There are days when I feel like my alter-ego should just be called Rocky because I swear if you tell me I can’t do something, I’ll do whatever it takes to show you I can. Now don’t get me wrong, I love that side of me, but it can get me into some serious trouble.
I was racing to the beach to fit a surf in between two clients. I pulled on my wetsuit and ran down to the water's edge as fast as my legs could take me. I paddled out, in a pretty frantic, over-excited manner and could feel my adrenaline & heart rate rising by the time I got out the back.
I spent the next 15 minutes zipping around, trying to pick off good waves, but somehow missing a whole bunch, and being in the wrong place at the wrong time for the rest. I looked around…. I remember thinking… ‘ahhhhh what am I doing ?? I need to get some waves… I’m running out of time !! ‘
A friend paddled out, and I said to her ‘Oh man, I’ve got that over-excited need-to-catch-a-wave feeling going on’. She laughed ‘So you haven’t caught one yet huh ?’. Haha, she knew exactly how I felt.
What the hell am I doing up here? Everything down there is so secure and comforting. I feel like I don’t belong anywhere… maybe I’ll just be floating up here forever ?! There are so many options and so many possibilities that trying to make a decision on which way to go feels insanely overwhelming. Am I the only one up here freaking out? Does everyone else have their shit together except me ??
Ahhh even writing that makes my heart beat a little faster…. and not in a good way. As entrepreneurs, we go through different stages. There are times when everything is flowing and synchronised and rad. And then there are these panicky, oh-my-god-what-am-I-doing moments.
Fact: If you wanna become a really good surfer, you’re going to need to get good at paddling. And if you want to create a business that you ADORE? Find ways to enjoy the ‘paddle’. Lean into what makes it fun. Train hard, educate yourself so it becomes easier. Seek out your tribe. Identify your best path.
So why are boundaries so important when it comes to building a brand?
Because (as my smart cookie of a mastermind buddy told me this morning) we teach people how we want to be treated. This can be a hard truth to swallow because it involves radical responsibility, but if you’re dealing with any icky issues in your business, it might well be that you’ve been a little slack on your boundaries and allowed stuff to go down that just isn’t ok.
Good boundaries mean self-worth & self-respect… and both of those things are mighty useful to any entrepreneur. They’ll stop you from saying yes to clients who aren’t a great fit. They’ll make sure you get paid what you’re worth. And they’ll ensure that you make smart decisions at every stage of the game.
I felt like I’d been duped into something. I had imagined it would be this uplifting, inspiring book that would leave me feeling stoked, but suddenly I was getting the impression that this would perhaps be one of those journeys that only feel positive in hindsight. When I started delving into the book I recognised something pretty massive within just the first chapter.
Of course, I’m good at being in the now when I’m in the freaking surf. Or watching a sunset. Or SUP’ing solo around the coast. It’s e-a-s-y to be in the now when life is good. To breathe in those rad moments, to lean into what’s happening and not let anything distract you. But it’s being present when life is ugly that actually takes some work.