Christopher is muscular and tanned but lithe, like most of the men around here. They work, physically, for most of the day, every day of the week. His hair is long and dark, tousled and unkempt, and his eyes are dark but dancing. He has that relaxed way of wearing a shirt with the top few buttons undone and the sleeves rolled up, exposing strong forearms and a brown chest, that is suggestive, but not on purpose. He swaggers gently, meaningfully, and takes his time to construct his sentences, tasting every word in his mouth, ensuring they’re the right ones. The words finally fire out at warp speed, defying the calm countenance from which they emit.
He then sees us, shrugs to his friend, and says: “G’day, are you guys from Australia? I’m from Brisbane.”
You see Christopher made a choice. A very distinct, clear choice to live his life a certain way.
He met a girl 5 years ago when he was backpacking in Spain, and the rest, as they say, is history. He now lives a life worthy of a movie, in the Tuscan hills. He gardens, he spends time enjoying his food, he moves slowly, he relishes the sun, he loves the company of his Blue Heeler (he’s still an Aussie, right?), and he’s not sure he could ever live any other way. He earns his keep but he doesn’t work too hard – “no-one here does, right?” His mum wants him to go home for Christmas (don’t they all?) and his sister is getting married in Byron Bay in June. He’s not sure he wants to answer either obligation, but they’re playing on his mind.
Christopher has inserted himself fully into Tuscan culture. He inflects like an Italian, walks like one, and looks like one. He even speaks English with an Italian accent. He made a choice and he’s embracing it wholeheartedly.
He knows there are other things he was expected to do. He knows there are other ways he could be living. He knows this life is not for everyone and that he’s made a very specific choice – or rather, this life chose him. Perhaps he’s disappointed some people along the way. But this is his life and he’s loving it. He’s living it.
The way you run your business inside your life is your choice, and yours alone. You don’t have to be on any particular social media, you don’t have to use a certain email system, and you don’t have to answer emails within 30 nano-seconds of receiving them. Hell, you don’t even have to be available 5 days a week – go figure!
Take the pressure off yourself and decide how you want to live your life and therefore how your business fits within that. Set the boundaries – your boundaries – then clearly articulate them to those that matter. This is the key. Clearly articulate the boundaries. Communicate with your family, tell your clients, publicise this for prospects.
Find your own swagger. Find your own new language. Find your own Tuscan movie.