Credit: Dhilung Kira

2011 has been the best year yet in my business, my third consecutive year of greater than 35% growth.  (Insert happy celebration music here.)

However, the successes of 2011 went far deeper than how much money I made.  In fact, I believe that these deeper changes allowed the financial prosperity to show up while experiencing more fun and ease than ever before.

Because I want to support you in having more prosperity, fun and ease, I give you The 3 Most Exciting Success Lessons I Learned in 2011:

Intentions are more important than strategies.

Spiritual teachers throughout the ages have taught that what we hold in our heart of hearts is the largest contributor to what shows up in our lives.  In business, it’s more powerful than our marketing plans, project management schedules or quarterly projections.

Several years ago, I borrowed a practice from a colleague of mine of choosing one word to represent my business intentions each year.  My word for 2011 has been MOMENTUM.  The results have been remarkable.  I highly recommend this practice for anyone wanting to grow a spirit based business.

The antidote to overwhelm is grace.

Though it’s a little embarrassing to admit, I spent a good portion of my first 2 years in business in overwhelm mode.  More recently, when momentum would pick up in my business I’d tend to slip into overwhelm.  Early in 2011, a coach of mine worked with me to “let go of the regulator”.  The regulator is a part of large, older car engines that kept them from going too fast.  After doing the deep work to dialogue with the part of me that felt like I needed to stay small to stay safe, I eased into a new reality.

What I found there greatly surprised me. On the other side of that old protection mechanism was a deeper sense of grace than I’ve ever felt.  As I’ve cultivated that feeling, I molted my remaining overwhelm patterns like a snake outgrowing it’s skin.  (I’m hearing James Brown singing, “It feels GOOOOOOOD!”).  I’m able to be present and have FUN in a thriving business.

FUN is a powerful business strategy.

Speaking of fun, I decided to let my natural tricksterness (yes, I made that up :)) out to play more in my business in 2011.  And my income grew larger than ever.  Is that a coincidence?

Richard Branson (of Virgin Airlines fame) doesn’t think so.  The primary message in his new book is “You’re taking business too seriously”.  You can read about it here.   While I’m still learning about how to skillfully integrate fun into a spirit based business, I’m more comfortable with this than ever.  And I’m ready for more FUN in 2012.

These are my 3 most exciting success lesson of 2011.  What were your biggest learnings about success in 2011?  I’d love to hear about them in the form of a comment below.