An intimate business? No, it’s not a euphemism for a massage parlour or a call girl service! Intimacy AND business can go hand in hand in a totally non-sexual way. “WTF? How on earth?” you may be thinking but stick with us here…
Intimacy is about being seen, fully, by yourself and others…and we don’t mean physically naked, we mean emotionally naked.
Words like authenticity, vulnerability, honesty, transparency…all buzzwords bandied about in the world of business recently and yet still, we’re caught in the old paradigm of competition, commerce and control.
But let’s consider a new paradigm…collaboration, connection and creation. What do we need for that? Intimacy!
We need to show up, doing business – authentically, honestly, vulnerably; we need to be seen, doing business – wholly, fully and with acceptance and love. And we need to connect, collaborate and create from this space of intimacy.
Intimacy in business requires a few things…
That we know who we are – professionally, and in our business/career field. Not just who we want to be seen to be, but who we actually are…what we bring to the table, what we don’t, where we excel, where we don’t. It’s about knowing who we are enough to find our space and OWN it. Fully.
That we share who we are – vulnerably, authentically and openly. Not just the highlights and the showreel but the struggles, the challenges, the humanness that we all share. Those are often the hooks around which we connect with others…the rough edges, not the ones so smooth there’s nothing to hook on to.
That we see others for who they are – and accept them, fully. Without the need to lessen them or compromise ourselves from a place of fear or lack.
But why bother with intimacy?
Because let’s be brutally honest here, intimacy – being more fully seen and seeing and accepting others – isn’t always pretty!
So why on earth would we encourage something that at once can feel so thrilling and yet so hideous? We’ve experienced numerous benefits of building a business with intimacy…
Deep, longer lasting relationships vs one-off transactions. I have people in my business sphere who have been in my world for over a decade. I have clients who’ve worked with me on and off for years and who come back to work with me every few years. I made a conscious choice to run the kind of business which is built upon long lasting relationships versus quick, one-off transactions.
But even those transactions can, these days, be the beginning of something more. A customer who buys a one-off purchase can easily become a lifelong customer if you build your business around the premise of intimacy…of creating a lasting connection instead of seeing it as a one-off transaction where you part ways, never to connect again.
Longevity and a lasting commitment to what you do. Building a business or basing your career on passion, purpose and a deep alignment with who you are, is pretty much the only way you’ll carve out a ‘career for life’ in the new world of work.
Endlessly pursuing roles which gain you new skills, experience and more money is one thing, but while the external trappings, accolades and ‘proof’ of your success are nice, daring to explore who you really are and create a career from the most vulnerable, wanting parts of you takes a courage and commitment that few of us are (yet) willing to show. It’s far easier to settle for the accolades, the pursuit of more money, and the trappings of more conventional success than it is to seek what truly aligns with who you are and what you want.
Most folk are too afraid to dare to admit they want to write a bestselling novel or the screenplay for a blockbuster movie hit or [insert career of your dreams]; we keep these desires deeply hidden because of the shame of wanting and the terror of failing (or even succeeding). Much safer to go for roles which tick many boxes, than dare to pursue something which ticks ALL our boxes, right?
Convinced? Possibly not, right?
Intimacy isn’t for the faint of heart. As we’re discovering it can also be hard to communicate just what and why you might want to achieve it! But it’s like many clients tell me, when it comes to building their websites: “I can’t really describe it, I’ll just know it when I see it”.
It’s the same for intimacy and business; you know when you’ve got it, when you’ve had it and experienced it from a business, and you know when you’re ready to pursue it. In the meantime, watch us here at the iSpot as we build a business founded upon pure and true intimacy! It’s time to show up and be seen. Fully.