A few years ago, I was leading an intimate retreat in Costa Rica. Towards the end of the retreat, one of the women came up to me and held my hands, as she looked into my eyes. “Thank you for the way you do your work. I know you have so many options and there are far more lucrative ways to spend your time than leading small retreats, and I am so grateful that you do your work in this way.”
That moment is – and may forever be – etched on my heart. It stuck because it’s true that the choice to lead intimate retreats has been very deliberate.
But there was a time when I seriously questioned the way I do my work…
A few years ago, I was having a phone catch up with a friend who has been uber successful in her business. She asked me if I was still doing small scale retreats, private coaching, and leading my mastermind. When I told her I was, she lovingly insisted that I should stop because “they’re not scalable” (which is true). But the thing is…
I’d still create intimate experiences, even if I had all the time and money in the world.
Many of us love our work, but feel pressure to do it in a different way.
That pressure can be healthy, driven by a deeper calling and inspiration to reshape it. It can also be unhealthy, driven by comparison, competition, or formulaic pathways to “success”.
When the drive to reshape our work is unhealthy, it’s often fueled by the illusion that if we made more money, we’d be happier.
Ironically, many of us left our comfortable jobs because the money wasn’t enough, then end up prioritizing the money over the integrity of the work.
Why not find the creative way to have both?
Doing our work in integrity with the work itself is crucial to its effectiveness and our success.
…our work will have more depth and be of greater service.
…we will be more nourished and satisfied by it.
…over time, we’ll become known for the quality of experience we provide.
I could make more money if I shifted my retreats to be shorter, in cheaper locations, with cheaper foods, and with more people. But unless I find a way to do any of those any of those things in a way that would improve (or at least maintain) the quality and spirit of the work, I would be doing a disservice to myself, my clients, and the work itself.
Not everything is meant to be “big”
Not everything is supposed to “scale”
Not all strategies work for all things
It’s possible to thrive in your work while doing things your way. The key is discovering what’s true for you.
If I had everything…
I’d still lead intimate retreats.
I’d still mastermind with women called to lead.
I’d still reflect women’s brilliance.
I’d still add delightful touches of beauty.
If you had everything, what would you continue do?
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To our work being true,