Some inconvenient truths
I’ll admit it. January was a tough month. Whether it was just a cold and dull start to an otherwise exciting year, or a start that signifies something worse looming is anyone’s guess. As I write this, we are already a week into February and I still struggle to put into words why the start of this year has been so difficult. We’ve had the usual growth problems that hit any business from time to time – juggling new projects coming on line, managing staff, sorting out teething problems with systems, time spent in training and recruitment which I inwardly resent (although am trying hard to be grateful)! Perfectly normal yet they hit me really hard. Andy I were not getting on terribly well, and I was having massive inner conflict about my goals for 2017. As a Christian, I often reflect on my business and personal growth as spiritual growth too, and in this time I have resonated strongly with Jesus’ time of testing in the wilderness before he started his BIG MISSION. In fact this January has felt very much like a wilderness time for me. The Bible has many tales of people in a 40 day and 40 night test. So although it’s early Feb, it’s clearly not yet over. Whether I too am about to be called into a BIG MISSION I wait and see…
I decided at the start of this year that my four key words for 2017 were Gratitude, Commitment, Personal Power (ok I know that’s two) and Courage.
ARGH!! Why didn’t I choose Energy, Supportive, Helpful and Nice? They would be four words that would be equally valuable to my behavioural lexicon. But I didn’t, because I am already personifying those. Those ones are easy for me. Those ones seem natural and easy to do. So I chose four that are challenging and will keep me focused for the whole year. Four words that not only create a resonance of need within me, but also create a resonance of growth. I chalked them on the blackboard in my kitchen to read them on a daily basis and connect myself to each one of them regularly whenever they caught my eye. Even my children started to point to them over breakfast when they noticed me saying or doing something that revealed fear, or lack of commitment or when I grumbled about something or was procrastinating over a decision. “Oh, should I have porridge this morning, or not, after all it is very carby and might make me fat, but then it does also contain that oaty protein thingy* that is supposed to be good for you and lower your cholesterol? I NEED to lose weight and why do we have nothing better for breakfast?!”….
During January, with those four words staring back at me from the kitchen blackboard, I regularly averted my eyes, or looked sideways or ignored the them altogether. I tried to pretend they weren’t there, and thought to myself that nothing I was going through was in anyway related to the words on the blackboard. Some mornings, when I was feeling a bit stronger, I would peep at them before anyone else came downstairs, and I would gently (told you that’s easy for me to do) remind myself why I wrote them and why I need to keep re-reading them. These four words were penned in a decisive instant of need. A recognition and realisation that I needed to change. Each of these words speaks a truth, an inconvenient truth that I have some growing to do.
As an entrepreneur with a budding business, I take its demands and responsibilities seriously. As a mentor and guide to others, I aim to be honest, helpful (there we go again) supportive and challenging in varying measure. Being transparent and sharing my journey is also part of how others learn from me, so without wishing to scare them, I have had to reveal the truth of what it’s like investing in property and how it can be like a pendulum – some months amazing, some months not so good. They have seen this January how even in difficult times property has never let me down. I can honestly say it’s never been terrible. Never. In fact property has been a saving grace for me for over 20 years now. Grateful – absolutely.
January has made me ask the tough questions – questions which arise when it becomes hard enough to make me wonder whether this is the right path for me, whether I am cut out for it, and whether I should do something else. Life offers a menu of opportunities and there’s always something else I could choose to do. Something less stressful, more predictable, less contrarian. But I am really quite good at THIS game – I know and understand the rules and I like the team I’m with. I rather like the ebbs and flows, the changes, the thrills, the problems! I can’t deny that the rewards are tremendous and the freedom is addictive. So however much I might fancy another menu choice, I really quite like my favourite dish so I’ll stick with the property platter thanks. Committed – definitely.
Being all things to all people is not helpful to me or others. I have made a stance and it’s in the realm of helping others become financially, spiritually and emotionally free through investing in property, and specifically HMOs (my speciality). There. That’s it. And in driving, leading the way and turning round the lives of other people I am learning how I can be better, sharper, more focused and clearer in all I am. Personal Power – YAY!
Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of rejection, fear of missing out, fear of loss. These are my five big fears which bubbled up to the surface in January and which may have been the trigger for my wilderness time. Being aware of them has been immensely helpful. I had too often denied them, but seen the impact in my business, my speaking, my life. That is where my fourth word, and possibly the hardest of them all, comes in to play – Courage.
Courage to share, courage to show, courage to be me, courage to be real. Exactly what I’m doing now.
When I leave this wilderness, for I’m not yet quite out yet (forty days are what it takes), these four words will remain with me for 2017. As language has a penchant to do, I’m sure their inconvenient truths will wrestle deeper truths from within me as the year goes on.
What are your inconvenient truths?