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Give Your Business A Gift

By Claudette Rowley
Posted Friday, December 17, 2004

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Claudette Rowley

"I challenge you not to get lost in your own growth - the purpose of your transformation is to radiate your gifts in the service of others."

- Kevin Cashman

We each arrive in this world bearing a set of gifts that is uniquely ours. I invite you to take a look at gifts that don't require wrapping - the ones that are innately yours.

How do gifts relate to entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship is an act of capitalizing on the ways in which we are gifted. At its finest, entrepreneurship asks us to capture that which we do the best, harness it and put it out into the world in some form or fashion.

I'm convinced that fully acknowledging your gifts - to yourself, first and foremost - will catapult your business and your life into bold new arenas. Here's why: When you don't acknowledge your gift of, for example, building businesses or transforming houses or connecting people, you hold back from full self expression. When you don't acknowledge your gifts, you can't capitalize on your innate human resources. YOU are your business' most valuable resource.

What stops us from taking full advantage of our gifts?

* Judgment. Judgment is the number one wet blanket. Just as your gift starts to burn brightly, judgment comes along and throws a heavy blanket over the flame. In our world, it's perfectly acceptable to wax at length about our failings, misfortunes and weaknesses. We rarely speak openly about our gifts and accomplishments without qualifying them. "Well, I guess I am an okay painter. But it's just a little hobby, and Betsy is much better."

We are taught not to "brag". How did telling the truth about oneself become the equivalent of bragging? And because we are so afraid of being "full of ourselves", we don't even admit the significance of our gifts to ourselves.

Judgment can also surface in the form of rules about your talents. For example, "I am gifted in this way, but not in that way. I should be gifted in that way." "Well, I do have a gift, but it's not good enough." As if some gifts are legitimate and some aren't. Environment can also play a big part in the perception of your gift's legitimacy. In some families, being a talented businessperson is honored and being of an artistic bent isn't. In some families, the reverse is true.

* Lack of recognition. Some gifts are overlooked because they aren't tangible the way music or writing can be heard and seen. We sometimes assume that a gift must be a form of external brilliance like that of a composer like Mozart or a painter like Picasso. Maybe your form of brilliance is the impeccable balance you keep in your life, maybe it's a spiritual relationship you've developed or maybe it's your ability to manage people in a way that inspires them to be their best.

Other times, gifts are overlooked simply because they come so naturally. I've often heard people who are, for example, gifted networkers or natural musicians downplay their gifts by saying, "Oh, it's just this thing that I do." Notice the next time someone compliments you, and you respond with the equivalent of "Oh, it's just that thing that I do." How could you respond differently?

Sometimes we assume that in order for something to be a gift, and to be worthwhile, it requires hard work. Actually, the reverse is true. A gift begins as a form of ease. A gift begins to feel hard when we judge it and don't honor it for what it is.

What do you do most naturally? Get a good sense of your gifts. Ask trusted colleagues and friends for feedback about your gifts, both tangible and non-tangible. How do you use these gifts in your business right now? How would your business change if you fully honored and incorporated your gifts?

It's extremely easy to overlook our own gifts and take them for granted. Do you have the gift of gab? Do you have the gift of turning nothing into something - in other words, the gift of transformation? Each one of us possesses a multitude of gifts, large and small. In order to enhance your business success and life fulfillment, make sure you know what yours are.

You are the biggest resource your business has. Give yourself the gift of profound self-acceptance. Explore your gifts. Acknowledge and accept them. And watch the miracles of your season unfold.

About the Author
Claudette Rowley, coach and author, helps professionals identify and pursue their true purpose and calling in life. Contact her today for a complimentary consultation at 781-676-5633 or Sign up for her free newsletter "Insights for the Savvy" at (


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