How to Know Where to Begin

One of my clients, previously a doctor and now starting a new business, was explaining to me how overwhelmed she felt with all of the things she had to do.”I just don’t know what to do first! How do I know where to start?!” she gasped.I waited before responding, allowing her pulse to slow in the silence.”What about when you paint?””Huh?”

“When you paint…how do you know what to start with?” I asked her.

“I don’t know. I’ve never thought about it,” she responded, sounding unsure of this seeming departure from a practical question.

“How do you know what colour to put on your pallete? Or what brush to use?”

“It depends.”

“On what?”

“On what part of the picture I’m painting.”

“OK, well what part do you paint first? Where do you start? In the corner? In the middle?”

She watched me for a moment. You could see a glimmer in her eyes. She was somewhere else, seeing something.

“No, it’s not like that.”

“OK, what is it like then?”

“I start…” she paused. “…where it’s most beautiful.”

I smiled.

She smiled too.

“And that works for you when you paint?”

“Yes, it works perfectly.”

“What if, with your business, you started where it’s most beautiful too?” I offered.

“Can it be that simple?”

“Is there any reason why it can’t be that simple?”

Her eyes glimmered again. She was somewhere else, painting her life.

“No,” she smiled. “I guess not.”

Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed and I don’t know what to do, I think of my client in front of her blank canvas holding her brush and smiling.

 I then picture the things I want to create and I ask myself:

 Where is it most beautiful?

 And this is where I begin.