6:30am isn't my bewitching hour. I'm more likely to be found stumbling into a local coffee shop barely cracking my eyes open than feverishly pumping out jaw dropping content or mind bending copy for clients (copy can be mind bending...I'm pretty sure). And. When a pre-7am start to a Tuesday morning was partnered with a rooftop setting and some seriously spiritual 'ish, what the early hours offered me this week trumped the satisfaction of hitting snooze - ten fold.
Saying 'MEH' to Entrepreneurship Rule No. 1
At some point last winter, I shelved—in my limited but also multi-passionateism-fuelled business perspective—rule numero uno in this wild world of entrepreneurship: diversify your income streams. I popped regular and consistent freelance clients on hold in service of a big, beautiful full-time body of work on a dream subject matter with seasoned pros I had (and have) SO much to learn from. But when that contract ended earlier than anticipated, I realized how much of my own work I had put on hold and how I had gotten hella complacent with the growth and development of my own business.
And rightfully so: my plate was overflowing with juicy content I was thrilled to dig my teeth into. AND, again in 'best practices' world, even with a full time gig on the go, keeping some kind of heartbeat in a business makes sense in case of some cataclysmic catastrophic event occurs where that one client, or that one income stream, happens to dissolve.
When I sat down on that rooftop where Werklab and Vancouver's own lululemon were putting on a morning community event, it had been 10 weeks to the day from that contract ending. Which, in the world of trying to catch up on business development and contract capturing, landed my butt on that yoga mat with an exhausted thud.
The Ins and Outs of Responsibility
We got moving, shaking up and shaking out stale energy and lighting up the 'electric armpits' like whoa. Then we sat down and got right into that space so many of us run from feeling and getting to know: the good old heart space - where that sweet thing called the soul lives. And. When Spiritual Bree takes the mic and leads the room, there's no where to go but inward.
She led us through examining core beliefs; ones that are attached to a certain way life is looking or feeling today. What poured out of my pen didn't shock me: 'I don't like living paycheque to paycheque.' (Hello, past two months of scraping together juuuuuust enough to get by). But what it was rooted in did. Because what came up was that lived experience—living paycheque to paycheque—made me feel irresponsible. And there was more shame caught up in this being the reality today than I knew.
So I got to flirt with my connection to responsibility; a strong suit that's kept me alive and well and eating and with roof over my head as a functioning adult and member of society. On the 'masked as service but really rooted in fear' side of the coin, it's also been a tool to keep the peace among others, to keep me 'in the good books' with employers and friends alike, and that's kept me physically, mentally, emotionally and financially safe.
Which got me wondering: if my safety suit of responsibility is on high function, what's it overriding? Then the answer hit me like a dump truck.
Loving Up On Risk
I'm on the averse side of the risk game in investing and finances. I'm not so likely to jump out of a plane or strap on a squirrel suit and take myself for a free dive (makes me want to barf thinking of it). But here in this realm of self employment, it's a constant. Risk shows up when I look uncertainty in the eye and choose to move forward regardless. It's the choice to simply try something unconventional because it feels right. It's letting go of control in service of bringing an idea to life. And it's as exciting as it is fear inducing. And again and again, it's a necessary evil (if that's your relationship with it) here in the realm of the unconventional life of 'doing your own thing'.
I've watched my ability to handle risk diminish at times. I've questioned my capability and my capacity. I've watched myself isolate when I perceive that money is getting tight. As much as responsibility keeps me performing, it can cut me off from my most adventurous, my most trusting, my most expressive expressions. It makes me fear more, and risk less - in business, in family, in love, in friendships...everywhere.
When I'm loving up on risk, I'm living - fully. Not excessively, not outside my means - just living life in the most honest way I know how. I'm expressive, connected, adventurous, bold, brave; willing to make the request, take the action, grow past what I know to be my boundaries, expand in every way possible. And I'm willing to share and be vulnerable with all things truthful (side bar: because financial and physical risk aside, emotional risk is REAL).
So I choose to embrace the riskiness. Today, I'm paying my credit card with my line of credit, and letting the guilt, shame and irresponsibility feels go, knowing I'm taking the debt in service of the life of building a practice I am proud of and a business that's totally me. I'm also working my hiney off to create killer content for clients looking for support in giving their brand messaging some 'oomph', plus building new ways to support the word-curious community and bring more big convos into the world.
The mantra that's on repeat: this is a moment in time, not the definition of the rest of time. And thus, I trudge forth.
A parting thought: what if the responsibility that really matters is the responsibility to myself? Knowing what works and how I work best, knowing what I want for my life—freedom, choice, flexibility, and yes, risk—and the commitment to being steadfast in living into that vision every dang day? Something I'm noodling on - and something I come back to often. But the responsibility to listening to my guts? That's a non-negotiable. And she's screaming to stay committed and do the work. And also for a burrito.
Got some thoughts or feels about responsibility and risk? Would love to hear from ya. Pop me a note or leave a comment below - the risk-lover in me dares you ;)