Growing your business? Trying to be happy? Solving problems - professionally or personally? Figuring out what drives you?
Radical Self Inquiry
I read Reboot by Jerry Colonna this weekend. He talks about radical self-inquiry throughout the book. He shares many stories from his own personal life and those of clients he has worked with. The common theme is his clients consisting of founders, C-level execs and business owners are searching for help, direction, and answers to problems. Jerry never says he has all the answers. He never tells his clients he knows what they should do in their respective situations. It is always a journey and true radical self-inquiry. Many business issues actually stem from the founder, exec, or manager’s life, often from their childhood.
Dig deep and think about your own childhood
Did you grow up in a home that was very loud and everyone was screaming at each other? Did you have a tough relationship with your parents and always looked for acceptance? Did you grow up poor compared to those around you? Did you grow up being picked on and bullied? Did you grow always winning? Always the popular kid? The cool kid? What experiences shapes who you are, the way you are today, and what drives you?
Everyone has their own unique experiences
And those experiences drive them to be who they are today. There is no timetable for how long it takes for you to figure out how to find your passion, how to be happy, or solve problems. I believe it is an ongoing challenge. A consistent process working on yourself to be the person, leader, CEO (or whomever) you want to be. One thing I am running into is my constant fight to be successful, especially in my new company. I grew up with my uncle’s being very successful business owners, traveling the world, and doing anything they wanted. I wanted that. I do want that. Most recently I have been working constantly. Sometimes efficiently and sometimes, not very efficiently. We are growing the business, but I often feel like it is not growing fast enough. We have raised venture capital. We have pivoted (a couple of times). And we have had to make changes to the team. All stressful things in their own right, but results and traction are the only thing that matter, right? This pressure that I have put on myself is one of my biggest strengths. But it can be a weakness if I cannot control it. My constant drive to be successful and be successful in the eyes of my family & friends drives me. I do care what they think. I want them to think of me as a successful person. I do care about always being there for them in any way possible. Can that drive work in the opposite way? But could working a million hours and pushing myself too much, drive me to be unhappy on this journey.
Where is the healthy balance?
I find that taking time for yourself, time with your family, scheduling workouts, planning social and fun events are critical to being an entrepreneur. I used to think I could work 100 hours a week for years until I IPOed or sold my company for millions and billions. Not the case anymore. It is about consistency, excitement, and enjoying the journey… while also producing results. Life is too short to be angry, stressed out (in the wrong way), and unhappy. Radical self-inquiry is an easy concept, but tough to do. It is not something that happens by the end of the day or week (at least for me it wasn’t). Understand and identify why you do the things you do and make the decisions you make. Radical self- inquiry will help you. I am excited to continue my entrepreneurial journey and my own radical self- inquiry. And check out Jerry Colonna’s book Reboot. Disclaimer: Nobody paid me to write this. It's shared honestly, from the heart. Share your story and what you learned about yourself through your own radical self-inquiry with me. I would love to hear how this concept and Jerry’s book affected you.