Over the past few months I’ve been wrestling with the question of “who am I?”
I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me.
I’ve struggled with this question many times before.
And even wrote a blog about it awhile back called: Am I this? Or am I that?
So just when I thought I’d made peace with it…I realized I hadn’t.
I was back in my old black and white thinking.
Trying to define myself as either one thing or another.
Are you a bookkeeper or a coach?
Come on, which is it, Kerry?!
The reality is I’m both.
I started a cloud-based bookkeeping business a year and a half ago. I was motivated by the fact that I no longer wanted to work for someone else.
Nor did I want anyone telling me what to do.
I’m fiercely independent and uber responsible. And I get shit done.
(Seriously. I do. That could even be my tagline, if it didn’t sound so…well…rude).
I just wanted to do, what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, dammit.
I’d been a hard working single parent for a decade and a half, and had built a good, solid, stable life for my son and I.
I felt like I’d earned the right to do my own thing at long last.
That it was time for me to forge my own path.
And create something I could call my own.
But as a trained life coach who is passionate about helping others live their best lives, I didn’t expect my entrepreneurial success – and ultimately my freedom – to come in the form it did.
Running a bookkeeping business was never part of my vision.
In fact when I was getting my Marketing Management Diploma years ago, accounting (which was mandatory) was my worst subject. I barley made it through.
My brain (the same one that loved math, algebra and statistics) did not get the whole debit/credit thing.
Like wtf? Who invented this stuff?
But back then they didn’t have easy computer programs and apps like they do now.
Ones that make the whole bookkeeping process simpler, more user-friendly.
And back then I sure as hell didn’t have the life or business experience to understand how finances worked.
To my twenty-something year old, bookkeeping and accounting just seemed so complicated.
And so boring.
So, noooooo…starting a bookkeeping business was never my dream.
Having a life coaching business on the other hand certainly was.
Now that sounded sexy!
But clearly the Universe had a different plan for me.
Right from the get-go my bookkeeping business seemed destined to be.
One minute I was merely thinking about starting one, the next minute I actually had one!
Looking back I’m not sure I could have failed even if I’d tried to.
The clients just seemed to fall from the sky. Some were referred through friends (a huge thank you, you know who you are), others through casual interactions on Facebook and LinkedIn.
I wasn’t even trying to market myself or my business. Which is actually quite ironic, considering I have a background in marketing and sales.
Nor was I trying too hard, or overthinking things.
Quite the opposite in fact.
What I was doing was following my inner ding.
You know, that indescribable part of you that lights up when you’re doing something that resonates.
And your soul says “ooooh, that feels good, let’s do more of that.”
Yes. Thaaaaat inner ding.
(as the late great self-help guru Louise Hay calls it)
It’s also known as your gut. Your intuition. Your inner knowing.
The feel-good part of you that’s beyond thought or words.
It just is. And if you’re paying attention, you know exactly when you feel it.
And following it feels natural and effortless.
Because it comes from the most authentic part of you.
Without realizing it, that’s exactly what I’d been doing while creating my business.
I’d been trusting my inner ding and following it without question.
And doing what felt right for me.
And definitely no have-to’s.
Only what felt good to me.
I said yes to working with clients that resonated with me.
Yes to the kind of work that felt interesting and challenging, and that I knew I’d enjoy doing.
And yes to working as much or as little as I wanted to each day.
I said no to everything else.
I was after all building this business for me.
In order to create my best life.
So taking on anything or anyone that didn’t feel good was just not an option.
And I was very clear, unapologetic and up front about this with anyone who wanted to work with me.
The right clients who respected that, kept showing up.
At exactly the right moment.
I was extremely grateful.
And at first a little perplexed.
How was it all working out so easily?
I now realize that by following my inner ding, I was getting out of my own way.
Letting my path unfold as it was meant to.
Instead of striving, I was allowing.
Letting the Universe rise up to meet me. To give me what I wanted. And perhaps even needed.
As Joseph Campbell once said:
“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”
He was right.
I was being guided to the life that was waiting for me.
The one full of independence and freedom. The life I’d craved all along.
Who knew it was bookkeeping — and not coaching — that would get me there?!
Funny how life works.
So does that mean I have to give up on my coaching, and let go of that dream?
The coach in me remains. She comes out naturally, in all sorts of ways, both personally and professionally. And always will.
She’s the one writing this blog in fact.
But whenever I’ve focused too much on turning coaching into a business, it just hasn’t worked.
Rather than feeling natural and easy, it’s felt heavy.
Like I was trying too damn hard.
There was no inner ding.
No sense of ease guiding that piece of my life forward.
At least not yet.
Because the guidance may come at some point.
And if and when it does – like feeling inspired to write this blog – I’ll follow it.
Because I trust my inner ding.
It’s led me to the creation of a thriving bookkeeping business.
To living the kind of independent “laptop lifestyle” I didn’t even know was possible.
To living life on my own terms.
And that feels good.
Really, really good.
So who knows where my inner ding will lead me next.
But as long as I pay attention and honour it, the future looks bright.
What about you?
What’s you inner ding telling you?
And what’s one small step you can take right now to honour it?
Now promise me, you’ll go do it.
Take that step! Follow that inner ding!
Because you just never know where it’ll take you.