Hey! Welcome back!
This blog is for anyone who like me, wondered if they could ever have their own business based around kindness. Translation “Can you make a living from being kind?” Of course if you fancy an inspirational read, it’s for you too! Maybe you’re timid, shy an introvert and just want to help people but can’t think who’d pay you for those qualities within a service or product? You want out of the 9 to 5 and long for financial freedom and autonomy over your life? But you lack the skills, knowledge or money you think is required?
In my later years with more serious thoughts about how I could make my dream a reality, I pondered on services or a product I could provide… With my career based around helping, supporting and teaching people, I wondered if I could ever have a business in this area. But how could I possibly be self-employed on the basis of helping people…a business based around kindness?? Do kindness and business go hand in hand…. Can you truly come from a place of kindness where business is concerned?
My ideas around what business meant and the type of person you had to be to succeed were possibly based around 90’s Hollywood movies;
1. Always look out for #1
2. Trample on people to get to the top
3. Do whatever it took to achieve your goal
4. Be a workaholic
5. Never sleep until you’ve achieved your goal
6. Disregard your personal values to get what you want
7. Be a sales person
8. Be an extrovert
9. Be overly confident
10. Have lots of money to get started or get a business loan
11. Business is never personal and all other ruthless business mentalities….
The Wolf of Wall Street springs to mind! The industry I work in is centred around the individual, their needs, personal development, care and support by; informally educating, researching and sharing knowledge. As well as challenging systems in place by teaching or facilitating sessions and I couldn’t see myself in any other industry that ‘fit’ with my core values. Over the years people have often confided in me or they felt comfortable enough to talk of their fears or concerns. I feel a huge amount of honour when people trust enough in me to divulge such personal information. Kindness has always been a natural approach to a way of working with others and it’s what I’ve always wanted to do and be…kind.
I came across this book ‘When Soul is Life’ by Kylie Riordan and she speaks of kindness, compassion and love being the vehicle to world peace and if you’re kind, genuinely from the heart, the universe will reward you, so to speak.
This led me to reflect on my own life and moments when I had given much kindness from the heart but I struggled to locate in my memory bank when acts of pure kindness were given to me. Where were my acts of kindness in return? Well there was this one time….
Back in my early twenties, living alone in the City Centre, still trying to figure out the world and dealing with being a fully blown adult (whatever that is!), I decided that I’d have a go at one of my favourite past times… acting! I did drama at college for 2 years after school and always loved acting! So, I contacted a local theatre that was holding auditions and thought “What the hey!” Off I went to audition…how bad could it be right….?
Well…I bombed hard! I stuttered and bumbled through the script and felt like an absolute fool! There was another girl there about my age, who probably took pity on me. I went to sit back down, she offered me words of encouragement and made me feel better about myself. I can’t remember word for word what she said, but it helped and she was very kind…The room we were in was cold, uninviting, unwelcoming and having forgotten my own coat, the kind girl offered to share hers. She wrapped it around us both like a blanket, as we chatted and giggled and continued to watch the others audition. I’d never met this girl before, I didn’t even know her name, but she offered me genuine kindness after I felt so s##t! And what was more heart felt, is that she didn’t have to do that at all. I went home that night, not feeling rubbish or beating myself up, I went home saying to myself “At least I gave it a try!”
Then I began to think of my own life and its story…
From there I remembered more random acts of kindness that people had given me, present and past…
So, where are my rewards for kindness again…? Everywhere and have always been there…. This is why exercising gratitude even on your darkest times of your life is important.
I admit, much of my life I have been ungrateful and felt that life was done to me and that most things were out of my control…
Some of my self-limiting beliefs were;
- I had to work 5 times as hard than anyone else to get to my destination . I said this all the time! Out loud!
- That I always had to have a plan – Another self-fulfilling prophecy….
- I had to grab any opportunities that came across my path . Even if they didn’t match with what I wanted!
- I would always struggle with money and never quite have enough. So guess what…??
I was almost affirming these beliefs by saying them out loud!
However, going forward I knew the following was required;
- To keep being kind in my work, in my personal life and to strangers that I come across.
- That the universe has and always will support you always.
- That you do not have to be in control, have plans or know every next move to make.
- That the only opportunities to be explored are those that support and serve your current life purpose.
- That living in the now, is where you find contentedness and happiness.
- That behaviours /ideas that no longer serve you need to be recognised, challenged and changed.
I’ve always wanted to work with people around issues and obstacles of life that we all face from time to time, rather than consumerism; buying or selling. I’ve had a business idea in my head for years, but dismissed it and never allowed myself to explore it, because my belief was; I’d need lots of money or I’d need to go back into full-time education at my expense etc…. Isn’t it amazing what stories you tell yourself to suit your ego!
Anyways, this story followed me for years until…it was replaced with the true story. This meant the story I had been telling myself was false… this new insight was profound to me!
It opened up a whole new belief and story that said it’s an option for you and you do not have to give up anything or have thousands of pounds. You will just have to put in more and be focused.
But the steps and attitude that would get me what I wanted was completely in my control…this is what I would have to do;
- Invest and take a chance on myself
- Self-directed study (Reading and research)
- Take constructive criticisms
- Be open to change
- Exercise self-care and self-love
- Make time for the things you enjoy
- Sleep well
- Eat Well
- Be willing to be stretched and develop from my comfort zone
- Meet new people
- Stay focused
- Set boundaries
- Have support from my family
- Be mindful in how money is spent
- And most of all…trust in the process
So back to the original question; can you truly come from a place of kindness where business is concerned?
I’d say more so in this consumerist society! As a consumer myself I am motivated to buy into a product or service, if I know the individual shares some of the same ethos, ethics or values as me i.e. diligence, drive, friendly, altruistic and kind…. I’ve said to my hubby before, if someone starts a business with one of its main objectives (as well as a profit of course) of being person focused and bringing back a bit of that old school philosophy of great customer service, quality products/service and going that extra mile, they will make a killing! My opinion is that those sentiments have been lost along the way, led by big corporations and more of this mentality “If you don’t like it, lump it!” feels more appropriate. People are becoming weary of this and are being more conscious with how they spend their money. I know I am!
So what do I wish for you to take away from this blog post…??
- Don’t limit yourself to the stories you have been telling yourself! Go do your research and see if you’re correct in those stories or if there’s another way.
- Be kind, as it comes back to you. Even if you don’t immediately realise it. This doesn’t mean be a pushover…which leads me onto the next point….
- Set your boundaries and know your own limits. Don’t be kind to your own detriment.
- Understand that you have everything you need to achieve what you wish in life…
- Where there’s a will, there’s a way…
So, what out dated stories have you been telling yourself?
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Until next time….xx
Keywords: positivity, self belief, business, self employed, dreams, aspirations, kindness, she believed she could so she did,