So, interesting story … last week I went and purchased a cake to celebrate the birthday of one of the members in my mastermind. After checking out my options in the display case, I picked the one I liked the best (is also matched the brand colors the best) and I put it in my cart and went on shopping for some additional snacks, candles and plates.
While walking down the chip aisle, it dawned on me that it would be a nice touch to have the cake personalized with the birthday girl’s name on it! So I made my way back to the bakery and worked on getting someone’s attention to help me with the cake. After a minute or so, a lady that was restocking the donuts turned and looked at me and asked if I needed help.
I sure did.
I explained to her that I wanted to have the birthday cake personalized. After a moment or two of us just looking kind of awkwardly at each other, she began to ask me a few questions. What colors did I want? What did I want it say? Ya know, the standard cake decorating questions I was expecting … but then she paused from her questions, looked at me and said, “I can do it, but the best person to do this for you isn’t here right now.”
Man, she said those words and I promised a smile from ear to ear spread over my face. I sincerely thanked her for her honestly and she helped me pick out a cute ‘happy birthday’ cake topper to put on the cake instead (that I of course forgot was in my purse until after we had already cut into the cake later that evening).
Why did her comment about not being the best option to help me, make me smile like that? Because as she spoke, Holy Spirit (often referred to as the Creative Director for my business) whispered to me, that this is what alignment looks like.
Since 2017 I’ve chosen a word for the year – it’s a theme that underwrites most of my thoughts and decisions throughout a given year. That first year, my word was grace – I needed to focus on extending more of it to myself in every single area of my life. My word for 2019 is alignment and ironically my word last year was, yes. I say ironically, because I definitely said yes to some things that I shouldn’t have, and I’ve got the battle scars to prove it.
In a recent podcast interview with my friend and colleague Kendra Tillman of StrongHer.Me I go deeper into the lessons I learned in 2018 that paired me with alignment as my word going into 2019. During the episode, The Go-Getter Woman’s Guide to 1 Day Goal Planning we talk about not allowing past failures to serve as permanent roadblocks to going after your goals. Instead, our perspective should be to look at the times when we miss the mark as lessons to help us get back on target. That’s what 2018 did for me, and my recent cake buying experience was a gentle reminder to stay on track.
When we switch into full on boss mode, I think the danger that lingers is getting stuck in a hustle mentality. When that happens we say yes to opportunities when in fact we should really say no and even refer that business to another contact of ours.
And that’s why the bakery employee’s response was so refreshing, she was admitting that she wasn’t the right person for the job. In that moment she was in alignment with her strengths … and writing on cakes wasn’t one of them.
Being out of alignment in our businesses can really mess stuff up – way worse than an ugly looking birthday cake. There’s a word that describes it perfectly, and we’ve all felt it (maybe you’re feeling it right now), it is the feeling of overwhelm.
Now, I’m not saying that alignment is the magic cure all for overwhelm, but I do dare to say that alignment will help you keep overwhelm a bay, recognize it earlier and equip you to pivot quicker to stay on the path towards your goals.
When we’re dealing with overwhelm, we can’t say yes to the right opportunities that come our way, because we’re too tired and exhausted. Overwhelm gives us decision paralysis and we can’t move forward or make traction towards any type of progress. Overwhelm even causes us to forget about the things in our business that light our fire … and if we’re not careful we can start resenting the empire we’re working so hard to build.
Who wants to live like that?
Would you currently describe your business as being a bit chaotic? Do you know you should be focusing on something – but you can’t put your finger on exactly what that is? If the weight of overwhelm has become too much … I’d love to help you sort through things, find clarity and bring order to the overwhelm and chaos.
If you need me, please click here to accept my invitation to simply chat over coffee. It’s time to put some solutions in place for the live and business you truly want.