What if I told you painting a fence was a lot like building a business?
Full disclosure ~ I’m not an outdoorsy, manual labor kind of gal. The closest I get to loving outdoor adventure and activities is taking a kayak out while at Lake Austin spa on a perfect 60 degree sunny day followed by a 90 minute massage!
Sometime last week I decided as a gift to my mom I would paint their new fence. I knew she wanted it done for Mother’s Day as everyone was coming over to swim and the “professional” was not available until the week after.
I decided I could do this, I mean how hard could it really be! Of course, I enrolled my brother, who is a Crossfit loving, outdoor loving, adventurous guy. My parent’s yard is a decent size so this was an undertaking, at least for me, and I knew with his help we could get it done together in an afternoon.
I love finding metaphors in life and I try to look at everything I do and find a deeper meaning and a lesson. Painting a fence was no different. Actually I found the entire time, I received so many downloads referent to business and life. Perhaps because I was really out of my comfort zone. Every time I push past that comfort zone I grow and expand, so why would this be different?
During the process I found myself in a meditative zone and somewhere along the way with Snatam Kaur music playing and the sun shining bright I realized this is a great metaphor for growing a business.
Here are a few insights that came to me and I wanted to share with you:
- Don’t get overwhelmed by the big picture. When I would look at the huge expanse I would get overwhelmed. If I took 4 boards at a time the pressure eased up. I was focused on the task at hand and it allowed me to stay present to where I was and a sense of trusting it would get done. Small, simple steps and goals really do add up and keep you present and moving.
- Express gratitude and appreciate the process. Along the way step back and admire the work that is being created and the effort your are putting in. Notice the progress and feel grateful for your effort, energy and accomplishment.
- Ask for help, know that together is better when you share a common goal. I knew I needed help and enrolled my brother.Help can come in many forms ~I found myself asking for a breeze and then a surge of wind would come through. The most important thing is to ask for it, we go further together and to know we are in it with another person makes us feel less isolated and will also hold us accountable.
- Take a break. Know when it is time to take a break, be gentle with yourself, listen to your body and what is needed as you are working toward a goal. After a break we come back energized, ready and are actually more effective after a little self care and walking away from the project.
Here is the bottom line, friend, whether you are building a business, painting a fence, or adding a new skill set, it takes consistent action.
We need to see the big picture, visualize and know what is needed. Then comes the most important piece which is to take action, stop talking about it and wishing it and take the action, one step at a time.
Something we humans are not great at is to ask for help along the way. Remember help can come in many forms ~ from people, from Spirit, from nature, from music… just be open to all the help always coming in to support you and your goals.
Another thing that does not come natural to us entrepreneurs is to take a break. Listen to what your body is telling you. Does it need a break? Be kind and gentle with yourself and know that self care is just as important as action. Yep you heard that one, self care is just as important as action!
Always remember to take time and see the progress, celebrate all you have done and have gratitude for what you have accomplished.
Hope this helps in some way. I would love to hear from you! What are you taking away from this metaphor, how can you start applying one of these insights to your business?
Keep going friend, one board at a time! The world needs you!