truthNavigating the journey of business and life can be a tricky process.

Whether you are a life-learner, spiritual seeker or a business builder today’s message is for you because the world has become over-populated with band-wagon-riders and it’s time to return to a spirit of originality and authenticity.

I was recently on a discussion thread in a big Facebook group of on-line business owners. The discussion was around the way many people feel tired of a recent influx of emails from self-proclaimed business gurus claiming to have “the secret sauce to success.” The discussion escalated to a fur-flying debate in several directions as happens when you open up a can of worms to a group of 13,000 members. I was able to sift through the fur in the air to see a very important truth emerge from the discussion.

I have traveled world-wide and studied with countless teachers, gurus and experts over the past 20 years. I have hired consultants, coaches, therapists, healers, and helpers of all kinds. I have read all the books. I spent more years than necessary in graduate school. I have so many certifications I have alphabet soup behind my name when I list them all. I’ve run with the ball and created 8 businesses over the last 20 years, all of which have been very successful though some short-lived by choice. I’ve taken countless on-line business courses and signed up for too many newsletters to count.

I am an information junkie.

This is a confession not a bragging session. And this is what I have learned along the way.

The ultimate source of wisdom, your greatest guru is actually not out there in the world. The greatest guidance you seek is not in a library or a webinar.  Your wisest teacher… the one who knows what is best for you and your life is inside of you.

So here’s the thing. There is a lot of interesting, deeply profound wisdom and inspiration to be found by reading books, taking on-line courses and listening to teachers speak. By all means, soak it up! Listen, take notes, learn as much as you can. BUT…it won’t mean a thing or do anything for you if you are not plugged into your inner, truest self. Let outside information inspire you to express and be your own unique self in the world rather than let it define you. Don’t mimic. Be inspired and then dig in for your uniqueness.

Last year I spent 80 hours/week studying and working to build my  first online business. I spent over $10,000 on online programs, equipment and software alone. I spent another $10,000 on coaching and website design. I used all the formulas the online biz experts taught in their seminars. I paid a lot of money to a business coach to yell at me and tell me I was wrong for wanting to veer from the formula. I chose to obey the commands and follow the formula.

Although I learned so much along the way I have circled back to what I’ve known all along. The true teacher leads you to your own teacher  and your own truth within.

It can be enriching to listen to what others have to say and to learn as much as possible but at some point you have to know when it is time to cut bait and do your own thing.

And YOUR own thing is something you have to discover by feeling for the answers rather than following someone else’s formulas.

This is what it means to come from the heart. “Coming from the heart” is not airy-fairy new-age crap. It’s about dipping into the core of your inner-knowing and moving into life from there rather than from mental fantasy or superficial desires.

There is tremendous value to having a wise guide (or several) along the way. I am very fortunate to be working with a coach now who comes from the heart of who she is to help me come from the heart of who I am in my business. She has helped big-name success stories reach their success by aligning with their true inner knowing. She is reminding me and teaching me to return to the wisdom I already have.

And I am passing this along to my own clients and students. Let’s not become distracted by every shiny temptation or lured by promises of “secret sauce.” Certainly listen and take what feels right but run it through the filter of inner truth.