Jan 11

How to (Without Fail) Make 2013 the Year You Break Free in Your Business

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So 2013 has begun… and hopefully you’ve enjoyed a beautiful and harmonious holiday season with family, friends and loved ones. For most of us, however wonderful and loved our families are, the actual festivities can be full on and sometimes intense, so you might have forgotten to give 2013 the full planning priority it deserves. If that’s you, I’ve got you covered…

Once everything settles down, the presents are opened and the social obligations fulfilled, I find it’s a good time to reconnect with that full focus and intention. For many, 2012 was a tumultuous year, with a lot of uncertainty, economic upheaval and challenges for all of us to meet. The good news is that we all learned a lot from all of the challenges of 2012, and I really feel as the year drew to a close that it was personally a huge growth year.

This also makes me feel immensely positive for 2013. I think most people I speak to feel like they’re in an entirely different place to the one they were in on New Year’s Eve approaching 2012, and for most of them the year’s growth and learning has included spiritual opening, becoming more determined to break out of the nine-to-five, and a deeper sense of personal knowledge and power. People I speak to are reporting several common themes which have changed for them this year. Here are some of the major shifts that are being reported:

  • Most people have grown up believing the only way to security is through a steady job working for “the man”- By 2012 a huge number of people had realised that actually not only were those jobs not steady, but they were most probably not the way to true fulfillment.
  • The institutions we used to trust to take care of our ‘stuff’ – particularly money – are flawed and led by people and morals most of us don’t agree with. Many people are feeling like they want to see change or make change happen in these areas.
  • The internet has opened so many doors in our lives, and global inter-connectedness is immense. This leads to a huge number of opportunities, and means that work and income is no longer local or even national, but each and every one of us has access to global opportunity.
  • The model of our consumer society has huge flaws at its heart, and while we all want to be comfortable and able to provide materially for our families, a large number of people are experiencing an unsettled feeling with money-for-money’s sake thinking, and a lot of people are on some kind of spiritual journey or search to make sense of their own greater purpose.

Exciting times! Also challenging times, but I’m a firm believer that all of these themes are just perfect for where we are right now, and just perfect for where our society is right now. I’m also a firm believer that the rapid change in thinking that’s occurring surrounding business will be for the benefit of all of us. There are radical shifts happening, and to some extent a new economy is emerging which hopefully will empower and enrich more of us, than the previous cog-in-a-large-machine economic model. I have certainly found this to be true for myself over the last number of years and I’m hoping as we get really stuck into 2013 it will be true for more and more of you.

Here’s the shifts in business thinking that I think are the most important and which we all need to harness in order to finally break free in 2013:

1) It’s all about the balance.

Ye olde business thinking has always followed along the lines of “he who has the most dosh wins”. A huge shift in thinking over the past few years has occurred towards the thinking that life balance and enjoyment of life is more important than the figure in the bank. Books such as Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Work Week have helped create this shift. People still want to be successful, and financial freedom is a priority for most people, but not at the expense of missing your kids’ childhood, or a broken marriage, or ill health from work and stress.

2) You’re in Charge of Your Own Financial Destiny

Previous to now there was a belief in our society that you worked for other people in order to have an income and the only way to earn more money was to work harder and work your way up a well worn ladder as and when your immediate superiors deemed appropriate. I think now with all the empowerment tools we now have at our fingertips, that thought process is changing.

People are now believing that rather than following a set career pattern it’s up to each and every one of us to determine our level of success and how best to use our unique set of skills to benefit the world. I like to think this will mean more people using their gifts and choosing to forge their own way doing things they are truly passionate about. That has huge benefits for all of us, for the economy, and for the health of society in general.

Tara Gentile is excellent on this topic, and about New Economy in general – http://www.taragentile.com/shop-small/ in this article she talks about how small businesses and start ups are the backbone of the new global economy.

3) You Don’t Have to Work Harder, Just Smarter

Previous wisdom dictated that life was hard, and the harder you were prepared to work to survive, the more reward you got and that to be truly successful everything else had to be sacrificed at the altar of work. Now it feels like one of the biggest shifts occurring is not only that to be truly empowered you can do work you like to do, but also that you can earn money doing work you like, and that it just takes working smarter rather than harder. There are so many proponents of this thinking, and thinking like this could certainly be a game changer for each and every one of us seeking to break free in our businesses in 2013.

In a ground-breaking new book about this very topic, Cal Newport PHD author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You expands this idea of following your passion. Saying that following is not enough, you need to cultivate passion for what you do and hone your skills towards being expert and passionate at what you do. He says:

“This is a longer process but it’s way more likely to pay dividends. It requires you to approach your work like a crafstman. Honing your ability, and then leveraging your value, once good, to shape your working life toward the type of lifestyle that resonates with you.”

In my regular video blogging episodes, #27 talks about how to become a recognised expert through a six-step model. Here’s the video again in case you missed it…

This echoes what Tim Ferriss has been talking about for a while now – basically becoming excellent at what you do, or approaching things you do differently so that you achieve incredible results, that earn you major rewards – whether those rewards be measured in terms of freedom or finances.

To me, all these concepts point in the same direction whatever the semantics: Be committed, passionate, and powerful at what you do – follow a results-based model, hone your skills to get results, and then design your life as to how you want it to look. In all of this be empowered, there’s no handing responsibility to make it happen over to your colleagues, or your boss, or your poor childhood, you and you alone are in the driving seat, and you are totally in charge of making it happen. Don’t phone it in, trapped in the system, be autonomous, use everything you can to be the master of your own destiny.

4) Have Faith

I’ve touched on this in previous posts but the biggest shift you can possibly make towards breaking free in your business in 2013 is not only mental as detailed above, but spiritual. As more and more people search for meaning in their lives, and fulfillment in their day to day existence it’s becoming more and more common for that search to come into line with their work and their spirituality.

This is a huge shift, as people find that what they believe, how they train their minds, and their day to day practices have a huge impact on their success, what they achieve, and their ultimate happiness. Carl Jung may have been studying these issues last century, but it has taken until now, until 2012 for it to become part of mainstream thinking that some form of spiritual experience or belief is necessary for our own happiness as humans.

What form this takes is really not important, it’s something that is common in the human experience globally, and perhaps something that we’ve lost in recent times in the West. But as fast as disillusionment with our current state of affairs comes knocking, and as clearly as the internet opens doors of awareness and education, that premise is being transformed and many of us are returning to having greater spiritual awareness, and incorporating spiritual practice into our daily lives.

Whether this is as simple a grounding process for you as going for a run, or a swim, or whether it takes the form of time spent in meditation every day there are no set rules, but it seems the consensus is that for most of us, and for the vast majority of evolved and compassionate successful people, this part is non-negotiable.

As I’ve written about before, I like to begin at the beginning with this. If you’re just beginning to see the ways this kind of transformation in your thinking can impact your daily life and your work then a great place to start is with gratitude. Whatever you want to change, however drastic the external shifts you need to make in 2013, begin at the beginning with gratitude for your health, your family, your existing comfort levels, whatever is good in your life. Focus on the external of what you want will never truly work unless you’ve done that first in my experience, unless you’re truly grateful for all you already have. And if you can incorporate some kind of spiritual practice into your life, as many of the world’s top CEOs do then so much the better.

Marie Forleo – is excellent on the topic of gratitude – Excuse the profanity.

So all in all, once you’ve completed your yearly review, and are super focused on your goals and strategy for 2013, as I discussed in previous articles, this final step is the missing key for you to really break free in 2013. Making sure you’ve got your head on straight, you’ve got your goals and your vision for 2013 inline with your core beliefs and that you’re really on board with the way you want your future to look.

The biggest gift you can give yourself this new year, and the biggest indicator of guaranteed success in 2013 is a combination of self belief and shift in mindset so that you can be fully empowered to be an important functioning part of the new global economy.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the above… What are you going to do differently than before to make 2013 GREAT?