When I started my business, I was selling help with business operations for founders wanting to grow their businesses.
That’s what I thought people wanted, and I had a track record of doing it. Sales are easy when you sell folks what they already want!
I was riding a Trojan Horse.
Talking about growth (what they wanted) got me in the door to earn the founder’s trust and start a conversation about their leadership and mindset (what I knew to be most impactful).
Consequently, while I was doing great work, helping people to grow their businesses and fix their operations, a lot of the actual delivery was work that I didn’t want to do so much of! Improving job descriptions and performance management, developing budget spreadsheets, and reporting dashboards eventually became untenable for me. It’s good work and makes a difference, but it’s not my work. The work I enjoyed the most, which I was best at and made the most significant difference for my clients, was relegated to a small part of what I did daily.
So finally, I came to the point where I had to throw the Trojan horse away and start talking about the work I most wanted to do, increasing the leader’s capacity to create!
What’s your Trojan Horse?
Maybe you find yourself at a similar crossroads where the work you’ve been doing, while lucrative, isn’t scratching the itch of the thing you are best at, the thing you were put on this earth to do. If that’s you, there is a way forward. There is a way to move your work closer to your zone of genius and still get paid well.
The heart of the Trojan horse was me hiding and not being willing to show people the thing that was most important to me because I was afraid that people didn’t want it. So I sold them some other thing and then tried to trick him into working on what I cared about (and knew would make the biggest difference). Putting away the Trojan horse is part of the process of being true to myself, revealing my true self, and finding out that other people like who I am and value this thing that is so valuable to me.
Being bold about that has enabled me to serve people at a higher level, and that’s what it’s all about!
If you are at a similar crossroads, reply to this email, and let’s get on the phone and talk about shifting your work so you can get out of that Trojan Horse.