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  • Joy Watts

Building a Business Metaphor

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

I love to find metaphors that can describe my current life challenges. It helps me to see the situation in a totally different way and sometimes that invites me to also see an alternative way to navigating the challenge. Currently I am building my own private practice which is also my first official business. While I was at the bank opening my business account I had a mini existential crisis as the banker said "I guess we can switch you from student to self-employed now" Yikes... its a scary feeling to have your safety nets pulled out from underneath you. Thats when the metaphor hit. For me, starting my first business is like walking a tight rope while surrounded by fire. Yes a combination of circus shenanigans and the floor is lava accurately seem to describe the current situation I find myself in. If you have ever ventured down this avenue maybe you can relate to the metaphor.

New Business= walking the tight rope surrounded in fire

To embody this metaphor even more I will go into further description of what it's been like using just the metaphor. This process can be used with any metaphor or symbol in order to better understand the challenge and how to navigate through it.

At first I looked at the task of walking the tight rope and said okay that seems pretty difficult, but I am skilled and balanced and I think I am ready. Each step is a slow methodical move however my mind is impatient and wants things done now! Internally I hear the demands and request of what it will take to complete this task and its daunting. Now that I have made it half way, there is no turning back yet the fire around me is hot and the risk of falling is so much greater now then if I was on a tight rope with a net to catch me. The fire is hot and distracting and most of all scary as heck! It starts to make me question if I really do have what it takes to complete this task. At the same time the fire keeps me going because there is a sense of momentum. Once the fire begins it just keeps burning and time is of the essence. It is in this place where I find the motivation to keep going. A defined sense of focus sets in and the surrounding distractions begin to melt away.

How to use the Fire as Motivation

In this metaphor the fire represents the feeling of replacing security nets for well... fiery doom aka failure to launch, or failure to keep the business sustainable. As a student I was in a position of being the learner and although I had to prove what I had learned there was always assistance when challenges came up. There was a buffer zone for messing up and not getting it right the first time. Now that I have made the choice to become self-employed instead of working for an organization I have many risks that were not there before. My ability to provide for myself is now purely based on my self-driven motivation. Some days I get more done than others and some days I get down on myself for not being more productive. It comes down to meeting yourself and where you are at. It comes down to believing in yourself and your immense strength to make big things possible. That happens the minute you picture your ability to walk from one end of the tight rope to the other while it's engulfed in flames. You take it step by step by step until you reach the other side and if you fall off you reassess and adapt from there.

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