Dear Startup, Your Path is Spiritual
A difficult time can be more readily endured if we retain the conviction that our existence holds a purpose, a cause to pursue, a person to love, a goal to achieve. John Maxwell
Finding the courage to start a business or taking the risk to put an idea out in the world that may fail, is hard.
As a startup mentor, I think about this a lot. So when I have the opportunity to coach you (idea and business owners a-like), I cant help but think about my own role helping you find success, realizing the significance of your work, and the spiritual nature that requires your very essence to be present at every stage, especially in the most difficult ones.
So although I work with you to frame problems, understand users, review designs, or think through strategies, Ive noticed that what you consistently rely on me for is actually reminding you about your essence, and the possibility of your essence to influence and change the world.
More than once, Ive heard you tell me, You probably say this to all the companies you work with.
The truth is, If you convince me enough that YOU believe you are capable of this, I WILL tell you that you can influence and change the world. Not all people I mentor have, so for those, thats where we start.
You have to believe that you are significant.
But why should you believe me?
Ill let you in on a little secret. As a director at a UX agency, I have to have empathy, it should be in my nature. But more so, I have to accept and realize my own purpose and meaning in the work I do. And, I have a personal narrative that I rely on to remind myself.
So, let me share that with you…
I remember one day, years ago, that i was a bit stressed and frantic. I started a new job and my whole life was transforming along with it. My very close friend Marco met me for lunch and shared with me some of his wisdom. We were talking about how the people we meet in life is no accident and the relationships we build have a purpose in life. He began telling me a story that I know I always believed, but it wasnt so clear of a picture in my mind until he shared it with me.
Before entering this world and life, the universe gave us everything we needed to create and craft our own perfect crystal. This crystal was the life we envision – our own personal truth, wisdom and reality. Just before we are born into the world as we know it as today, our crystal was shattered and our memory of this crystal and how we envisioned it was erased from our consciousness. Fortunately, the universe saved each shard of our crystal and gave each piece to a person in the world to hold and keep safe until we encounter them and they reveal a shard that they hold for you. As we meet each person, and as we become more conscious, our crystal is returned to us and the mystery of our life and the secret of our truth is revealed.
Ok, so from what I remember of our conversation, Marco said it much more eloquently than what I just presented.
But the essence of his story to me was this
If we are present and conscious of those we encounter, we should understand that each person carries with them a truth you must understand about yourself and the world we live in. The encounter with the person can be either positive or negative.
For example, you keep encountering someone very negative and maybe confrontational towards you or maybe perhaps just keeps you down, but what must be understood is that this person holds a truth you must learn in order to be fully conscious of your path, and in essence, your sense of truth in the world. It represents perhaps a trial you must overcome in order to move forward. This perspective will help you stay positive and focused on what you want out of your life.
Everyone in your life is connected to you intimately. Ive learned that I need to be more conscious of this and that the people I encounter, especially you, not only may possess a shard of my crystal, but that I may be holding on to yours, which I need to share with you at the right time and place.
So whether or not you may be conscious of it, your path as an idea or business owner is a spiritual one.