By Norma Forastiere

With business, do you apply all the right tools and rules for creating a successful business and find them often less than effective? Do you give yourself over totally to your business and lose yourself and any enjoyment of it due to the stress and expectations you have put upon you? Are you negating your inner instincts or judging yourself regarding your business because it doesn’t “fit” the way others do it?

Replace the word “business” with “parenting” in the sentences above and you might notice how easily these challenges apply to both situations. This is because parenting and business are two areas where we tend to judge ourselves the most harshly, give away our own needs entirely, and strive for an unattainable standard of perfection.

Years before I started my own business, raising my son showed me that just about everything I had been taught was the right way to achieve success didn’t work for him, or me. We needed something different.

Here are three changes I made that completely altered my parenting experience for the better, that I believe are also essential for business prosperity:

Include you in the picture

There is a unique and irreplaceable asset in your business – you. Are you treating yourself like a valuable product and making you a priority? As a parent, I thought I had to give my all to my son. What resulted was more stress, less joy, and a sense of being all-consumed in parenting, with no sense of space for myself. In the end, I was suffocating him, and myself! Are you doing the same with your business?

When I began to value myself, my son became more confident and independent, and our relationship improved. Your business will thrive also when your well-being is back in the equation. Look after you – take nature walks, go to the gym, get a massage. Do at least one thing each day that nurtures you and your body.

The “rules” do not apply

It turns out that the rules, judgments, and parenting values I thought were necessary for my son to do well in life, were not what he actually needed to thrive.

Your business, the same as a child, is unique. What if you treated your businesses as its own entity and didn’t try to make it fit external ideas of what is right, but instead, discovered what worked for it?

I began asking questions about my son daily, that you can also apply to your business:

What does he require of me today?

What is he capable of that I have never acknowledged?

If I didn’t judge ________ about him, what else would be possible I haven’t considered?

Just as there is no perfect recipe for raising a child or running a successful business. Throw out the rule book and allow unique aspects of your business to emerge. Do not make it conform. Encourage it to flourish based on the difference it, and you, have to offer the world.

Don’t judge you, ever

To truly thrive as a parent or business owner, you need to throw self-doubt, self-criticism and any other form of self-judgment out the window. It is counter-productive and will have a destructive effect on you and the business.

My parenting did not radically change overnight, nor did my relationship with my son. But as I learned to trust and value myself, the more I was able to trust and encourage my son to be himself, and neither of us had to be perfect!

Here is what I did to cultivate that:

  1. Let go of the past right away. Even if it was 10 seconds ago that you that upset, or something went wrong, it is a new moment now. Mentally clear the slate of anything from the past you are holding onto. Then ask, “What else is possible now?”
  2. Be grateful. Anytime I felt the urge to judge me or my son, I canceled it out with a thought of gratitude. When it comes to you and your business, what are you grateful for today?
  3. Ask a question. Self-doubt distracts you from what you are truly capable of. When you start thinking, “I don’t know” or “I can’t”, replace it with, “What do I know about this?” “What can I choose or do here?” A true question always empowers you.

Whether you are running a business or raising a child, be willing to acknowledge, honor, trust, and value the difference of all involved, including you. It is much easier to thrive when everything is given nurturing and space to develop based on its own unique strengths and abilities. Remember this and your perseverance in business will have a far greater impact in the long run.

Norma Forastiere is a business mentor, natural therapist and certified facilitator of several Access Consciousness® special programs, including Being You, Right Voice for You, Joy of Business, Being You, and Access Bars®. A self-proclaimed seeker, Norma began practicing mediation at an early age and then went on to study metaphysics and several energy healing and natural therapy modalities. A native Portuguese speaker with a proficiency in English and Spanish, Norma offers workshops and consultations for those willing to explore greater possibilities in life, communication and business. Follow Norma.

Parenting stock photo by LightField Studios/Shutterstock