Ep 030: Defining success – when enough is enough

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with journalist and show host Rachael Jansen

If you’re pushing yourself to go harder to make more money, or feeling like a bit of chump because you’re not turning over millions, it might be time to ask yourself: What is enough?

I see so many women caught up in this idea that they are somehow failing or not good at this business thing because they don’t earn six or seven figures.

There’s this sense of shame I think, amongst women who don’t feel successful enough, usually based on their amount of takings or profit because that’s what we’re told, via social media channels, that success looks like.

The idea behind the SHE movement is different to what you might see online though, so it’s important to differentiate so you can keep your head in your own game and not be led astray by someone else’s flashy show reel.

This is a whole new business world that we’re in the midst of helping unfold.

We are in a new movement that didn’t exist before – certainly not to the extent it does now. Women either couldn’t work, or had limited options, and certainly not to work from home or to make significant incomes doing it.

Now, we can literally create a global empire from our kitchen bench if we want to.

There’s no standard here – there’s no benchmarks by which to measure ourselves to say: hey, you’re successful. It’s up to us – up to you – to decide your own standard and benchmark and I think reminding yourself of what is actually ‘enough’ for you is a good starting point.

What is success for you? Why do you want to do this?

What is it you set out to achieve in the beginning, when you decided to create a business for yourself?

  • Was it school fee money?
  • Holiday money?
  • Did you want to do it to be at home with the kids?
  • Or perhaps you were already at home and you simply wanted to use your mind or creative talents in some way.

Did you set out with the intention of building and creating a seven-figure business? Was your plan to build something so big your partner could retire and work alongside you?

Did you plan on having a team of people working for you?

Did you want to work nights and seven days a week, and take the laptop on holidays with you or did you have a plan to have something flexible and more manageable?

There is no wrong or right answer here – only an answer that is true for you. Maybe you didn’t have much of a plan at all.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of over-extension. The attractive claims of big dollars made easy.

If you pay attention to some of the online hype, you may feel pressure, even subconsciously, to push harder and go bigger than what you actually need to or want to. There are so many messages online about building big businesses and big pay days, which can inadvertently make you feel like you have to do what everyone else is doing.

And when you don’t – or can’t – it can make you feel like a failure, when in fact all you’ve done is lose sight of what you truly want out of business.

Yes, big dollars are achievable, but not easily or quickly. It takes work and time.

Listen to Gary Vaynerchuck – he’s been at it for more than 20 years and he works incredible hours. Is that for you? Or even possible?

I think he’s absolutely right about opportunities, people wasting time and making excuses. But his hustle looks different to mine and he acknowledges all the time you have to do what works for you.

A good friend of mine has built an amazing business but it’s been 12 years in the making between he and his wife. It’s been a process of building – from selling at markets to a global marketplace.

So it takes time to build a business. And commitment, persistence, consistency and resilience.

But perhaps you don’t want that empire-style of biz. perhaps you want a boutique consultancy that is manageable for you.

Recently Leonie Dawson  – of the Shining Biz Academy – announced she was winding her hugely successful business back because it had become something she didn’t actually want. It had become so successful that it was detracting from her life in ways that she decided wasn’t worth the money.

I was listening to this podcast interview  on the James Altucher show, in which Ramit Sethi discussed the concept of a rich life. Ramit has an incredibly successful online biz – a few actually – one of which is called I Will Teach You To Be Rich. He says on that interview that people assume he’s all about building those seven-figure businesses but it’s not that at all.

He talks about defining a rich life on your own terms – what is a rich life to you? A rich life isn’t about a particular figure. It can mean enough money to know that you have some financial security.

A rich life may mean that you have the flexibility to do the school pickup and go to the cross country. A rich life may mean you have time for health, exercise and wellbeing. Or time to see people who are important to you. Or a business that fulfills you in ways that aren’t connected to what it earns you.

For me, the payoff from working for myself includes being able to choose who I work with – being selective about client work and only taking on writing projects I find interesting. It’s about creating content that is of value to people. It’s about showcasing other women and lifting others and helping them achieve their goals.

It’s about taking the pressure off me – I choose how hard I work and when, knowing that the financial rewards will  be less if I don’t invest the time and effort. That’s fine, because there are times when the added pressure isn’t worth it.

The payoff is that I am there for the kids, even though some days I’m over it and feel like a slave to everyone else’s life (that’s a topic I think we should discuss in another episode).

And then finally, the money comes in to it. I’ve actually never been motivated by the money – and maybe that’s not a good thing. But it’s not what makes me keep turning up, So building a seven-figure biz just doesn’t interest me.

You may want a bigger pay packet and to build an empire and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that but maybe you don’t. Or not just yet.

Maybe what you need is ‘enough’ – enough have the freedom you want, the spending money you want. Enough to fulfill you without overwhelming you. Rachael Jansen

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