This is part two of the “essential questions you need to be asking to change your business” and your life! In this thought-provoking episode, Tracey Pontarelli shares more fundamental statements to spur you into action and spark growth in your business. Sometimes the solution for your business problem comes from asking the right questions. Tune in for more of Tracey’s valuable insights on how to elevate your business in alignment with your vision.
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9 Essential Questions To Change Your Business + Life Part 2
I’m in part two of the highlights from a podcast I listened to with Ryan Holiday. I did the first four and the last one. I actually think I numbered this wrong, and there are nine. Also: marketing ninja tip that I teach in my Magnetic Marketing Academy: All of this content is saved in a Google doc so I can continue to repurpose it. Save valuable content so you can use it again, and again, and again.
Are You Doing Your Job?
This is question number nine. I’m going to reference my favorite football team on this: the New England Patriots. “Are you doing your job?” is a critically important question. It’s really easy to get distracted by what we think other people should be doing, or what they said they were going to do and they didn’t do. When we start to focus on what everyone around us is doing or not doing, we can lose sight of the fundamental question, which is … are you doing your job?
I have come to appreciate when I’m frustrated because it’s a clear signal that I’m out of alignment and need to get refocused on my internal work. I can usually tell I’ve gotten away from my personal growth when I’m aggravated with other people. It’s a sign I need to work on myself. Ask yourself, what can you do right now? Can you get into the income-generating activities in your business? Can you stop spending time in comparison? What is your job right now?
Also, if you’re working with other people, make sure people know what their job is. Clarity creates results. Are you doing your job or are you focusing on everyone else’s? If you’re not doing your job, why aren’t you? These are basic questions, but super important. I always say to my team, “Eyes on your own paper.” What is your job? What can you be doing right now? Are you doing your job?
Is this getting me closer or farther away from the kind of life I want to lead and the kind of person I want to be?
“Do your job” became a popular phrase from Bill Belichick as he was coaching the New England Patriots to record-breaking success. Bottom line, if everyone does their job, the job will get done.
Number six, “Is this getting me closer or farther away from the kind of life I want to lead and the kind of person I want to be?”
As you’re going about your daily life, notice your activities, and ask yourself “Is this getting me closer or farther away from the kind of life I want to lead and the kind of person I want to be?”, “What is really important to me and who am I serving and why?” When we find ourselves out of alignment and frustrated, it’s a great opportunity to reevaluate these core questions, “Who do I want to be?”
As we go through in the next couple weeks, we’re going to be doing our vision work for next year, 2023. It’s my favorite stuff to do around this time of the year. We’ll be doing some vision work, getting super clear on where you are in your life right now, honoring that, knowing who you want to serve, and how you want to show up and who you want to be, and then lining up the activities. We’re going to talk about this a little bit more. Are you speaking to the people you directly want to help? When you know who matters and what matters, the yeses and the noes become clearer.
Next question. This is going to be great for you to start to think about as we start to do our vision work. This ties into the kind of life that I want to lead and the kind of person I want to be. What does your ideal day look like? Do you know what your ideal day looks like? Have you thought about it recently? What are the activities that ideally you’d like to do?
You get to design your life, but if you don’t actually design it, it cannot come to fruition. You have to design it in your mind. We turn ideas into things. That’s what we do here as co-creators on this planet. Life is a sequence of days. How do you want to spend yours? If you don’t know, I want you to take the time after this and journal this question, “What does my ideal day look like?”
Start to play with this idea, and remember, dreams are a form of planning. I know for me, it would start with not having to rush out of bed in the morning, meditation, a walk with Mabel, and exercise, and that would take a nice little part of my morning. I like to meditate and move. That feels really good to me. Get out into nature. I like to work my muscles. I love to exercise. In ideal weather, I’m going to be outside every day, but in the summer, I definitely would have time at the beach. There’s time for reading. There’s time for writing and creating, and time for visiting friends and family. Always friends and family time, and some quiet time.
Also, a little “naptation” probably. I love doing meditating in the middle of the day and sometimes dozing off for ten minutes or so. If you don’t know what a good day looks like, then you’re just going to be working according to other people’s designs. Your focus will be on making more money, paying the next bill, getting more followers. It’s chasing the next thing instead of saying, “Is this getting me towards the life I want to live?” Closer or farther away from the life I want to have and the person I want to be.
Is this essential?
Question number seven, “Is this essential?” I’m going to hit this in a number of different ways. “Is this essential?” is the question. Most of what we do and say is not essential. When you have the courage to start to eliminate the non-essential, you get clear on the things that matter. You have more time for them. “Is this essential?” Start to ask yourself that question. Make that a Post-it note. Does it matter in the big picture? I think you probably already know the answer to this. Most things is a solid no. Most things do not matter at all in the big picture.Most things do not matter at all in the big picture. Click To Tweet
Oftentimes, when we realize things don’t matter, is when we’re in crisis, and then we realize that we didn’t need to worry about any of the things that we thought mattered. Let’s not allow that to happen. Let’s not wait until crisis strikes. It doesn’t matter what a hater says on social media. It actually doesn’t matter if things didn’t go well in the long run. Things work out eventually. It doesn’t actually matter that we were embarrassed today. The sooner we can realize that our egos got hurt and offended and it doesn’t matter, we can start to disentangle that ego attachment to any specific thing. We just start to back up and take this bigger picture of life is the teacher and we’re on the journey. What matters is who we are becoming and what we put our focus on. That’s all that matters.
When we look back, most of the things won’t matter. If you can also stay in the current moment, you stop worrying. There’s a great quote by Eckhart Tolle that says, “All pain is caused by being here and wanting to be there.” There being in the past so you can do it over again or relive it or in the future, so that you can stop worrying about it.
If you can just stay here, in the now, and realize that life is a teacher and we’re here for the ride, and we are becoming who we’re supposed to be becoming because we’re here for the ride, then a lot of small irritating things just stop mattering so much. That’s a practice we have to do because our egos want to be in charge. It’s our job to do the work to shake that out and not let any of it get to us too much. Our job is to learn as we go. That’s our job.
Lower self or higher self?
I’m going to give you the last bonus question. This is one of my favorite ones, and I think it’s a really great gauge for us. The question is, “Lower self or higher self?” Lower self is going to be the ego, that small, fearful, judgmental little voice inside all of us, me and you, lots of people, maybe not the Dalai Lama, but probably him too sometimes. It’s a part of all of us. The dissolution of the ego is a big goal, but our egos are strong.
Here are some of the questions to ask to tell if you’re in your lower self or higher self. I’ll tell you the easiest way to tell is how you feel. When you’re in your higher self, it feels good. When you’re in your lower self, it feels heavy. It’s how I’m acting right now, representative of how I see myself trying to become, or am I getting into my lower self?
I don’t even want you to have judgment on like, “Is this how I’m supposed to be?” Because we’re always becoming of something. Is this representative of how I’m trying to be, how I see myself being? Is this representative? Am I taking a shortcut? Am I doing something that the person I see myself as wouldn’t do?
This is one of my favorite quotes. This is the takeaway. You’re becoming who you’re going to be, so you might as well not be an asshole. When you do things, ask yourself, “Is this representative of my character, my priorities, my values, of what I said is most important to me?” If no, you owe it to yourself not to do it. This one really struck me because if we can just stay true to who we say we’re trying to become, how we do anything is how we do everything. The little moments add up in a way that nothing else can.
Is this who I want be in every interaction and every situation, big or small?
The last question, “Is this who I want to be in every interaction in every situation, big or small, because it adds up in the way that nothing else can’t?” This is the one that struck me in the heart. Those are my main questions. I hope you’ve enjoyed this as much as I have. I love digging into these existential questions because they do give us clarity.
Sometimes, we get so caught up in the work. I get it. We’ve all got goals. I’m a very goal-driven person. This is why I get it because we can get out of our most congruent, authentic selves, and into the do, do, do, achieve, achieve, achieve, and lose sight of what’s really important, and what’s the most important thing is who we become along the way. I hope this is helpful for you. We’ll start to dig into our vision process soon. It’s going to be great. I love you, guys. Have a great day.