Personal success and happiness
What makes your heart sing?

Happy 2018 everyone! Another year is underway, year eight of my adventure in business ownership, and I'm looking to create another wonderful year full of great work with cool people. Naturally then, I (like many others) am pausing to consider what I really want from this year. 

Or rather, what my business wants - and how I can use my strengths to achieve that. 

In the last seven years of working in my own business, I've had many opportunities come and go - I took some, passed on others, and couldn't squeeze yet others in to my over-full calendar! I have done countless hours of good, old-fashioned hard work, early starts, late nights and all-nighters (with love and gratitude, always!) for many diverse clients all over Australia. You know how it goes - some gigs were easy, some were more challenging, but all were good in their own way and fuelled the fire for another day. 

And yet, in the last 12 months I learned - or came to sense something - that I didn't fully know until now. 

The hardest part is the beginning

The more I did work that TRULY made my heart sing, the more easily I found more of that kind of work again in the future. The more I focused on helping my business - a separate entity to me, but one which I am intimately connected with - to come to full fruition, to fully express ITself, to achieve the vision and mission that were set all those years ago when we started, the better things got. The more I listened to my instincts, instead of being driven purely by what would be "sensible" for the business, the more things flowed. What I realised was, I was working more from my strengths - my characteristics that I am good at, but that also energised me. I was serving the needs of my business, better. I was making the most of my natural skill set, and choosing to work with my natural strengths more often - so of course I was getting better results

Now, at this point, I would like to qualify my thoughts here. I am not talking about "Do what you love and the money will follow" (which is just not true if there's no market demand or profitability in your model), and I am not saying that I simply tapped into the Law of Attraction and started manifesting great stuff (which is only one of MANY ways to make things happen in your life, and not one I particularly subscribe to; I personally think it's only a small part of the story).

But I AM saying - the more I followed the work that made my heart SING, the more energised I became, the more motivated I was to find ways to do more of that - and the easier it became to find more of it. (Hey, all it took was 7.5 years of hard work to build our reputation, experience and bank balance!) And now I realise, I am blessed to have reached somewhat of a "tipping point" - where it suddenly makes more business sense to just seek out cool people who I want to do great things with, than it does to be doggedly following the path of finding the most dollars on offer. Because the "heart song" gigs - they're the gigs that light me up, that set my heart and soul on fire, and as a bonus, they seem to have magical business-creating properties, too!

Listen deep

It's not a linear progression, either in your own business or in your chosen career, to transition from doing that hard slog (which, let's face it, is often necessary) to work that sets your soul on fire. You have to get really still and quiet and listen deep to your instincts, your gut AND what makes sense financially too. Take care of your mortgage, daily expenses and core financial obligations first! But if you start asking yourself the question, and listen for the answers, and then with discipline look for the right opportunities, I bet you will find yourself at a tipping point one day too. Doing MORE of the work you love, more often. Hanging out with MORE of "your" people. And feeling MORE satisfied with a day of work than ever before, as well as mightily optimistic about the future. 

I've always enjoyed working and being a professional, whether it was for my boss or these days, myself. I've always worked hard to get great results, and show passion and enthusiasm for what I do. Goal setting, good business planning and budgeting is great, and has always worked well for me, as I'm ambitious, focused and persistent (read: stubborn as hell!). In the past, I have focused on being disciplined, sensible and doing business as "smart" as possible. But this year, as well as being smart, I will also listen more to that quiet little voice in the background, that is constantly asking, "What will make my heart SING"? And do more of that, whenever I can. It turns out, it's just good business. 

How about you? In your job, your side hustle or in your business - what is the work that makes your heart SING? And how can you do a little more of that in 2018? 

Wishing you a wonderful year full of heart-song work!

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About the author 

Catherine Bell

Catherine is a true believer in the power of people to transform organisations - and the world. An inspiring Speaker, Facilitator and Coach, Catherine has spent more than 18 years of her career leading teams and individuals to extraordinary performance. She has worked as a Consultant, Trainer and Human Resources Manager with some of the largest service organisations in the world, both in Australia and internationally.