The story of our world crashed headlong into Stephen King territory last year. The unimagined landed on our doorstep, demanding its place, wafting wraithlike through the doors we attempted to slam on its terrifying face.
The story of your business may have swerved into unknown and unpredictable terrain too. Your thoughtfully conceived plans — derailed by chaos and death, loss and misery on a global scale. Your beautifully crafted book published to a spit and fizzle of online reviews. Your signature in-person events, your retreats in glorious places that once formed the backbone of your business’s revenues, canceled. Your investments tanked; your bank accounts on fumes.
Or, you may have pivoted to a leaner, more focused, more effective business model; seen your profit margins increase; rediscovered personal freedom and joy in your business, as you found new ways to be of service, to share your gifts and shape your offerings to serve a shell-shocked world.
Maybe you’re in the midst of a sweetly renewed love affair with your business because you’ve allowed yourself the time and space, away from the noisy shoulds, to listen to your soul’s deepest longings and create from your heart rather than being driven by the frenetic pace of the marketplace.
Perhaps you’ve discovered what really matters to you now, and are walking a new path in your business that you never would have considered at the start of last year.
Whether intentionally or not, you are writing the story of your business each day, each month, each year. From the tiny seed of an idea that drew you to create your business, to the first steps you took, to the many adventures, both thrilling and tumultuous, that have unfolded over the life of your business — each experience scribes a sentence, a passage, a chapter in the ever-unfolding story of the world of your business.
So, as you stand on the promontory of July 2021, and look out at the vista of your business as it’s developed over this past year, what story reveals itself?
Hidden within the evolving story of your business is a treasure map — a pattern for the perfect unfolding of your business at every stage of its life, including this post-pandemic one. As you review the events and experiences that have shaped your business’s life, you, as its sovereign and beloved partner, can choose what aspects of it you’ll focus on; the meanings you ascribe to different scenes in its unfolding story.
Stories live in relationship with each other. As you and your business grow in maturity together, you see how its stories fit together to form a coherent pattern, illuminated by the perspective offered by time, experience and the long view.
You begin to see how, no matter what has happened in the life of your business, its soul has always been moving its story along pathways that may only become visible when this story meets that story. And in the magic of that meeting, you begin to see the pattern that weaves together seemingly random events; that transforms a story of difficulty, stress and failure into one of growing tenderness, vulnerability, understanding, renewal and freedom.
You don’t abandon the stories of your business’s past — each one contributed to the being that it is today. But you place them in context; you give them their rightful place in the historical development of your business’s ecology.
And you create, in joyful partnership with the Deva of your business, its emerging story today.
To craft the story of your business with intention and heart, you begin with your true desires — the desires of your soul, the desires of your inner selves and your personhood. And you listen. You invite the soul of your business to reveal the stories it holds for the life of your business today.
To create your business in partnership with its soul calls for relational skills — listening, receptivity, spaciousness, creativity, integrity, delight, playfulness, willingness to follow your curiosity, to experiment and explore. Your focus is not on striving to meet goals out there in the beyond, or measuring success by how much productivity you can squeeze out of yourself and your team, but rather on artistry — on generative, joyfully creative collaboration to bring the soul of your business to life in the world.
When you explore your stories and your business’s stories deeply enough, they reveal the treasures they hold. You can then shape these emerging stories so they harmonize with the pattern of your own becoming, and the soul-pattern of your business’s evolving life.
I’ve crafted a playful exploration you can enter into today, if you wish.
Use this beautifully-designed worksheet to explore the timeline of your business, discover the stories that nurture you and contribute to your becoming — and tenderly relinquish those that are ready to be released.
Gather colored pens, a sketchbook, your journal — or simply print out the worksheet and settle into your favourite chair, or that spot under a willow tree or by the sea… Dream, remember, reflect… write and draw as your spirit moves you.
It’s my gift to you. Click here to download the worksheet instantly.
Have fun with this. Expand on it as your curiosity and imagination guide you… Create your own ways of naming the patterns and stories that live in the world of your business.
I wish you the miracle of true stories, release, gratitude, joy and celebration.