Stages of Dating • How to Love your Business to Court your Audience
What would happen if you treated your business like a living, breathing person whom you're dating and in love with?
I've been encouraging clients to read or re-read John Gray's Mars & Venus on a Date book to learn about the 5 stages of dating:
- Attraction (aka chemistry)
- Uncertainty (aka dating multiple people)
- Exclusivity (aka commitment)
- Intimacy (aka sex)
- Engagement (aka trial run for marriage)
We laughed very, very hard about all the times they jumped from Stage 1 Attraction to Stage 4 Intimacy, and it ended up in disaster.
They skipped Stage 2 Uncertainty because of scarcity. Culture conditioned women to think: there are no good men, or no one else will want her so settle for the one she's with.
We skipped Stage 3 Exclusivity because of low self-esteem. Culture conditioned women to think: if she doesn't give him sex, he will leave.
So, so, so many super intelligent, epically capable, radiantly beautiful women have done this. Instead of spending years in therapy dissecting every wound and betrayal, how about using this new wisdom for good: to fall in love with one's own business?
Are you exclusive with your business?
Really think about it: are you 100% exclusive and committed to your business (Stage 3 Exclusivity)?
Or... are you just flirting around with other businesses (Stage 2 Uncertainty), other sources of income, other crappy jobs, other self-development junkie workshops that have nothing to do with your personal and business freedom?
Really let this settle in...
As long as you rush and skip stages or don't commit fully to your business with a decisiveness strong enough to stop the world from spinning for a moment, your business won't devote itself to you, it won't love you back, it won't yield fruit, it won't give you wings to fly, and it won't set you free.
My Love Letter to my Business
Have you ever written a love letter to your business, as if it were a living breathing human being that you are courting, dating and falling in love with?
I have, when I was really challenged by growing pains in the first few years. Here's what it sounded like.
Ay, I'm so sorry I've neglected you. You've given me so much flexibility and freedom in where I want to live and when I want to work. I'm so sorry I haven't given you more time and affection and care. You deserve better. It's been a very tough Spring and Summer, with selling mom's mold-infested house, getting rid of dad's things [after his passing] and going to Somatic Experiencing Sessions (SE) to heal decades of PTSD.
I know, it's no excuse to ignore you when you've been the vehicle for me to express my life's purpose and the springboard for me to become the best leader, friend, lover and sister I can be. If the shoes were reversed, I would have broken up with me long ago. Hahaha. No, I know it's not funny. LOL! It's sorta funny. Ok, it's not funny. I don't see you laughing.
Had an SE session today but because I left my phone at home, I didn't know that my session got rescheduled. I arrived and was asked to return in 1.5 hrs. I smiled and said of course, and skipped out of there joyfully. Before I met you, I would taken out a titanium bat and pummelled myself into the ground for forgetting my phone (drama queen, I know), I would have dove head first into the well of victimhood and how life is always f***ing with me. Yeah, I wouldn't date me either :P
You made me a better person. YOU made me this skippitty-hoppity joyful being. Well... technically... the mother-f****** excruciating lessons you put me through made me a better person, but who's splitting hairs here. You've grown me beyond what I imagined possible. You've tested me past the breaking point and called me forth to piece myself back together and rise.
If you weren't there urging me to keep going, I don't know where I'd be today. And for this constant companionship, calling forth of my greatness and relentless belief in me, I ask for your forgiveness. Forgive me for having neglected you. Forgive me for having demanded lemonade from you when I only planted the seeds last week. Forgive me for dumping all my burdens onto you.
From the depths of my soul, I thank you for having turned clients into friends, friends into roommates, roommates into soul sisters and soul sisters into family. I finally, FINALLY feel like I belong in this world, regardless of geography. Thank you for eradicating any possiblity of moronic male boss who don't have my talent but take all the credit for my work. I thank you for allowing me the luxurious time to float in a Hammam all day long in the middle of the week or lie on the beach for hours every day listening to audiobooks.
You've given me so much and instead of saying "I'm so not deserving of you", you've taught me to say, "Thank you, I am devoted to you too."
What would your love letter to your business say?
With infinite grace,
(First Published apr 26, 2017)