21 Şubat 2008 Perşembe


The dictionary defines elegance as refinement, grace, and beauty in movement, appearance, or manners. Watch a true professional at work, be it washing windows, digging ditches, gardening, building, you name it. Contrast that with an amateur doing the same thing. For example, a professional window washer wields a squeegee with sinuous movements that achieve far cleaner results in far less time than most of us can ever hope for. There is nothing menial about that or anyone who has elevated their profession (however humble it might seem) to a state of elegance, for that is art. How can you elevate your business to an art form?

A client of mine has been struggling to expand her profits and working ever-longer days in that quest. She has reams of data and analysis and has been banging her head against walls trying to think her way through. The good news is that she recently discovered how to roughly triple her profit with no additional effort. The problem is that further growth will require either more hours (not good for the soul) or hiring additional help (and there go the newly found profits). One of the things she misses most is enjoying her art (watercolor, dance, and singing). By thinking her way through, she was stifling her creativity and sinking deeper into the struggle of growing her business.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, I have a few questions: What if nothing is sacred? What if the mere fact that your business has certain processes and certain ways of doing them means nothing? What if you could dance, paint, sing, or sculpt your way to ease and joy?

I invite you to forget everything you know about running your business. Pretend youre back at the beginning, those heady days when ideas flowed like water and the excitement was electric. Let those wonderful feelings surround and permeate you. Then build your ideal business, only dont do it with business plans and calculators. Instead, express your vision through your art.

If youre a painter, paint your ideal business complete with every step of every process. If youre a musician, compose a piece that does the same thing. Sculptor? Actor? Author? Mime? Same idea. This isnt about painting diagrams, sculpting floor plans, or committing your employee handbook to song (unless you want to). Rather, the goal is to create artistic representations that may bear no logical resemblance to what they describe. And thats OK; the idea is to stop thinking and allow your creativity to do what it does naturally: create.

Because youre creating an expression of your perfect business, your subconscious mind will be going over every last little aspect of that ideal vision while your conscious mind is creating something that may seem totally unrelated. Youll start coming up with lots of ideas about what is and is not essential to your business and ways to make each essential piece as elegant as possible. The process of creating art is the process of creating elegance. That elegance is what draws people to museums, theaters, concerts, and more. It is what will draw you toward realizing your ideal business.

My client reserves one hour each day for personal time. She lamented the prospect of budgeting even more time to squeeze in her art. Imagine her delight upon learning that her personal hour can also be her time for artistic expression and that freeing her creativity would benefit both herself and her business. Just like that she gained an hour filled with abundant joy, fulfillment, and productivity. One can only imagine the transformations to come as this seed takes root.

Elegance: refinement, grace, and beauty in movement, appearance, or manners. What elegance will your inner artist create for your business? Give it a try; the results will amaze you.

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