I’ve just been sitting in my new garden while the chimney sweep does his sweeping. It was sunny and warm, and all I could hear was the birds singing and the odd clang from inside the house.
And I felt immensely peaceful, which is a pretty rare state of affairs for me.
I’m very good at making a meal of things, you see. And I’m terrible at doing nothing, because I’ve always got a crazy idea on the go… but I treat those things as strengths and make the most of them.
It also made me realise something – together with an email from my friend Yinka this morning – that we see what we want to see. Or what we expect to see. Or what we’re used to seeing.
Yinka was talking about her kids and how they see their mum and dad. You see, daddy is 6’5″ and mummy is only a few inches shorter. So daddy is the tallest person in the world to those boys – and they draw him with giant daddy-long-legs. And Yinka is the only woman in the house, so she gets drawn with a giant crazy afro – because that’s what her hair does if she doesn’t tend to it.
To the boys, these are the defining physical features of their mum and dad. Obviously they recognise other features, but the legs and the hair are what spring to mind before anything else.
It got me thinking.
We do the same thing. When you think about your spouse, or your kids, or your cats, or your colleagues, what pops into your head first? Chances are it’ll be a single, defining feature. Maybe physical, maybe behavioural.
Think about the things and people you don’t like, too. What springs to mind about them? Are they really that bad, or are you just seeing one dimension? Of course, sometimes things and people are just shitbags, but more often I think our perceptions are skewed.
Yinka quoted the Talmud and it’s completely true: “We don’t see things the way they are, we see them the way we are.”
This is true. Reality is what we make it. It is, as Einstein said, an illusion. A very persistent one, but an illusion nonetheless. I could go off on a trainwreck of self-help bullshit here, but I think that would surprise you and I couldn’t keep it up.
So instead I’ll ask you this: is your business stuck? Is your marketing not working? Are you riding the feast and famine skateboard? You don’t have to be.
First, accept that. Because life and business don’t have to be hard, despite what you may have learned.
Second, make a change. Stop doing the stuff that’s got you to the land of fed-up or stuck, and start doing something else.
Want a hand? I’ve got one to spare – in my book, Business For Superheroes. I’ve had a little flurry of sales over the past few days – you could be one of them. If you buy the book and take action, it will kick-start you into increasing your profits – and living the life you choose – straight away.
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.
PS I know money ain’t everything. Which is why filling your bank account for the sake of the numbers is a daft goal. So let me ask you this instead: what kind of a life do you want to live? What kind of a business do you want to run? Are you living and running it at the moment? Why not? What needs to happen for things to change? How much money do you need to afford you the lifestyle you want and to fund your ambitions – whatever they look like?
I was sitting in my new garden earlier, preparing to move in next weekend. Building this business has allowed me to do that. It’s emptied my bank account, too – but as I said, that’s not the point. The lifestyle is the point.
I’d like to help and I think I can. If you’d like to give it a go, buy your copy here.