I read a compelling memoir recently called Drawn To The Rhythm by Sara Hall. In it she describes what she loves about rowing a single shell.
She wrote, “In racing, your fuel must be all your courage, skill and strength in your tank, including your spare tank, and you must plan to run dry just as you cross the line. When you do finally cross the line, the expenditure leaves you writhing in pain and gasping great tearing sobs for oxygen. This may not sound like fun. It isn’t fun. It is totally fulfilling.”
Based on experience in my own businesses over the years and working with my wonderful clients, I think that running a business is pretty much the same way. You wouldn’t necessarily call it fun, but it can be totally fulfilling. And sometimes, it’s fun, too.
Whether we own a business or not, we are called, like Sara Hall, to use all our courage, skill and strength to cross the various finish lines we encounter.
When we really give it everything we’ve got – and use our “spare tank” too – we experience the fulfillment of a worthy endeavor, whether we “win” or not. We have used ourselves for a noble purpose, as we have defined it.
For Sara Hall, rowing was her way out of an abusive marriage, a way to find her incredible inner (and outer) strength and her self-confidence. In business most people must uncover their unknown reservoirs of confidence, too, to keep going in the face of all the challenges.
Have you ever experienced any of the following situations? All of them have happened to my clients:
Your key salesperson quits one day in your peak selling season.
You get an unexpected whopper bill from the insurance company.
Your computer crashes and you haven’t backed up everything.
Your boss is indicted for fraud.
Your best customer goes over to a competitor.
Your mate and kids start to forget what you look like.
There’s a bug in your software that can’t seem to be fixed after days on the phone with
You can no doubt add a few of your own!
However, I think it’s also important to remember the fulfilling parts about our businesses. Here are gifts offered by some of my clients to appreciative customers:
Your company provides home health care to an elderly person.
You remodel a forty year old kitchen to the delight of a large family.
You publish a book that brings readers pleasure, knowledge and skills.
You give your client a great audit that they need to assure their supporters that they are in 100%
compliance with all laws.
You manufacture a natural fertilizer for farmers who grow wonderful food.
You make exquisite dog collars that bring joy to their owners.
You help IT companies solve problems for their clients.
You give hundreds of kids a great experience at summer camp, helping them grow as human beings.
You provide customers with incredible clay walls that bring warmth and delight to all dwellers and
You provide the best hosting in the world to thousands of websites while using the profits to
promote social and environmental justice.
These are some of the things my clients do for their customers. I’m proud of them and of what they do. They use their courage, skill and strength in their pursuit of contributing to the world through their business.
Are you giving your work your “all”? Are you crossing the finish line, completely spent, but totally fulfilled? If not, see my special offer below. If you are, I congratulate you on using your talents to their fullest!