This week in my year-end reflection, I looked back on my business and my entire 15-year career with clarity and compassion. I realized that at varying times I’ve toggled between being in growth/learning mode or being in contribution mode as motivation in my career. [Note these are part of the 6 human needs according to Tony Robbins — lower ego needs: Certainty, Variety, Significance and Love; higher spiritual needs: Growth and Contribution]. Although I’ve tried, rarely have I ever been motivated fully by both Growth and Contribution at the same time.
Another thing I noticed is that at times I was motivated by attaining Credibility. I’m referring to the titles, the degrees, the certifications, the courses, you name it. There’s a big difference between gaining all those notches on your belt out of a genuine passion for knowledge — or out of a need to feel important or better about yourself (aka Significance). Or because you believe you’re not enough (limiting belief).
Whenever I focused on gaining Credibility for myself or my business, I plateaued or eventually faltered. It’s because I wasn’t fully creating with passion and purpose; I wasn’t fully focused on serving others, rather my own ego. Not surprisingly, although there may have been some learning, it rarely resulted in much expansion and growth.
I’ve even spouted “increased Credibility” as a benefit of using some of my branding and positioning services; and that’s okay, but it’s not necessary. I know many mission-driven entrepreneurs who chase the next certification because they don’t believe they’re good enough right now to be trusted, reputable and taken seriously to gain clients. No judgment — I’ve been there too!
This is actually a form of self sabotage, because really, when are you credible enough? There’s the 10,000 expertise hours Tipping-Point theory according to Gladwell. But why spend years of your life to try to perfect a talent you were born with or experience acquired on your life journey?
Because my traditional understanding of success meant acquiring degrees and climbing up the corporate ladder, I was truly humbled when I first became an entrepreneur and saw others who were extraordinarily successful with no degree, no certifications and just a passion and mission to grow and contribute through business.
Needing all those graduate degrees, certifications and rolodex of contacts only serves your ego and not your clients. Sure, they may want to see a degree or license to intellectually validate their decision to work with you, but really your experience, learnings and most importantly your desire and passion to help them is what most serves them.
Of course, there are always some ego needs to fill. But if you want to be successful as a Missionpreneur, screw the credibility factor as a motivator and focus on your clients and doing what you’re passionate about, serving others and growing for your sake and the sake of who you are serving.
After channeling this message in my meditation today, I took a risk and started honing a new skill in my branding and business coaching business. It is not something I can necessarily flaunt my titles and degrees to show how “credible” I am. And yet, I know that it will serve others in a huge way.
Takeaway: You don’t need all the degrees and titles to start or have a successful business. You can help others no matter where you are in the process or how many certifications you have or don’t have. You may not see it right away, but find the way that best serves others where you’re at right now!
If you’re still stuck and need some guidance making it through murky waters, set up a time to chat with me for a complimentary clarity call: calendly.com/alexandrafigueredo!