I’m writing this on my laptop in a Cosi café in Dupont Circle in Washington, D. C. The reason I am here has nothing to do with me or my business, but the reason I can continue to be successful in my work is because I have set myself up to do so. How? By creating supportive environments. In this case, the laptop, the appropriate software, and the ability to connect to the Internet, as well as the support of my husband, all contribute positively to my accomplishment of the task: writing and submitting this column on deadline and without stress.
Creating supportive environments is imperative to your success as an entrepreneur. It goes without saying that if you have environments that will support you and your passion, it’s going to be much easier and more enjoyable for you to do your work. I’m going to touch upon the environments that I believe are most essential to your success and well being.
There are many environments in your life, and most of them intertwine. Being aware of these environments will ensure that you have a hand in creating them, and not allow them to be created for you by tolerating those people, situations and things that you shouldn’t. Important areas of your overall environment include your home, office/work space, body, energy, nature, which all impact your mental, spiritual, and emotional environments.
In your outer environment, your home is one of the most important. Your home should be a sacred place for you, a place where you feel safe, taken care of, and content. Clutter and chaos in the home should be kept at a minimum, but your bedroom and your work space in particular should reflect calm. I know sometimes it just isn’t possible to stay on top of it all, but if you make a consistent effort to divide and conquer – and ask for help! - over time you can make a huge difference in the quality of your home environment. As bonus, you’ll create space for other more appropriate and wonderful things to enter as well!
If you have a list of things that are broken, need replacing, or just need to be tossed, then start doing this today. Pick three things that are in your home right at this moment that you can either toss or give away. Then do so, and feel the space clear.
Nothing blocks creativity more than clutter in your office or work space. To be honest, I write that sheepishly thinking of the paper piles on the floor surrounding my desk at home. What I need is a real desk and real filing cabinets (I’m working on about a 2x3 table with milk crates to hold my files), but I’ve put purchasing them on hold while we finish the rest of the house that was unfinished when we bought it. We are very close to the end and I have picked out the furniture I want, and just that simple decision is freeing a lot of mental stores.
If you have clutte up much needed space in your head! Other times you’ll enjoy some real breakthroughs. I highly recommend engaging in this practice. I have been journaling all my life, but the practice of Morning Pages really does help the creativity flow - besides that I believe that every life that is worth living is worth recording.
Your assignment then is to purchase a journal or notebook, or create a new file on your computer, and start tomorrow writing three pages of whatever comes to mind. Make this a daily practice and watch what happens.
Another huge part of perfecting your inner environment is living with integrity. Do what you say you will when you say you will do it. Most people make a solid effort on this front. Some people struggle, and I will admit to working hard on this principle in my personal life, although I seem to have this nailed in my professional life. My “excuse” is that I have so many things going at once that I don’t always remember or have the time to do what I say I will when I say I will do it (like send thank you notes or run to the bank to deposit a check). So I have created a system that makes it easier for me to keep my word, which is very important to me. I created a list each day of the things I must get done, and I do my very best to complete the list. I don’t always succeed, but I’ve gotten much better at it than I have in the past. The list also makes me aware of when I need more time to deliver and therefore I can let any appropriate person know that ahead of time, keeping my integrity intact.
Making an effort over time to create supportive environments for the things that are most important to you will open doors and opportunities that you might never have received otherwise. You deserve to be supported in your work and your life, so choosing to allow those people and things into it that bring out your best is not only a gift to yourself, but also a gift to the world.
© 2005 Alicia Forest
Coach, Author, & Entrepreneur Alicia Forest, MBA, is the founder of ClientAbundance.com, the enlightened way to driving an abundance of clients to your business.
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