Practicing detachment in your business means you show up as your truest self, put your best foot forward, and hold space for what’s to come, while detaching from the results.
What is detachment?
Intuitively, we know detachment makes it easier in business. When we can be detached from the results, we don’t have to put so much pressure on ourselves and attach so much meaning to the outcome.
But what does “detachment” really mean from a spiritual perspective?
Detachment is part of Chopra’s 7 Spiritual Laws of Success.
Detachment is a spiritual principle that means, in his words: “Allowing yourself and others the freedom to be who they are. Do not force solutions—allow solutions to spontaneously emerge. Uncertainty is essential, and your path to freedom.”
What is detachment in your business?
For those of us who started businesses to do work we love, we may feel deeply connected — even attached — to our business.
Our business may seem like our life’s work: a personal expression and deep reflection of who we are.
So when we sell and market ourselves (which really just means sharing our work, but that is a topic for another day), when someone says “No,” it can feel like they are rejecting us as a person.
This is why detachment is so important.
Practicing detachment in business can look like:
- You show up and do your thing without attaching to the results.
- You don’t take any results to mean anything about you personally.
- You separate your own personal value or worth from the results of your work.
- You don’t overly rely on others’ validation to make you feel good.
- You aren’t trying to coerce or control others or any specific outcome.
You don’t want to be in a position of relying on others validation, purchases or sign ups to give you a feeling of completeness in your life or work.
Instead, you can give that to yourself. And when you do so, you become less reliant and attached to the results.
Why attachment in your business can hold you back
Imagine basing your worth on whether or not that next person signs up to work with you.
Or basing your value as a business owner on whether or not you can have a 6 figure launch.
Or only considering yourself “good enough” if you get a certain number of clients. Yikes!
Many of us do this, despite it causing a lot of inner turmoil.
If we only base our internal worth off our external results, we are doing it wrong.
We’re definitely not feeling good in the process.
We may quit too soon.
We might be too hard on ourselves.
We won’t show up as our best selves.
And we do a disservice to those people who are showing up for us, when we can’t be as authentic as we’d like.
Here’s an example:
Say you set your client goal at 10 clients. You have 4 currently.
But you’re so focused on not having those other 6, you end up not serving your 4 clients as well as you could.
Whereas if you did focus on serving the $*%! out of those 4 clients, you’d be much more likely to keep them as longer-term clients, get solid referrals, and create overall positive experiences for you and for your clients!
How does attachment show up in your business?
Attachment shows up in your business any time you feel you are attached to or dependent on the results for some reason.
This includes being attached to…
- That prospective client you love becoming a paying client
- Making or exceeding 6 figures on your launch
- Getting exactly 10 clients in the next 30 (or some arbitrary number) days
Usually when we are attached to a result, that result is the only acceptable outcome; anything else is a failure or unacceptable.
And if you deem something as unacceptable or a failure, you might start to believe that YOU are unacceptable or a failure.
Attachment can cause some rough emotional moments in business — extreme highs when you hit those numbers and extreme lows when you don’t.
That’s not really a sustainable way to thrive in business and can be very taxing to those of us who are highly sensitive entrepreneurs.
Does this mean you shouldn’t care or set goals?
So does this mean you shouldn’t set goals for your business, that you should just live in the moment, and stop caring about things?
No. At least, not in my mind. (Insert sigh of relief for those of us Type As.)
You can still set goals, plan ahead, and care deeply about your clients and your business.
It simply means that you don’t have to make the results and outcomes mean anything about you personally.
Instead, you focus on showing up powerfully in the present moment, detaching from the end result, and continuing to live your life and to enjoy the ride.
Here are 5 ways you can practice detachment in your business:
1. Connect to the overall “why” behind what you’re doing.
Doing something just for the sake of results is empty. It’s like starting a business just to make money. While making money is a part of it, there has to be a deeper reason behind why you want to start this business, launch this program, etc. When you know your “why,” you will also realize that there are many, many ways to achieve the “how”; and this frees up a lot of mental space.
2. Realize the value of learning.
The value of an experience isn’t entirely in the results. (Like the value of dating isn’t only in getting married; the value of doing consultations isn’t just signing a client. The value is in the learning.) Every time you try something new, you’re learning and evolving. This is an invaluable experience you could not get without taking the action.
3. Find joy in the experience.
If you’re only waiting to experience joy once you achieve a result, you’re missing out on all the joy along the way. When you make the journey itself fun and enjoyable, you feel good along the way, without putting so much pressure on the end result to deliver.
4. Watch your perceptions and assumptions.
While 4 clients to you can seem like a failure, 4 clients to someone else can be a complete success. The only difference is perspective. How can you focus on what you have already achieved? How can you practice gratitude for what you have instead of concern for what is lacking?
5. Don’t make it about you.
If you don’t get the results you want, does that mean you failed? Only if you think you did. External results don’t mean anything about our value or who we are as a person. If your self-perception is tied to external results, it’s time to focus on building your own sense of self-worth.
(And don’t blame yourself entirely, American society and corporate culture rewards us based on our results; but your worth as a human being is totally independent of that and sometimes you might need to remind yourself of that fact.)
How to take baby steps to practice detachment
If this seems like a totally new way of doing things, you don’t need to stop what you’re doing and throw the baby out with the bathwater (hate that euphemism)!
You don’t need to revamp your whole business or change how you’re doing everything.
Like any practice, you can simply start small and start where you are.
Here are a few ways to practice detachment in your business right now:
- On your next consult, practice being completely present while being completely detached from the results. Do not try to convince or “get” the client.
- On social media, post with intention and heart, and then take a break. Resist the urge to keep checking in to see who liked it or commented. Allow yourself to get totally engrossed in something else.
- If you’re launching, focus your time and attention on your next right step. So whether that means writing an email or hosting a webinar, put all your focus on that thing, and let go of any worries about the outcome.
Once you realize that you are so much more than any result in your business — good or bad — you feel less pressure, you don’t base your worth on any metric, and you know that you can handle whatever arises.
What’s one way you will practice detachment in your business?