The Secret to Success

I had the distinct honour of attending the Business Excellence Awards this past Saturday night here in Chilliwack, and what a night it was. Business leaders from everywhere in our community were in attendance, and you could almost feel the achievement in the room.

It was sitting there, and table 27, surrounded by my father and other Chilliwack business owners, that I had a realization that has come to completely change the course of events since.

Now, I have always believed in helping others and making contributions to society. I am an entrepreneur, and at my core, I am passionate about solving problems. But whether it was a product of society, my upbringing, my life lessons, or something else, I always believed that to truly serve the community I needed more resources.

I needed more connections, more financial ability, more experience, and more free time… I would be able to share my contribution and solutions with the world later, once all of these pieces were in place.

All of the people I saw making big contributions to the world had these things, after all. I need to have them as well before I can really make a difference, right?

Well, no.

Watching the people receiving awards, I was honoured to stand witness to their accomplishment. Watching those who were nominated and did not receive an award, however, I was in awe.

Here they are, some of the most successful business owners in our community, many of them with multi-million dollar businesses, families, volunteer commitments, and community events on their calendars, and they only have two topics on their mind – the successes of their colleagues, and how much they love helping the people of our city.

It was in that moment that I realized the secret to success.

I always believed that the connections, the money, the success, and the time came first. That when you have those things, you have the privilege of being able to help others.

I realized on Saturday night that it is only when you reach out and help others that you can achieve those things. Solve problems that are bigger than yourself, reach out to other human beings and make their lives a little bit better, easier, more fulfilling, more fun. Be authentic, be yourself, and let your light shine.

Do that, and the money, the success, the connections, and the time – they’ll follow. They are a product of passionate and selfless generosity, not a requirement of it.

The secret of success – give of yourself passionately and without reservation.

The rest will come naturally.

Until next time…

– Cheryl

What business should I start?

I’ve heard this question before. Heck, I’ve Googled it myself. It is the question that defines a serial entrepreneur… What now? What next? What will be profitable *and* fulfilling? (That last part is something that stops a lot of us, I know.)

So today I’m playing a neat game that I wanted to share with you.

The goal is to help solidify my latest startup (coming up on its first year of existence and continuing to evolve.) The evolution is about to include a tech project, but I was stopping myself. How is this going to be fulfilling? A website? Really? How is this going to connect me with my soul’s purpose?

The universe will always provide the right thought at the right time.

This game is about being completely honest, and it will probably be very confronting, but have fun with it. Admit the truth to yourself, and watch yourself grow.

Step One: Ask yourself what you already find fulfilling, including your current jobs/businesses and your dream jobs/businesses. These are roles that you find really fulfilling. They make you happy! My list:

  • Agent (alcohol importer)
  • Blogger
  • Coach
  • Consultant

Step Two: Ask yourself why they make you happy, but tell the truth. The honest truth, even if it is totally selfish and you sound like a jerk. Honestly. Here is my list, uncensored:

  • Agent (alcohol importer) – I love discovering new companies & neat things, researching, and stumbling across “the next big thing”. The thrill of the chase is big here. I also get to feel like a hero when others like it, which gives me warm fuzzies.
  • Blogger – Having an audience and feeling like people are listening makes me feel good about myself. An outlet to share my goals, dreams, recipes, crafts, thoughts, rants, wisdom, strengths, and weaknesses is important to me.
  • Coach – Being a coach for me is about figuring things out and solving problems. Clients’ problems are like a puzzle to me, and I enjoy helping them discover the right pieces and where they fit to solve it. Considering myself a coach is also a bit of a vanity title to me.
  • Consultant – This one is very basic. I like being right. I love it, in fact. If I could be right all of the time, I would. When people seek me out and pay me to be right, I feel amazing.

See? I don’t exactly sound like the most giving, selfless person in the world writing that – but I’m sure you can relate. If you like your weekend dog-walking gig, why? Is it because picking up other peoples’ dog crap makes you smile, since you’re helping them? Or do you love the break from your own life getting to play with pooches? Maybe you like how it helps you meet new and interesting people. Maybe you just think dog walkers get more dates.

Be totally honest with yourself and write down exactly why you love or dream of doing certain things with your life, like I have here.

Step Three: Ask yourself how you can incorporate the things you love into your business plan. For me, it meant making a few more things free (clients will love that) and offering a paid service I hadn’t thought of before. Now I’ll get to spend my time hunting out cool, funky little businesses with big heart, helping more companies to grow, and offering a time-saving money-making service to time-strapped companies in my favorite industry.

I get to discover new things, express myself through my blog, solve problems, find the right fit by figuring things out, look good, and (hopefully) find the right answer. I get to be a hero to thousands of companies at once while hunting down the next big thing. Talk about meaningful and fulfilling, this is going to feed my soul!

Share – if you played the game, what did you learn?