3 Actions To Create More Peace and Productivity In Your Business
I recently read a blog post by a member of etsy, a website where members can sell handmade items. Etsy policies prohibit selling anything that is not "handmade, hand-assembled or hand-altered". I can't remember where I read the post (if you know it, please tell!), but it discussed how etsy members bicker and fight about what other etsy members are doing or not doing. According to the blogger, etsy's failure to enforce its own policies forces members to tattle when policies are violated, thus breeding hostility and infighting.
I'm not an etsy member, but I have been a part of small business forums where this kind of yuckiness occurs. All of this started me to wondering why this kind of back-biting is so popular among Indies. Surely people would never say such cruel things to each other if they were sitting around a dinner table or chatting over tea. I started thinking about a client who was being harassed on an Internet forum (not etsy) a few years back.
This person, let's call him Tim, owned a successful online business. He belonged to a few discussion groups where people gathered to talk about their industry and how to succeed in it. Tim told me that, while he usually enjoyed participating in the forum, at times, people could be merciless and cruel. Not only that, some people seemed to take great pleasure in spreading rumors and untruths about other members. And sometimes, that member was Tim.
Once these kinds of threads start, a sort of mob mentality takes over and the conversation takes on a life of its own. The next thing you know, all canons are pointed in a particular person's direction and that person is usually powerless to do anything about it. Such was the case with my client.
As I coached him through this difficult situation, I suggested that he stop participating in the forum, cold turkey. I then reminded him of my conviction that this kind of online "road rage" is simply another form of jealousy, and that it would stop if people stayed in their own lane rather than trying to run others off the road. This boils down to:
1. Being Grateful
It's the holiday season and all, so this is as good a time as any to be mindful of our blessings. Being able to make a living doing something you love to do is a one of those blessings. Staying in your lane means enjoying that, not ruining it for someone else.
Staying in your lane means sharing your unique talents, gifts and personal mission with the world in a responsible manner. If you know what your priorities are, and are focused on the challenge of maintaining them, you don't have time to point out other people's faults.
3. Letting Stuff Go
Tim realized that his productivity was down. After all, the last thing he wanted to do was spend hours talking with me about this issue when he could be talking to his customers. He finally simply stopped participating in the group.
When you've done all you can do, sometimes, you just have to let go. It's impossible to live a peaceful, productive life when you're constantly focused on what others are doing or not doing. Staying in your lane means figuring out what contribution you can make to the world, then making that contribution day by day, moment by moment. And letting everything else go.
Staying in your lane brings about a kind of peaceful success that comes from knowing that, regardless of what else is going on in the world, you are doing the best you can with what you have and fostering an environment where others can do the same.
Question: How important do you think it is to stay in your own lane? How do you do it when you're tempted to be overly concerned about what someone else is or is not doing?
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