One of the books I brought with me on vacation this week is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s a book I’ve had on my shelf for a few years and finally just got around to reading. While I appreciate what a fantastic writer Elizabeth Gilbert is, the book is perhaps more thought provoking and deep than I wanted for a relaxing by~the~pool read. On the other hand, there has to a reason for this book being in my suitcase for this trip. As I wondered if I’d better enjoy a book of fiction, I considered that possibly it’s exactly the perfect time for me to read this novel.
The book is about the author’s quest to find the meaning of life, despite having things that most people would envy, such as love, success, and talent. As I turned the pages, I appreciated her honesty and feelings of insecurity. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe most of us can relate to a inner evaluation of our lives and whether there is more we should be doing.
I don’t think there is a truer example of this when it comes to entreprenuers. Many of my clients I coach have fallen (at one time or another) into the trap of what is often referred to as “paralysis by analysis”. This is best explained as being afraid to move forward because there are certain aspects that are considered to first being in need of improvement. This is usually a defense mechanism to hide a fear of failure. To clients who experience this, I always offer my favorite mantra which is “progress not perfection”.
I don’t know of any business owners who don’t in some way, shape or form follow their competitors. While it is good to stay on top of what your competition is doing, it becomes unhealthy when you allow a little healthy comparison to become unhealthy in the form of self-doubt. When the green eyed monster of jealousy rears it’s ugly face, be sure to refocus by asking yourself how you can redirect these feelings into improved focus, drive, and inspiration.
Your business and mine are exactly where they are supposed to be right now. Your competitors and mine are exactly where they are supposed to be, and somewhere our competitors are admiring our work and grading their businesses against ours. So remember to relax and enjoy the view, which is exactly what I need to remember this week while I am vacationing in Jamaica. And that is exactly the message I am grateful for being reminded of by reading Eat, Pray, Love this week by the pool.
What are your thoughts about this? Have you read any books lately that you found to be meaningful to your life or business?