depositphotos_80193430_1000(Published in Huffington Post)

I just came back from a two day “Think Tank” for forward thinking business people. This experience gave me an opportunity to reflect on the people I’ve been hanging out with since deciding to tip my toe in the world of entrepreneurialism.

Besides laughing and socializing, we shared many personal stories of challenges and how we overcame them; learning from each other.

Just before leaving, the organizers asked each of us to come up with one thing, a really quick piece of wisdom that experience taught us.

Thinking back…

Four years ago, I was a crisis interventionist. I felt it was time to do something with those experiences, before I even knew much about business so I joined a couple of women’s business networking groups in my local community. Both these groups had a lot of heart and nourished a social side during an isolating venture.

Unfortunately, since they were all business women, I didn’t equate the time spent as “social” but rather as “business building” events. They were not the right place for me to grow my particular type of business.

Even when I figured out that I was not going to the “move the needle”, I would go to these groups and convince myself that I had worked on my business. Sometimes, we have to realize that something isn’t working and move on, keeping only the pieces that make sense.

Fortunately, I made some wonderful friends in those women’s groups as well as others I have joined. In fact some of the women I started out with were in the Think Tank with me those two days. In this environment, I fed both the social need to belong and the ability to build my business.

So this is the lesson that I shared with my business friends:

Declutter: Review and Release the Wrong Acquaintances.

Let’s unpack that a little.

1. Review

Have you ever had a closet that was full of old clothes and that you lost a lot of weight? If you decided to buy a new wardrobe, you would have to declutter the stuff that doesn’t fit anymore. We have to do the same thing with our calendar.

Who are you letting in on your calendar? We have a finite amount of time each week so we must be selective. Are we letting them in because there is a history we feel loyal to? We need to review these relationships without emotion, in a rational manner.

This is not about abandoning people that we value. The review process helps us decide on whether they fit the same way we originally thought. We all still have old sweaters that have meaning, that still sits in our closet but we know we shouldn’t be seen in public with them.

2. Release

We must not allow our emotions to make decisions that use up a lot of our time bandwidth.   Once we have decided that the original needs that brought a person or a group into our life is no longer as relevant, we must detach lovingly.

I recognize that letting go may feel scary or difficult. It may be helpful to read last week’s article on recognizing if our boundaries are being crossed.

It's time to put on your big girl panties and deal with it!If the other person is not crossing our boundaries, but they eating up our calendar, then we need to put on our big girl or big boy pants and reduce our availability for our own good. We need to protect our business hours and set aside some premeditated social times where these relationships may better belong.

3. Resonate

Looking for people that share similar goals or vision creates a momentum in our lives. This is the same with all things that I’ve taken a priority for us.

If we are single in our 20s and want to get married, we don’t hang around at our grandmother’s knitting group. If we are trying to build a corporate business, putting 40% of our time in local non-profit community organizations does not build that important corporate network as easily as going to corporate networking events.

This is simply logical. Our priorities change over time and we need to know that the people around us are aligned with where we’re going.

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This applies to our personal life too

So there you have it: Review, Release and Resonate. The 3 “R’s” to boosting whatever is most important to feeling successful in your life.

I have come a long way from needing other people’s approval to the point that I let them invade my calendar. This was not an easy journey for me but I am the proof that it is possible.

I’m rooting for you! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you want to see how I can help you find your balance in your chosen behaviors.

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Monique Caissie x150Monique works with organizations or people who want to reduce conflict to create a culture of collaboration, engagement and productivity. The most successful leaders are not infallible when faced with someone who “drives them crazy!” Her strategies to empower people to better understand each other and have better outcomes, while having fun, are appreciated by all who meet her. She draws from 30 years of crisis intervention and mental health work, she is a Level II Accredited Trainer for DISC as a Human Behavior Consultant and a Certified NLP Professional Coach. She loves meeting people and getting to know them and their industry. So feel free to reach out.

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