Have you heard the call?
Has the Universe been sending you hints about your need to change course?
And if you have, what’s stopping you from responding to the call?
Many of the women I work with have taken the leap and are literally growing their wings during the journey from who they were and what they were doing to who they are becoming and what they are offering to the world.
Relationship Counselors, who have been challenged in their own relationships. Life Coaches who have overcome adversity in their own lives. Nutritionists who have lived through the roller coaster of weight loss and lethargy. Wellness Practitioners who have found release and relief through alternative therapies. Speakers who want to inspire others to reach their own potential. Women who want to help other women organise care of their aging parents with dignity and respect. Mothers who are reaching out to others who also have children with special needs. And women who are in the midst of a complete about turn – moving from one industry (such as accounting) into something completely and utterly different (like energy healing!).
It’s a long and varied list, but the one thing all of these women have in common is that they have given themselves permission to move into their Zone of Genius. They have all heeded the Call to Genius and are committed to building Wholehearted Businesses that blend purpose with prosperity.
How about you?
Have you heard the call?
Will you listen to it and take inspired, imperfect action?
These Wholehearted Businesses are often what I call “Your Second Act”. You are no longer constrained by what you should or have to do and are instead expanding into new possibilities, aligning with your values and the huge desire to make a difference, to do the work that matters to you.
So, what actions can you take that increase your likelihood of heeding the call and stepping into your own Zone of Genius?
I believe there are 3 proactive actions you can take.
Be prepared for your Negative Inner Voice to get loud
Even with your newly emerging freedom and commitment, there are still some bugbears that can get in the way. Hell, they can even stop you from stepping on stage for your Second Act at all.
- What makes you think anyone wants to hear your story?
- You can’t do this, you’ve never attempted anything like this.
- You don’t have enough experience; you’re not an expert.
- You’re going to look like a fool if you fail.
- You’re too old to start a new business.
- Your dreams are too big – get real.
Do any of those sound familiar?
This is your Inner Critic talking! She is just doing her job, trying to keep you safe and inside your comfort zone. And it is really important to acknowledge that these are just thoughts.
And your thoughts are not reality.
Sure, there are skills you will need to learn. Actions you will need to take. Gaps that need to be closed.
But in the short term, let’s renovate those misbeliefs shall we?
- My story and experiences will shorten the journey for others
- I wonder how I will create this? I’m excited by the possibilities
- My experiences in life have perfectly prepared me for this work
- If I stumble on the journey, I’ll get back up and keep moving forwards, just like other new business owners do, learning as I go
- I am at the perfect age with the wisdom and experience to create my next chapter
- My dreams are inspiring me just as I will inspire the people I am here to serve
Renovate your most discouraging inner critic diatribes and keep your new beliefs handy and visible – re-patterning takes time and consistency.
Get clear on your story and your value
We all have a story to share and yes, it does have absolute value to people with similar challenges or aspirations – those people are your community, your ideal clients, especially in your next chapter.
So, take some time to get clear on what challenges you have overcome and how. Ask yourself:
- What steps did you take?
- How were you feeling?
- What were you afraid of?
- Where did you get stuck?
- How did you break free?
- What have you learned?
- What can you teach?
- What do you wish you knew then that you know now?
Just imagine if someone else has sat you down and shared all this with you when you were back there? That’s the power of empathy and example and that is certainly at the core of a sustainable business.
Build a Circle of Supporters
It’s highly likely that you will be building this Wholehearted Business largely on your own and often from a home office. Quite often the people closest to you (like your family) don’t really understand what you’re doing and may even dismiss it as “your little hobby” (oh, that one can really sting!).
This can be isolating and also trigger for your Inner Critic, allowing self-doubt to take up residence and take you off track.
That’s why it’s so important to take time to build yourself a support network to celebrate with when you have both the big and little wins and to ask for help from when you’re feeling doubt or fear.
This is a two way street of course because if someone is there for you, that means that you also be there for someone.
- So, spend some time connecting with like-minded women and friends.
- Research groups on meetup.com – there are thousands of casual and more formal get togethers there
- Look for Networking Groups near to you and commit to visiting at least one or two every month – see which ones resonate with you
- Seek out a Belief Buddy – who do you know and trust in your life now who you can talk to about your vision and plans who will support you when you feel wobbly?
- If you feel you need more formal support, who might you approach as a coach or Mentor to help you bring your Wholehearted Business to life?
And so there you go – open your heart to The Call to Genius, the call to create your Wholehearted Business and enjoy the purpose and fulfilment that you’re yearning for!