It’s water lily season here and I’m loving them — obviously, the pink ones are my favorite. I recently learned that they’re similar, but not the same as lotuses. Every time I stare at, and attempt to photograph the water lilies, I think of this phrase…  

Getting through the "messy middle" of business

NO MUD, NO LOTUS  – Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen master & spiritual leader

It's so darn true! The lotus grows out of the mud – literally.

He said it in reference to suffering — that if we’re present with the suffering, eventually happiness can develop from it. However, if we try to run from, numb out or ignore the suffering, we won’t reach the joy. We get stronger and develop perspective through the crap we go through. Beauty can follow the ickiness.

Yes, this works for our personal lives, for sure. But it's also the perfect analogy in our businesses.

Success often follows “the messy middle”.

It doesn’t help to ignore or run from the challenging seasons in our business. Maybe you’re starting out and there’s so much fear and overwhelm coming up. Or maybe you’re getting more clients, but you don’t have all of your ducks in a row, so you’re scrambling to create processes to ensure great customer service. I find that acknowledging the challenge allows you to release the pressure that you have to have it all figured out perfectly. You can take the next right action if you first acknowledge that something isn’t feeling great right now.

When you’re ankle or knee-deep in the a challenging time, having a reminder like this can be reassuring. It’s a nudge that says you can get through this discomfort, and your business will be even better after you get through it!

Like Thich Nhat Hanh’s analogy — if you face your business ‘mud,’ you’re able to look at things without illusion. You can give yourself permission to get the support you need!

(And if any of your “mud” is brand or website related, please reach out. I would love to help your business rise above the mud and bloom!)