Today’s entrepreneurial business environment can feel downright brutal! Are there ever enough hours in the day to get all the work done you really need to? And after all that hard work are you experiencing the desired business results?
The growing importance and dominance of social media for marketing provides both more opportunities and more competition and takes time some feel they don’t have. Those who don’t feel comfortably computer literate or social media savvy, may feel both overwhelmed or left behind. Print media only works up to a point and if you are not savvy enough, you stand at the back of the crowd. And how do you really feel about networking? How are you faring in this new business environment based on optimization and leveraging wherever possible?
I have been an entrepreneur all my life and most often everything has worked out well. As a teacher, carpenter and presently as a health care provider the opportunities have always outweighed the disadvantages of working for the same weekly paycheck. The skill sets needed for each role have kept me learning, studying and finding my way in a new field time after time.
I suggest that business success begins with a daily personal practice. Would you agree?
The question I ask myself repeatedly is, “what really sustains me?” What keeps on coming up is deeper than what lays on the surface. Oh yes, there is money, pride, product, workmanship, job satisfaction and even the high and mighty ‘servant to those in pain.’ Now more than ever as a health care provider what I find most important is my own piece of mind (really it’s peace with mind).
How does one tune into a piece of mind every day—those places and moments where we feel eager to carry on? The daily personal practice is where it starts for me. As I get older there is a greater awareness about my own physical body and taking the time to care for it has become more important.
For more than 12 years I have found something that is simple, easy, beneficial and gets me up in the morning--because it feels so good.
And it has had positive impact on my professional bottom line.
The practice is called Integral Transformative Practice or ITP for short. What the heck does that mean?
As described so eloquently on the ITP International website, ITP is cross-training for the body, mind, heart and soul. It’s designed for all people, particularly those with busy lives. Through deliberate daily practice, you transform yourself – and our world – for the better.
The community in Seattle I am part of meets bi-monthly as a community support system for the personal practice. The practice is a simple exercise routine based on some different eastern exercise forms such as yoga, qi gong, aikido and tai chi. The routine moves the major joints in the body in a gentle and energizing way. The practice was developed out of a study done around individuals who were at risk for pulmonary issues.
The keywords for the practice are GRACE. This is a great acronym for use in anything we do.
G = Grounded. The practice will help you to stay grounded in your body & mind.
R= Relaxed. The exercises fully relax the body so the mind can relax too.
A= Aware. This routine is developed to build awareness in your mind and body.
C= Centered. Following the daily program will keep you centered.
E= Energized. The practice will help you sustain and build your energy reserves.
As you focus on your business every day, regardless of what you are doing, the need to do your best job is vital. When you have a daily practice of exercise, meditation and affirmations, you can stay grounded even when the speed of business is as busy as a racetrack. By daily gentle exercises with awareness you will find yourself more relaxed and able to slough off tension when it comes up.
With simple practices your awareness will be more focused and helpful in EVERY business situation. Finding the calm centered person within yourself, you draw more people to you because your body invites them with open postures. Life is more energizing when the body is tuned up by a daily practice.
The last element of this practice is community. They say it takes a village to raise a child, well, it take a community to develop a practitioner. With an aligned community there is a supportive, loving, affirming, sustaining and educational presence for your daily practice. Why do you think a monk lives in a monastery? Because everything they need to develop their practice is in one place. The ITP community is all about bearing witness to your own highest good.
For myself, the ITP Kata has been a daily practice that has contributed to sustaining both myself and my business through the years. As an entrepreneur, I hope you as the entrepreneur you are, have a “practice” and community that supports you in life and at work. If you don’t have one, why not create one that you can commit to? Life and the work you do will be the better for it.
May delight and wonder visit you every day!