When I start­ed my busi­ness, I also want­ed to begin a fam­i­ly. I made a deci­sion that my role as busi­ness own­er would be flex­i­ble and sec­ondary to my role as mom until my child was in kinder­garten. My hus­band agreed with my inten­tion, and I moved for­ward, build­ing my busi­ness in my home office.

By the time my daugh­ter was three, I had a won­der­ful part-time busi­ness in which I was mak­ing good mon­ey. My sched­ule was flex­i­ble, and my office was at home. I loved my life. I had my busi­ness to chal­lenge my mind, clients and friends to meet my needs for social engage­ment, and my role as a mom to fill my heart with joy. Then one Sep­tem­ber day, my hus­band came home and announced he had resigned from his job, effec­tive Decem­ber 31.

The two of us had not dis­cussed this deci­sion; he’d made and exe­cut­ed it on his own. I was in shock. This was a game chang­er. My hus­band was in pub­lic admin­is­tra­tion and had the kind of job that required a geo­graph­ic move in order to advance in his career. A new job meant a new loca­tion for all of us. At the time, my busi­ness wasn’t portable. When I asked what his plans were, he told me he was going to take a sab­bat­i­cal.

I moved from shock into fear. We had a mort­gage, car pay­ments, util­i­ties, and tax­es to pay—not to men­tion a daugh­ter to pro­vide for and sup­port. We lived on both my husband’s income and mine. Our finances could not sup­port a sab­bat­i­cal for either of us. Despite this, there was no turn­ing back now. Things were in motion, and our income was going to be cut in half come Jan­u­ary 1.

Over­whelmed by fear, I total­ly and com­plete­ly lost track of my inten­tion. From a place of pan­ic, I pur­chased anoth­er firm, and merged it with my small and cur­rent­ly man­age­able busi­ness. In the­o­ry, I could scale more quick­ly and make more mon­ey faster with this acqui­si­tion. I nego­ti­at­ed the pur­chase in Novem­ber, and by Jan­u­ary 1, we closed the deal, and my com­pa­ny dou­bled in size. I need­ed new peo­ple, new office space, new systems—just about new every­thing.

It took five years to gain con­trol of my life again. Dur­ing those years, I had to dig down and muster the courage to change, pri­or­i­tize what mat­tered, and imple­ment the tools I am shar­ing with you in this book. The time I missed with my daugh­ter is a nev­er-end­ing ache in my heart. I have come to accept that this was the best I could do at the time, and I have for­giv­en myself, but that doesn’t mean the wound will ever heal.

This sto­ry is one of the cor­ner­stones that built MACKEY™ into what it is today, a firm com­mit­ted to help­ing busi­ness own­ers pros­per. I don’t think it’s nec­es­sary to suf­fer or learn the hard way. That is why I wrote this book—so oth­er fam­i­lies and chil­dren don’t have to need­less­ly suf­fer or strug­gle. I learned that set­ting and hold­ing a clear inten­tion improves my own life. I have seen it trans­form the lives of count­less oth­ers as well.

Your inten­tion already exists inside of you. Find­ing it is about dis­cov­er­ing your own inner wis­dom, and liv­ing it is about trust­ing that wis­dom. It is a process with a delight­ful endgame—a life of mean­ing and fulfillment—designed by you and for you.

Inten­tion is the start­ing point on the path to pros­per­i­ty. It is the “North Star” that guides your choic­es. With inten­tion, you have direc­tion­al nav­i­ga­tion. You can always step back, take a look at the big­ger pic­ture, and ask your­self, Does this align with my inten­tion?

I reflect on my inten­tion state­ment every year. I check in with myself to make sure it still works. Some­times I change it up a bit. Each year, I write my inten­tion state­ment down, and because I am a visu­al per­son, I also cre­ate a piece of art­work to rep­re­sent what it looks like for me. I post the art on the cork­board over my desk, and I look at it every day. From time to time, I still lose my way, but it doesn’t take me long to refo­cus on my inten­tion. It is like a nur­tur­ing voice, always there, lov­ing­ly remind­ing me of what is impor­tant.

Inten­tion engages your heart and your mind. Your mind is busy chat­ter­ing all the time. It is easy to know what your mind is say­ing, as it speaks direct­ly to you in the lan­guage you have learned to use every day.

Your heart speaks to you in oth­er ways: as feel­ings, as pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive ener­gy, as desire. It has no access to lan­guage. It is qui­et. Find­ing out what is in your heart requires that you lis­ten, observe your­self, and pay atten­tion with­out expec­ta­tion. The clues of the heart are all around you, and may include the fol­low­ing:

 

  • Feel­ing delight­ed or cap­ti­vat­ed
  • Expe­ri­enc­ing whole-body smiles
  • Feel­ing free, young, free, and/or gid­dy
  • Expe­ri­enc­ing eager­ness and curios­i­ty
  • Re-visu­al­iz­ing a pos­i­tive out­come
  • Notic­ing a sense, say­ing, or mem­o­ry repeat­ed­ly pop­ping into your head
  • Feel­ing sol­id and ground­ed, like this is where you were always meant to be
  • Return­ing to an idea, a pos­si­bil­i­ty, that feels like an itch that won’t go away
  • Expe­ri­enc­ing a strong sen­sa­tion of intu­ition

 

In the reverse, when you find your­self in a sit­u­a­tion in which your ener­gy is low­er, there is a sense of oblig­a­tion or dread, or you find your­self pro­cras­ti­nat­ing, you are receiv­ing clues that you are not aligned with your inten­tion.

If you aren’t clear about your inten­tion, no wor­ries. Treat find­ing your inten­tion like an adven­ture, an excit­ing jour­ney of self-dis­cov­ery. Think of it as a scav­enger hunt. You find clues—bits and pieces—and before long, the whole pic­ture comes into focus. Be patient with your­self and the process. Enjoy the expe­di­tion.

If you want to become more clear about your inten­tion or feel like your lost north star, give me a call or shoot me an email and lets talk about it.  Mackey@Mackeyadvisors.com