How are you doing?
I'm sending this newsletter a day late because honestly, I sat and stared at the screen for hours yesterday trying to figure out what to say.
After sleeping on it last night, I finally decided that I need to "bare my soul" a bit, and share a little about who I am and what I believe.
In the last few weeks our televisions, news feeds, and social media streams have been filled with stories of Americans reacting to the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Arbery, and others.
To ignore that and send a newsletter saying, "Hey! Wanna be more productive? Buy my new Work from Home Course!" just seemed totally tone deaf. Worse, it felt incongruent, like I was sweeping my emotions under the rug and trying to conduct business as usual.
And yet as I tried to figure out how to respond, I felt confused and overwhelmed. I just couldn't find the words to express my feelings in any meaningful way.
Copying the lead of all the emails I've been getting and saying something like, "We here at RV Business Coach support equality" or "we stand against racism" just seemed so... I dunno, performative? I mean, it's true, but those words somehow just feel kind of hollow. What do they really mean? What meaningful actions are we actually taking?
As I pondered this, I finally realized that I'm falling into a common trap for entrepreneurs. If you've followed me at all, you know that I believe the best way to be successful is to not focus on how to make money, and instead focus on helping others.
The "trap" there is that we often want to save the world. We want to cure world hunger, bring about world peace... and while those are lofty goals, they are too big. We simply can't save the whole world all at once. Instead, we need to save the world one person at a time.
And as I reflected on that, I realized that the obvious response was staring me in the face. It's really part of my belief system, and ties directly to the idea that we need to help others.
While I don't often talk about my faith, it is a large part of who I am. And at the core of that faith is Matthew 22:36-40, in which Jesus tells us that the most important commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your soul and all you mind, and "the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
In Luke's telling, Jesus responds to the question of "Who is my neighbor" by telling the parable of the Good Samaritan. From this story, we learn that our neighbor isn't the guy next door who looks like us, talks like us, and thinks like us... No, Jesus tells us our neighbor is the person we've been brought up to hate. Ouch!
So as I've tried to figure out how to respond to all of the events of the past few weeks, l've realized that I need to pause and reflect: Is my response coming from a place of fear? A place of comfort, selfishness, or resisting change? Or am I responding out of love?
The prayer of Saint Francis begins, "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love." Can we pray that together?
When I worked with Michael Port, he would usually end our coaching calls by saying, "I love you all! (But not in a weird sort of way)."
I'm working to put those words into action. Will you join me?