From the scarcity of my posts, you know that I’m guilty of many things–reclusiveness and drawn-out reflectiveness being the most obvious. I wouldn’t say that my writing lacked purpose before, but now, I write what I feel is most essential; it’s like 11th grade AP English all over again, when concise was the word that haunted my dreams. After months of silence, I return to say that love is more important now than ever. And even more so, giving it in abundance.
Owning a business is the last thing I’d imagined would strengthen my practice of giving unconditional love, but, almost six months into managing my first, I can say that love makes for good business, and being able to express it, makes business better. This isn’t to say that I call my clients up to tell them how much I adore them–as I get to know them, I find that they’re all very dynamic people, but professionalism is of the essence.
So, what does love have to do with business? I consider myself lucky to wake up everyday absolutely loving what I do, whether it’s an easy day or not, but this way of looking at love doesn’t go deeper than the surface. When we think a little more abstract and consider unconditional love, it becomes apparent that love and business go hand in hand because an abundance of one creates an abundance of the other. Here’s how:
At the core, when you treat yourself like an asset with infinite value, you’ll treat your employees and your projects similarly. Stories about founders and CEOs who don’t make self care a priority mortify me because the foundation you set for yourself will determine the foundation of your business; if you create a culture of sleep deprivation, unloading built-up emotions instead of communicating openly, and indulging in crappy foods, guess what? That’s what your employees will emulate.
Do I whine internally as I roll out of bed to head to the gym at 6 or 7 am? Absolutely–especially when there’s (LA) traffic. But, it sets my day on the right track, puts me in a great mood, and quite frankly, keeps me healthy. I promise, I’m not some vegan Crusader, but giving extraaa thought to what I put in my body has put me in a better headspace. If you treat yourself like a trashcan, eventually, you’ll treat your business like one too; if you treat yourself like an herb, for instance, that needs several elements to grow and provide, the sky is the limit.
And this isn’t because you’re the most important person in your business, it’s because the way you treat yourself sets the tone for how your employees treat themselves and each other! Granted, you are the foundation of your business, so everything you think and do will manifest and influence others within your organization; however, you’re merely the foundation. Let’s not forget, the Burj Khalifa has 163 stories built upon its foundation.
So when you set a great foundation for yourself through practicing giving unconditional love, that practice spreads to others–whether they work with you or not, creating a lasting influence on first, your community, then society, then the greater world. Respect, communication, collaboration and love make for a fabulous bedrock, not only because it ensures your organization’s success, but also because it allows for those successes to translate into civic goodness: investments in community centers, offering paid internships to kids whose other option is crime, even, collectively giving blood…the list goes on and on.
Now, the practice won’t be easy–it’ll be hell sometimes, but the reward is infinite. And whether you are a recluse (like me), or you have the visibility of Kim K, this practice will change your life. If you’re already practicing, great, continue, and I promise the reward will be magnified.
“Don’t withhold your love. Somebody needs you and you need them.” –Iyanla Vanzant