Photo credit: Big Stock Photo
Fishing was one of my father’s favorite pastimes. When I was a child, I was always fascinated by his tackle box. I loved watching him open the lid, hearing that familiar sound of the metal latch as he flipped it up. I remember the sound of the hinges as he slowly lifted up the trays, revealing the neatly organized contents from within: the colorful fishing lures and plastic bait, the fishing line, floaters, and the different sizes of hooks.
I remember him hunched over as he poked around in the many different compartments inside the tackle box, muttering to himself, happily lost in the moment.
Something that always stood out for me (aside from the colorful fishing lures and bait) were the sinkers. The sinkers are used in tandem with a fishing lure or hook to increase the rate of sink, the ability to anchor, as well as the casting distance. These weights are a vital part of any tackle box.
It’s equally as fascinating to see the wide variety of sizes the sinkers come in, as well. Some are as small as a single gram for use in shallower water (or even smaller when you’re fly fishing). Or they can be as big as several pounds or more for when you’re deep-sea fishing.
The other day, I was thinking about these treasured memories with my dad, who passed away in the summer of 2020. And I considered how, in both life and in business, we feel weighed down by one thing or another (often many things).
I suddenly had this visual of a person standing in the shallow end of an in-ground swimming pool. This individual was wearing a belt with tiny hooks all around the belt. And attached to each hook was a single fishing sinker, with each sinker tied to the belt by a fishing line.
I then thought about how those sinkers that are tied to the belt each equate to a singular burden, worry, or fear that an individual can be experiencing at any given moment. And how weighty each sinker is, is also directly correlated back to the magnitude of the burden, worry, or fear that the individual is experiencing.
· For instance, an example of a smaller, less weighty “sinker” in your business could be that nagging responsibility that you don’t particularly enjoy doing, like categorizing expenses in QuickBooks, organizing your desk, or filing paperwork.
· Something weightier could look like using a program that’s cumbersome and doesn’t fully support the needs of your business. It could be making sure that your spreadsheets and databases are up to date or following up with people after a networking event.
· And finally, an example of a truly heavy “sinker” could be that you’re offering a product or service that’s not in alignment with who you are as a business owner. Or maybe it’s figuring out how to create a supportive daily schedule so that you never again feel like your day is running you so that you successfully navigate your day.
So, what does all of this ultimately mean?
It means that instead of feeling energized, buoyant, and invigorated by your business, you feel the sinking feeling each day of never being able to get ahead. Never fully enjoying the programs you’re using or feeling in alignment with the products and/or services that you’re offering. You have feelings of dread about certain areas of your business, rather than excitement.
Just imagine if that was you standing in that pool with all of those sinkers tied to your belt. Ponder for a moment about how tough it would be to even stand up straight, let alone take a step forward.
But here’s the good news.
By taking inventory of each and every “sinker” that’s weighing you down, you’re acknowledging what’s causing you to feel burdened, held back, and exhausted. You then can assess the gravity of each of those “sinkers” that you’re tied to and then begin formulating a strategy for how you’re going to proactively rectify each one.
· It could mean a simple phone call so you can have the answers you need so you can move productively forward.
· Or maybe it’s investing time into creating processes to streamline key areas of your business.
· Perhaps it means outsourcing certain areas of your business so that you can work in your zone of genius and get those tedious tasks off your plate while feeling confident that they’re being handled properly.
Each time you bring something to resolution, it’s the equivalent of cutting one of those “sinkers” right off your belt. Imagine yourself literally grabbing one of the strings of fishing line and then cutting it and watching that sinker fall to the bottom of the pool.
Being in a place of creating resolutions for yourself and your business means continually freeing yourself from what’s holding you back and weighing you down. It’s about creating momentum, structure, and results, both in your business and life.
And remember that even the smallest of “sinkers” count. We tend to automatically think that only freeing ourselves from the weightier “sinkers” will truly bring us freedom, but all of the small WINs and actions matter, too.
We have seven weeks left before we usher in a brand-new year. What steps will you take today to free yourself from feeling overburdened and overloaded to empowered and elated?