Want Success? What it Means to Do the Work

June 15, 2021
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What does it take to be fulfilled and achieve success as a creative, business owner, or entrepreneur? Success is an ongoing journey and continual exploration that involves many layers. There’s no magic solution to success, but rather several interconnected habits and commitments you must be willing to learn and practice. In this episode, Emily shares the Being Boss philosophy of “doing the work” for success, with helpful tips on how to show up as the best boss you can be in both business and life.


Want to Be Successful? Commit to Doing the Work

Like many meaningful things in life, there are layers of small, yet important, aspects that make up the larger whole. Being able to accept and holistically manage all the functioning parts is what makes you fully you and fully boss.

If you’re part of our email list, you might’ve recently read in more detail a little bit of what we’re about to cover. If not, read the rest of this article to learn the four key elements that give power to the phrase “doing the work”. Make sure you subscribe to our email community to receive Boss insights, wise words, and support!

Here are the top 4 things we believe you need to do to be successful and develop the best life you could imagine.

1. Do the Daily Work

Being a business owner or creative would not be possible if it wasn’t for the daily, disciplined actions of doing what needs to be done. To fully live out your realized dreams, it takes a lot of work. This includes all the things that aren’t always as dreamy as people think.

Ask any successful creative or entrepreneur and they’ll tell you a good chunk of their success comes from showing up every day despite their feelings. Even with a bigger vision, you still have to complete the mundane tasks of answering emails, writing rough drafts, sitting at the design table, organizing little details; launching, hiring, managing, paying bills, and more; even when you lack feelings of motivation.

The reality is, there is always going to be a checklist of tasks required to complete your next step-by-step goals toward your overall vision. But when your vision’s aligned, you can have the confidence of a Boss that the daily work is worth it.

2. Do the Vision Work

If you don’t have a set target to aim towards, you risk getting stuck aimlessly throwing arrows at a dead end. Having your sight set on something worthy of pursuit gives you and your ethos the drive required to keep moving forward.

All of us need aspirations in both life and business, so get to know your vision and keep it a priority. Even though the daily work is essential for your systems and team process, so is remembering the larger vision of “why” you’re doing all of these things.

We regularly come back to the CEO Day Kit to answer questions about our vision. The CEO Day Kit will assist you in getting out of the detailed grind and refining your bigger picture. Claim a vision and make sure the life you’re here to create is involved in your daily work, as well.

The vision work is just as important as the determination to complete the smaller, everyday steps. But neither of these would be good foundations if it weren’t for a little inner exploration.

3. Do the Inner Work

“Fake it until you make it” just doesn’t cut it when it comes to fulfilling the vision and the tasks required to be boss. Perhaps the most important layer of doing the work is the inner process it takes for us to face and overcome our fears and shortcomings.

People in business don’t always talk about inner work– an important albeit often hidden piece of success. This is why so many of you love what we do here at Being Boss: we encourage inner work! We know that it just isn’t possible to be productive or do great things unless we finally accept our self-worth and push through fraudy feelings.

The inner creates the outer. On the inside, if you feel like a fraud and can’t seem to get past a limiting belief, chances are those struggles will spill out into other areas. These feelings affect how you perform in your business if you never address them. And neglecting your complex inner world can ultimately affect how you show up in your real-life world.

4. Do the Life Work

Life and business always intermingle to some measure, but this is especially true for creative bosses. We’re not working now to enjoy living our fullest life at some point in the distant future. We commit to getting the job done now so that we can live on our terms now, and have the ability to build the future we want to achieve.

Even the most successful people still have to rest, restore their energy and invest their time intentionally into being full human beings. It’s important to take breaks from business, have fun, spend time with family and friends, and leave free space to play with the positive stuff that matters.

If you don’t give attention to what you want to experience, then doing the work– whether it be the daily effort or the inner, emotional kind– won’t fully happen. No matter how much you appear to be successful in life, first and foremost you must be the person you truly are, deep down.

We are all complex beings with a desire to succeed. Success doesn’t always have to be about money or hustle. Having the focus and skills you need for achieving your dreams is no small feat, but it is worth it. To be successful, doing the work is life work.

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Emily Thompson: [00:00:00] Six years ago when my business bestie Kathleen and I recorded our first episode of the Being Boss podcast, we titled that episode, Do The Work and began our episode sign-off of do the work be boss. I didn't know it then, but that initiated a long exploration of what it means to do the work as a creative, as a business owner and as an entrepreneur.

[00:00:25] So in today's episode, I want to share with you more about what it means to do the work and in effort to help you show up and be the boss you want to be.

[00:00:39]Hello. And welcome back to 10 Minutes to Being Boss a bite-sized show, offering up tips, tools, and tactics for helping you do business. I'm Emily Thompson. And today I'm sharing the Being Boss philosophy behind the phrase, do the work so that you have a deeper understanding of what it takes to show up and be boss.

[00:00:59] But before I dive in, I do want to share more about our sponsor Podia. 

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[00:01:59] By going to podia.com/beingboss. Now let's talk about doing the work over the years of preaching the being boss brand of do the work. I've uncovered four layers of meaning for this phrase, each adding it to the previous to create the holistic view of what we believe it means to be boss. Now I initially shared this breakdown in a recent email to our email subscribers, but I will be expanding a bit more on it here.

[00:02:33] If you're not already subscribed to our email list, you can do that and get boss' insights from us every single week. By going to beingboss.club/subscribe.

[00:02:43]Now let's dive into the first layer of doing the work. Number one is do the daily work. Most often when I say do the work, I do honestly mean the daily drudgery that's required to cultivate creativity and be a business owner, which is probably what most of you are expecting it to mean when you hear me say it.

[00:03:06]This is about putting the ideals of living a highlight reel aside and recognizing that building the dream requires a lot of not dreamy moments. 

[00:03:17] You have to show up to answer the emails, to paint, write, draw design, launch the thing, hire, manage, create systems, pay your bills. If you want to be boss, you have to show up every day to work towards your dreams. Even if it's not fun or pretty. In fact, it usually won't be, but you got to show up and do it

[00:03:39] anyway. Number two is you have to also do the vision work. Speaking of what working towards your dreams, you can't work towards anything if you don't have your sight set on something, there is a requirement in our ethos to set goals to commit to that [00:04:00] dream you're after both in life and in your business.

[00:04:04] Business vision is the place I personally like to play in. And it's not just dreaming and claiming it's lifting your head out of the daily grind to make sure your business has in place. Whatever is necessary to help you get there from the systems and the processes to the team. This is actually exactly why we've created our CEO day kit, a set of tools that will assist you and taking yourself out of the daily grind and getting in there with your vision work so that your daily grind is adding up to you, reaching the place where you most want to be.

[00:04:40] And it obviously includes claiming a vision for your life as well. And making sure that the work you're doing is helping you reach the life that you're here to create. Being boss is knowing what you want and making it happen. Do the big picture work to get where you want to go. This vision work is just as important a part of doing the work as doing all of those little daily task work items as well.

[00:05:09] Now let's move on to number three. You also have to do the inner work. This inner work is what sets, what we do here at Being Boss, apart from everyone else. It's what most of you love most about what it is that we do. And I would argue that it's the most important layer of doing the work because without the inner work, what's the point in everything else and everything else will likely be that much harder to accomplish.

[00:05:40] If you're not also doing the inner work. You cannot be productive. If you haven't accepted yourself worth. You can't build great things if you're way down by your fraudy feelings, you will not make a positive impact unless you recognize and work through your [00:06:00] own shortcomings. Being boss requires in our work for you to really live up to the definition that we give it.

[00:06:09] Now, finally, number four, do the life work. A boss never forgets that we do all of this to live the life that we want. We hustle and flow. We dream and work. We dig deep and make an impact so we can live the life that we want to live. And in many cases extend those privileges to others as well. But there's an important aspect of this.

[00:06:36] We're not working now to live later. We're working now to live now and every day after which means we have to rest, we have to spend time doing things that brings us energy and we have to invest our time, our money and our energy in being full human beings. 

[00:06:54]Life and work are symbiotic for everyone, but especially for us as wildly creative business owners who pour so much of ourselves into our work. Without life, there's no work. And without the work, we lose some purpose and joy in our lives. So we have to do life work too. We have to rest. We have to spend time with our families born or chosen.

[00:07:19] We need to fill our cups with travel and culture and nourishing food. This is the layer that makes us complex and truly impactful. So even though it's not the one that makes us money, it is the one that makes it all worth it. So with that, know that every time I say, do the work, it goes far beyond your task list for today. It is a call for you to gather the full picture and put your attention where you need it to go in your life.

[00:07:52] It's not a call to hustle unless you're in a season of hustle.

[00:07:56] It means whatever you need it to mean at this moment for you to be able to show up and do what it is that you need to do to accomplish what it is that you're here to accomplish. So until next time, do the work, be boss.