Here is a quick inventory of some of the “growth opportunities” I experienced in 2009.

1. Your Perception of the Economy Is What Matters

Awareness is everything. Your awareness of how you literally have so much potential right inside of you will take you through all economic climates. Sadly, most people just don\’t have this awareness yet. All the external factors (our health, our economy, our financial situation) can be perceived in such a way that you can move through them no matter what. It is about being positive and about being aware of the energy and thoughts inside you at any given moment. If in “your world” you perceive you have choices to quit “if this” and “if that” happen, then guess what, you might as well not get started.

I learned this year that if you really want it, you won\’t have excuses. And trust me, they are all excuses. We don\’t say no to an opportunity because of lack of money, or too much travel, or lack of time… we say no simply because we just don\’t want to move forward. And here is the thing. In my opinion, is it OK to not move forward all the time. Nature tells us that we all must go dormant for a period of time to truly flourish again in the future. Being aware that you are choosing to go dormant is OK. Having the perception that the external things are the reasons not to grow is not OK. Just know when you are ready to flourish, external reasons are not of your concern and you only need to be “aware” and then commit to be able succeed.

2. Your Boundaries Help Others Grow

They have to test your boundaries to grow. Did you get that? People don\’t test your boundaries to hurt you or to take advantage of you. They test them because they are still growing. And they never stop growing. As you can imagine, if you are a coach or consultant or a “coachsultant”, then be prepared to constantly have your boundaries tested.

How do you grow? Your keep working through your own boundaries and tweaking them until you are happy. Yep, it is that easy to be happy. Here are a few areas that I have found having good boundaries will move you forward the fastest:

  • Your physical and mental space
  • Advice you take
  • Access you give
  • Problems you take on
  • Results of others that you absorb

3. Your Customers Want YOU-Mind, Body, and Soul

They want balance. This year I really understood at a deep level how to expand and grow past my comfort zone even more. In the previous ten years, I had spent so much time mastering the mind and soul parts of myself and my business that I had in some ways neglected the body. (Sidenote: I had instead given my body to my four children, but that is another article!) This year I realized I had a been subconsciously telling the people I inspire that you can be successful, but you can\’t be balanced. I was “showing” them that you can\’t have it all when I wasn\’t in shape. Once I began to become more balanced in the “Body” area of my life this year by hiring a trainer and paying better attention to what I ate, my clients literally “felt better” too and began to thank me for my hard work.

Here are just a few ways your customers need you to be balanced:

Mind

They need you to provide good content that helps them detect patterns and learn quickly.

Body

They need you to breathe, move gracefully through struggle, and most of all take care of yourself.

Soul

They need you to help them connect their work to the passions of others so they can experience their own “true meaning”.

4. Your Customers Are a Part of YOU

We are truly all one. This year I was able to watch how when we take part in “negativity” at all it shrinks us. Even if we react to negativity as a way to decompress or vent, it shrinks us. Even if we don\’t participate in the negativity, but allow the energy of it to fill the air we are breathing, it shrinks us. This year I learned that the only way to run a business and to experience a truly amazing life is to live moment-by-moment in the essence that “we are all one”.

Want To Use This Article In Your Ezine or Website? You have my permission, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Sheri McConnell is the CEO of Sheri McConnell Companies, Inc. and the president and founder of two national organizations, the National Association of Women Writers-NAWW and the Global Institute of Associations-GIA. You can visit Sheri, access her free article archive, and find out more about all four of her companies at www.sherimcconnell.com. Sheri lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, their four children, a weenie dog, and two cats.