Let’s get real. Life is not all love and light. No matter how soul-full you are, how big your heart is, no matter how much you desire it, life at times can make us feel angry, disillusioned and depressed. Life is light AND shadow.
So why is ‘business’ any different?
The online world presents people in business who really have it all together. They’re thriving, they’re loving their work, they’re making heaps of cash. The polished videos, ‘I’ve been there, done that’ blog posts, raving testimonials that give the impression that the products we see are miraculous, and they can work for EVERYONE!
Where’s the shadow, the humanness, in all of that?
My business certainly has shadow and so do I, but I don’t always have the courage, or sometimes even think to show it. Sometimes I feel at odds with myself, and it shows up in my work. Sometimes I am a total control freak and it stifles my business growth. Sometimes I sabotage my success and I take the detour to my goal. Sometimes my ego gets in the way and I enrol a client for the wrong reasons.
But you know what the benefit of shadow is?
My business is fuelled by passion. My passion for my work is what gets me through the shadows. It’s also what helps me see the shadow side of myself and my business.
Is passion widely misunderstood?
Here’s the commonly touted definition of passion:
Do what you love!
Follow your heart!
Do what makes your heart sing!
I use these phrases myself. Because they are true aspects of me and my work. But they are not the whole picture. Passion has an underbelly. In fact, without an underbelly, it’s not passion at all.
My definition of passion is the friction created by what you love and what you hate.
Ooooooh now there’s the most taboo word you can use in spiritual business. HATE. Especially if said with matching emotion.
I believe that what we hate is what makes us grow and transform to become more powerful human beings. It’s what prompts us to take action for something we believe in. It has the potential to become ‘love in action’.
Passion has a ‘for’ and ‘against’
Love makes us stand FOR something and hate makes us stand AGAINST something. And it’s the fuel for our business.
If you don’t stand for and against something in your work, you are not connecting with your true passion. And you are probably running from your shadow. If you’re not connected with your shadow, you are losing power in your business because, in the simplest terms, power comes from the ability to turn darkness into light.
I’ll give you an example…
The key personal driver in my business is PURPOSE and SERVICE. This is what I stand for. This is what I love – seeing people in their calling, using their inner gifts for good.
This means that I stand against people living PURPOSELESS lives, disconnected from the bigger picture and their part in it…so they live a life of apathy, feeling lost and alone, without feeling connected to themselves or the world around them. This is what I hate to see in the world. It’s what fuels me to create more of what I love.
Most people don’t want to stand for and against something because it means they are accountable. They are seen. They are a sitting target. Like me writing this controversial post.
Conveying your passion is vulnerable. Because you are not just presenting what you love, you are equally showing your angst. It’s raw. It’s real. And it takes guts.
Does passion drive your business?
Passionless business often fails to gain traction, getting new business feels forceful, and part of us feels dead inside. And you know what – it is. Suppressed fire, shadow, darkness, passion is dead energy. It’s latent fuel.
Here’s what a business without passion often looks like:
…Unemotional, purely logical, removed from personal, ‘close to the bone’ investment in the outcome.
…Excessive focus on money or results, rather than the process involved.
…It lacks oomph, guts, sweat and tears, love, anguish. It’s business in the comfort zone. The zone of the mind.
Even if you’re in the black and white business of dollars and numbers – like accounting, economics, mathematics – if you can’t associate your work with emotion, an emotional attachment to the result, you’re not living your passion.
Passion is a possibility no matter what the profession, as long as it is aligned with something we deeply, truly care about. And there is passion in all of us, simply because of the trials and triumphs that we have lived through. We are called to dig deep to ignite the flame.
If you don’t show your shadow, someone else will…
In the form of unhappy clients, skeptical colleagues or even online haters. Online ‘haters’ or ‘trolls’ for example, are the people who attack online personalities with hateful and derogatory comments.
In most cases I’ve noticed that people attack people who try to be more than what they are, the ones who big note themselves, they are ‘posturing’ or trying to project a particular image to get a desired result, eg. More likes, customers, money.
To me, these people are MORE of a target because they are not being authentic, they are trying to hide something. They are suppressing their shadow. These people, when they reach a threshold of popularity, attract haters. The humble, real and raw ones don’t (with a few exceptions), because there’s no shadow to expose.
One-sided passion breeds denial and lacks impact. True passion stares reality in the face and stakes a claim to change.
Your shadow is an essential part of you. It makes you messy, unpolished, emotional, human. It’s at the root of your magic.
It’s what true passion is made of. Is it time to put your stake in the ground and own your passion? Five questions that can transform your business from ‘lukewarm’ to ‘on fire’:
What do you love?
What do you hate?
What do you stand for?
What do you stand against?
Is passion fuelling your business?
PS – I got fired up writing this post… so you will be seeing more from me about my own passion and how it drives Sacred Business.
Passion Can Fuel Your Livelihood…