You know those moments where you stumble across something that stops you in your tracks?
My moment of epiphany happened when I stumbled across the definition
It can be the simplest thing but when you come across it, something clicks into place. It strikes you at the exact time you need it.
It made so much sense to me that I changed my business name to include it. At the time, it encapsulated not just the business I wanted to have, but the life I wanted to live. To this day, it still reminds me to keep that purpose front and centre in every decision I make.
What does dancing have to do with business and why on earth would you want to do anything ‘artlessly’, or ‘clumsily’?
The terms do feel loaded and carry implications of ‘not trying hard enough’. In a world of work where every accomplishment is weighed against ever-changing expectations, where status is paramount, where progress is the priority, to ‘dance’ or ‘tread’ through life just doesn’t sit right with us.
In a culture of ‘always on, always striving, always perfect’, we expect to get to our destination immediately. Anything other than that feels frustratingly slow.
In this culture, to ‘balter’ is to willingly refuse to run that race and to many people, that feels deeply subversive.
I know that’s how I used to feel. Performing, perfecting and pleasing was my go-to approach. Looking back, it was just the feedback loop I was living in. I am the eldest of five siblings. The mother of two boys. The founder of a business. That sense of responsibility was pretty much built into my DNA.
Don’t get me wrong – there’s value in it. My work ethic, my tenacity and my desire to serve others are qualities that define me and I’m damn proud of them. But through the stories I gathered in this feedback loop of mine, I also internalised this myth – to be successful, you have to have everything ‘together’.
You have to have your eyes on the prize and the blinders on. ‘Having fun’ is not on the agenda when there is hard work to be done. You can have both, but never at the same time.
How many of you have bought into that myth?
Like most deeply held beliefs we have, mine was only broken when something truly shook up life as I knew it.
Not long after the birth of my second son, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. It was unexpected, and relentless. Nine months of chemotherapy, major surgery and a stint in the ICU. Without going into all the details, here’s that truth that we all half-know but don’t truly understand until it happens to us:
WHEN LIFE DEALS YOU A HAND LIKE THAT.
WHEN WHAT YOU TAKE FOR GRANTED IS SUDDENLY SWEPT FROM UNDER YOU, IT CHANGES THE WAY YOU SEE THINGS.
IT CHANGES THE WAY YOU DO LIFE.
Instead I ‘Balter’.
To me, that word represents courage. The courage to live on your own terms.
To move through life with an orientation towards enjoyment. To seek pleasure without worrying how that may be perceived by others.
To own what makes YOU happy and to pursue it for its own sake. To understand that ‘skill’ and ‘grace’ are not the only metrics of success.
To know that doing something ‘artfully’ is nowhere near as important as doing things ‘authentically’.
People who BALTER
are my tribe.
They’re the people I want to co-create with.
This is how I want to approach life and business.
- Always striving to show up unapologetically and to help others do the same.
- Always prioritising the process over the final destination.
- Always making enjoyment a non-negotiable when it comes to work and play (in a creative business, they are so often one and the same).
To me, running a business is a daily dance. Sometimes, we show up and know all the steps. Sometimes we stumble over our two left feet.
Sometimes we won’t feel all that graceful.
But we can make a commitment to doing it happily and always with enjoyment.