Head vs Heart – the battle is real

From Fallon Drewett, The Just Saying Project

The age old question that rattles the belief system of many a mere mortal: Can I listen to my heart or follow my head?

It is like this old chestnut: “Find what you love to do and you will never work a day in your life again”. Wanting to follow your heart and find what you love versus the comfort and stability of common sense and security is a universal game of emotional tug-of-war. Do we leap in heart first to follow our dream career and start our own business or do we keep our feet firmly on the ground of the 9 to 5 grind?

It is a battle to listen to your heart and take the leap of faith in search of finding love filled work. I have been one of the blessed ones. Before I started a business, I was a journalist, a career I loved. Most days I was happy to wake up and head into the office.

My heart was in my job.

For me, my heart has to be in something, otherwise it doesn’t work out. I start to feel resentful or even guilty if my heart is not happy. Having heart in my job is what makes me feel like a success.

But on the flip side, I have to put this question out there; can we be too big hearted when it comes to our business and what we offer?

While waiting for my hot chocolate in a café recently, I was reading my star sign. Don’t judge, I actually love reading my horoscope and deconstructing what is written and finding hidden messages that I can relate to my life. At the time of reading my horoscope, I had been feeling tortured about how to start making a healthy profit in my business, while at the same time keep making a good difference in the community.

I don’t want my business to become an expensive hobby, I want to reap the rewards of my hard work, but the right side of my heart ached. I didn’t want to lose the soul of my business or why I started it; which is to help women feel fabulous about who they are and provide opportunities for women in the Mackay community. Thoughts such as; “Can I still be generous and kind, even if I want to better my financial situation?” Then I thought; “How do I achieve that?”

Then it dawned on me that I can’t undervalue myself and the services I provide. I need to practise what I preach and believe in myself. Part of my problem, ironically, is in my own confidence and the fact I don’t always feel I can handle business-like conversations or confrontations. I feel I am out of my depth, a novice, and it doesn’t help that I am a big softie. I like to say yes to everyone and make others feel comfortable – that makes me happy.

So when I read my stars it spoke about how people who love and give to the max are called big hearted but, from a medical perspective, those with large hearts are rarely in great health. The horoscope continued and said; “Being big hearted can be bad for your emotional health too. You can’t say yes to everyone who tugs at your heartstrings. Be kind and generous but not to your own detriment.”

And the last sentence really rang true. “Be kind and generous but not to your own detriment.”

It seems like a fine line. We create and make dreams a reality because we love what we do; it comes from a kind place. But how do we safeguard and grow our business as to not lose out or shut down because we’re a big softie?

They key is to keep learning.

Read, knowledge is power and education is king. Ask advice of those in business you admire. There will be days where you won’t be able to find the answers within you, rather looking to others can shift perspective.

I believe you can have a marshmallow centre and a crocodile hide. When it comes to how we handle situations, sometimes you need to be a marshmallow and say yes to your heart strings. But there will be days when you will have to rely on your crocodile hide and stay true and tough to what you want.

When it comes to your business and how it progresses, the buck stops with you. It is how you run your business that determines its’ success. Successful business is about how you treat others; good leadership does come from following your heart, but it also comes from betting on yourself and what you are worth.

At the end of the day, you can’t be embarrassed or think it is selfish to want to have a healthier bank balance, or have more funds to improve your business. Those things are vital to enable you to be kind and generous in your business and give back to those who support you and your dreams.

There are days when you have to think with your head to further your business and develop a crocodile hide that will see you through tough moments.

But never underestimate a marshmallow centre with a big heart.