For a long time now, I have been thinking about how to build a platform. What does that mean? Well, as you might know I have a lot of things going on in my life: I run my own company, I write, I give holistic counseling sessions to clients, I study to become a trauma-therapist, to name a few. As I have a background in business it comes quite natural to me to think in terms of building a platform for (financial) growth. To be honest, especially the money-thing is on my mind a lot. I hugely enjoy being creative in different ways, but I also have a family to support and household to maintain. So I have been asking myself how to build a sustainable platform. What is it that I should pursue in order to retain a thriving business?
Let me tell you I have been driving myself absolutely crazy with this question! Honestly, it’s been truly terrible. Because when I asked the question in that particular way (the things I should do…) my body and my whole Being just refused to co-operate. Especially in writing it became extremely clear: as soon as I started to formulate texts around something that I believe I should do to build a business platform, the words just refused to come. Major writing-block all of a sudden! I believe this is because the intention behind my question ultimately is about obtaining something (money). And from a mind-space trying to figure out what are the most sensible steps to get what I want. As I said, it’s been awful times and I’ve really felt stuck.
But then I read a tweet from the wonderful writer Cheryl Strayed. She tweeted:
As for platform, I have no idea on this earth what that is. I get oodles of emails from people asking me how to “build a platform”. I do not know. There is no platform. There is only the gloriously dirty basement of your own wretched soul. Howl to us like a mad dog from there.
I love that! The gloriously dirty basement of your own wretched soul. I don’t see myself as a mad dog (nor would I use the word ‘wretched’ to describe my soul) but I am for sure someone who has things to offer to the world from a deep soul-space inside myself. And it is exactly from this space that I long to share myself, also in business. Share my music if you will. (I am thinking of the wise words of Dr. Wayne Dyer when he said: Don’t die with the music still inside you).
It brings me back to what I wrote when I started this blog two years ago:
My path in life isn’t about getting what I want, it’s about giving who I am without the need for return.
When I began to look at my business from this angle and re-phrased my question, immediately a lot of things started to flow. I am now in the process of finding a space to hold my first Poolside Workshop with writing as theme. I will also challenge myself and give a talk about a larger piece of writing I recently finished, which I titled: My Truth – About Finding Yourself, Meditation and Being Real. Two things that utterly terrify me (seriously, the mere thought of it makes me feel like throwing up) but I will start out in my own living room with people close to me. Not good business, but it’s the right step for me at this moment because I feel I have something to contribute that might be of value or inspiration for someone else. And in its own time I will see if something wants to fly in a more business-like-sense. If it doesn’t, that’s completely OK as well. At least I have dared to show up and be real in front of people, and that to me is way more important than making a lot of money.
Forget the platform: I will keep on howling from the basement of my soul. It’s how I want to live, not only in my private life but also in business. Honest and real and from a place of giving instead of desiring to obtain something. I trust that this at some point will attract money. And if not, as I wrote: that’s also OK. The most important thing for me is to continue to speak, and write, my truth. Because, really: Time is precious and Life is just too short!
On a final note: if the idea of participating in a (1-day) writing workshop appeals to you, let me know you’re interested and I’ll get back to you when my plans have finalized!
Photo: Alexis Fauvet – unsplash.com