what it means to me to thrive

day 19Recently I spent three days in Denmark reflecting with  my mentor Michael Neill on what it really means to thrive and wanted to share with you what I learned.

After all, thriving businesses and lives are what we’re trying to create as entrepreneurs.

In the old days, the word thriving to me meant getting a ”ten’ on every area of my Wheel Of Life.

My time and energy were spent asking the questions: ‘What would a ‘ten’ look like in terms of family, business, money, health etc? ‘What would you do, be and have that would let you know you were experiencing a ‘ten’?’ and ‘What could you do to take yourself closer to that perfect ‘ten’?

Needless to say, sometimes it would look like some areas of my life were thriving, usually to the detriment of others.

So I’d work harder to create that smooth wheel – all ‘tens’ please!

More recently, thriving has appeared in my head like a single plant, growing luxuriously, sprouting deep green leaves and lots of them, vibrant, growing and totally full of life.

What was actually playing out in my life and business was a whole garden of voraciously growing plants.

I’d plant hundreds of seeds, creating chaos in my garden.

I’d go spend a day with my mentor, and come back with ten more seeds and throw those into the ground too.

I’d see a FaceBook seed so I’d plant that one. A LinkedIn one. A Google Ads one. A ‘create passive income streams’ one. A ‘hire a nanny one’. A ‘join the gym’ one.

A ‘create this program’ one. A ‘launch this product’ one. A ‘do it this way’ business strategy.

And then every now and then I’d hack the whole thing down and move to New Zealand to start again. And then back to England. Or to France. And then back to England.

I taught my clients to do the same: back in 2012 I even had my own program called Thrive which was all about ‘Tough Love’, ‘Treating Yourself Like A VIP’ and ‘Reaching Out Of Your Comfort Zone’!!!

When everything was green, everything was busy and I was planting yet more seeds constantly, I felt like my garden was proliferating and yet it still didn’t feel like I was thriving.

So last year, I had an insight that simplicity was what was required.

So I hacked my garden back.

I cut out a huge chunk of the products we were selling.

I streamlined our complicated Infusionsoft set-up.

We eliminated all marketing strategies except one.

I simplified my commitments and the kids’ commitments.

And as a result I also reduced the number of gardeners required to help keep the garden under control.

This was looking more like that single vibrant plant I had in mind when I turned up at Micheal’s training last week.

Over those days, and in the days following, I’ve seen thriving on a different level.

When you have good soil, the things that you plant grow stronger roots.

Duh! It’s always so simple when you see it!

All my attention had been spent looking above the ground instead of below it.

Focusing on what was coming out of the ground, how much of it there was and the form those things took.

Tending the plants instead of the soil.

And the more I explore and gain an understanding of how human beings actually work, the richer my soil becomes.

That’s all.

No ‘exercise daily’, ‘improve time management’, ‘go out of your comfort zone’ or ‘get the right mindset’.

Just deepening my understanding of humans work.

“WAIT!! Whoo whoo alert!! What ARE you on about? How does that actually work then?” I hear you cry…

This video explains more:

And sometimes I might want to sow a seed and see what comes up because what grows no longer ‘has to work’.

My soil’s great no matter what the outcome – if it dies or doesn’t work out (as many many business ideas do), that’s fine, I can just plant another.

But my guess is that the ones I plant from here on in will have deeper roots, grounded in richer soil and as a result will be more sustainable.

The richer my soil gets, the more profound the impact I can make in this world.

And that, to me, is thriving.

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