Susan knows a lot about running a call center.  For the last 25 years, she had successfully employed a phone sales team and built a comfortable business, lifestyle, and savings plan. Her clients are other small-business owners who need someone to make calls, create leads, and set appointments for them, and they would rather have someone else do it for them.  When I met her, she felt just plain beat up.  The economy had taken its toll on many of her customers. Some had gone out of business, and others just couldn’t afford her services anymore.  She thought that maybe she should sell the business or lay off her staff and just be a one-woman shop. But those ideas left her feeling tired and overwhelmed.  As we started to work together, we dove first into her mission and her vision.

It is predictable to think that the “mission statement” looks like those wordy pieces of dreck that hang on corporate walls. These are statements that no one understands and not one believes. You may think this “statement” is a piece of marketing copy that you will be putting in your brochure and on your website. Not so fast. I am asking you to do some navel gazing and dig deep. What is really important to you?  Why do you do what you do? You don’t have to show it to anyone yet. So let ’er rip.

Over the next few weeks, Susan realized that she started her business because she is a great salesperson and relationship builder. She truly enjoys the great conversations she has on the phone. She enjoys her staff of people who are inquisitive and have the ability to influence. Her Mission is to change the perception of salespeople and create an environment in which they feel valued for their contribution.

Additionally, she craved travel. She felt trapped in her office. Even though she was revitalized by her refound Mission, her vision was to change her lifestyle, and that idea brought a skip to her step. While she couldn’t see it yet, she started to think about how she could travel and be true to her mission.

As I’ve been trying to reinvent myself, I’ve spent an incredible amount of energy copying other people. “Fake it til you make it” is a legitimate strategy until it exhausts you. Overwhelm comes from the energy spent being something you are not. In Susan’s case, someone she could no longer be.

Your assignment:
Answer these questions:

  • Who are you?
  • Why are you on this planet?
  • What is wrong with the world that you intend to fix?
  • What will the world look like when you have fixed it?

If you are going to dedicate yourself to reinventing yourself and making money, please be strategic about it. By strategic I mean that you need to align what you plan to do with who you are. You will love life a lot more if you are doing what resonates and is meaningful to you and everyone else knows when you are doing something and speaking about something that resonates and is meaningful to you.

We are all searching for honestly and authenticity. These days you can only be successful by connecting with people for whom your mission resonates.  When you make that connection, making money and delivering your mission are easier.  Stop the painful attempt to be someone else. Be yourself.

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Ruth Schwartz

Ruth Schwartz is the author of "The Key to the Golden Handcuffs". She is a high performance business consultant and leadership coach. Connect with Ruth to participate in the conversation. Google+, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube .