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This is going to sound a little silly but I’m going to share it with you anyway!

When we were planning our first trip to Europe two years ago, we included four nights in Paris. Here’s the silly part.  Paris has a fairy tale image right? So when I imagined myself there, I secretly hoped that a “fairy godmother” would wave her wand to transform me. Leaving behind the bits about me, my behaviour, my fears and the appearance that I would like to change and I would suddenly be able to speak French, be graceful and sophisticated and maybe look a few years younger! Standing beneath the Eiffel Tower, the realisation hit me that no matter where you are in the world, you are who you are and we all walk around carrying baggage that only we can shift.

I was thinking about this on this trip and how it relates to business. When you are on holidays, the only baggage you need to worry about is the suitcase variety! However, if you carry baggage into your business that you avoid dealing with, it can be very detrimental.

For example, I used to have a problem asking people for money (there’s a whole story about my relationship to money, my worthiness to receive and being a “nice” person which I won’t go into now). In my personal life, if I bought a gift that was shared, I left it up to the others who contributed to remember to pay me. I never asked for it. I also carried that baggage into my business. Still not wanting to ask people for money, I paid an admin person to do it which was costly and ineffective. The impact of that was that it was a constant battle to keep the debtors under control and I lost thousands of dollars on rescue jobs because I didn’t ask for payment upfront (both of which put me under constant stress).

If you have similar issues, you may find yourself justifying why you allow your clients to pay you when they can afford it instead of according to your terms and you make that OK – but it’s not – REALLY! You can avoid dealing with this baggage for a time when it’s just you. However, it’s a whole new ball-game when you have a team of bookkeepers who you have paid to do the job but you haven’t been paid yourself. That’s when cash flow bites hard and you think you would be better off on your own.

This week, be honest with yourself. Think about the things you avoid in your personal life that you carry as baggage into your business which may be holding back its potential. It might be around finances or avoiding conflict or something else. If you don’t, you will find the same issue repeating just in different forms. If you do, you will discover things about yourself and your potential that you didn’t think was possible.