Don’t Tell Me What to Do
An Important Lesson I Learned in my First Years in Business
By: Raychel Chumley
“You should…” Are there any more hated words in the world than that phrase? I’m sure there is, but hearing “you should…,” can make the most level-headed of us want to scream in defiance “No I shouldn’t! And, don’t tell me what to do!” Especially when it comes to business.
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m the only one whose independent spirit and strong-will bristle when I hear that word “Should”. It doesn’t matter if it’s something in my personal life, how I raise my children, or how I run my business. There is nothing like the word “should” to bring out an utter act of defiance in my mind and spirit.
I don’t think I am alone in this. Whether you are a business owner, an employee, or a stay at home parent, I’m quite sure you have piled on your own burdens of guilt and stress trying to do what everyone else thinks you should do- while seething on the inside under this undue pressure. We have all been there!
Here is an important lesson I learned in my first years in business…
When I was first building my businesses yes more than one because I was a serial entrepreneur… not wise!) I played a game called “Office.” (This meant I would have a home office in the appropriate room of my home (ie: away from distractions, the bedroom, ect.) but I would actually work anywhere but that room.
I had an office area in our upstairs living room because it is where you “should” have your office space (I mean this is a very well documented and researched phenomenon after all- who was I to question it?) But, what happened nearly every night was I would take all of my work and head to my bedroom or the kitchen table. When I was done working I dutifully took all my papers and things back to my office area to put away in the morning.
This went on for years. Years! Even though I knew I was most creative and got the most accomplished in my bedroom, or the kitchen table, I still insisted on playing the game of “office” because someone said I should!
A few years ago I had an epiphany… I SHOULD put my home office where I actually work. DUH! Nope it’s is not where I “should” have my office, but it works for me.
Here’s what I now know to be true…
You have to do what works for you! Unless they have skin in the game, or they have success in a field you want to be in, don’t let someone else tell you what to do! The only “should” allowed in your vocabulary is the one that works for you, your family, and your business.
Who cares if it’s worked for someone else? Or, if it is well documented and researched? So what if everyone around you says you should do it differently? If it doesn’t work for you, this will only add stress and conflict to your life. Do what works for you!
Is this an easy thing to do? No! It takes being steadfast and being intentionally. Building a business always does! Building anything worthwhile takes courage! You have to commit to your goal with everything you got because everyone around you has an opinion on how you should live your life.
When it comes to creating a beautifully whole life and business your path to success should be uniquely you. Take what works, fix what doesn’t, get some help to distinguish between the two, and be intentionally with building the life and business you want to live.