I find that a lot of times I get going on stuff, I create goals, action plans to achieve those goals. And before you know it, I’m on the treadmill, I’m on the hamster wheel working hard, hard, hard and maybe be even achieving those goals and not really knowing why and not really understanding what my definition of success is. Because then what happens is I achieve that thing and soon I’m on to the next thing. And there’s really no celebration that happens, there’s no time to just sit, reflect, enjoy whatever it is you achieve or what you create.
Figure out what success really means to you
So I’ve started thinking about this as far as, what does success look like to me? How does my life look when I’m feeling successful when my business is successful? How do I feel? How much money am I making? This has come up a lot lately, mostly because I think this stay-at-home order that we have been under because of the coronavirus. And what I’m realizing is this edge of competition feels like it has been relaxed, a little bit. And it’s interesting because there are no sports happening right now, businesses for the most part. What I’m seeing with people that I’m working with is a collaboration that’s happening.
Small businesses want to help other small businesses grow. Even large businesses are working to help their employees do better things, create better lives for themselves, work hard, but make good money. I think Kroger is giving bonuses now to its employees for all the work that they’ve done. So there is this level of collaboration, helping each other, lifting each other up, supporting each other that you don’t normally see in business a lot of times. And it’s honestly, it’s really, really nice. I feel like the drive to make more money, just to make more money is not there right now.
Because we’re all in this place of we just want to help our businesses survive. We’re not necessarily thinking about, “How do I grow? How do I grow? How do I grow?” And I think this has actually been really nice. And I know it’s been really nice for me as a coach to help my clients look at what is important for them in their business. What do they need to make to get by, pay their bills? And at the same time, this is true for some, not all, but for some maybe this has relaxed things a bit because they can’t work all the time, they’re just not as busy. They’re working enough to pay their bills, but they’re not as busy. And I think those individuals seem to be finding a sense of contentment and peace enjoyment even during this time.
And because they are able to pay their bills, but not kill themselves at the same time, they have extra time to devote to their health, to their family, to their own well-being, just to their livelihood in general and find what little things they can enjoy in the moment now. And this has been very powerful, this is a very big shift for a lot of people. Other clients I have are very busy right now because their businesses are doing really well. But what they have realized is because of the other complexities around the situation, hiring employees, training employees, employees working together in a small space, right? You can’t have that many people together anymore. So they’ve had to limit their sales in an aspect of it so that they can do their work in a safe way and deliver a still, a high-quality product.
So that’s been interesting. And what I’m finding with them is that they’re figuring out ways to actually increase their profit margins without working super, super constantly, super hard without stopping, which they certainly could right now. So that’s really interesting. So I think this whole competition thing. It’s hard because I love sports and I love competing. I like cycling, I was a soccer player for a long time growing up, loved it.
Scoring goals was super fun, and I always felt like, “oh.” But there’s always this drive of you have to do better, you have to score more goals. When I’m cycling with the group that I cycle with, while I love it and I love my friends, a lot of them are stronger and faster than I am. So it feels like I have to get stronger and faster to keep up and to be a part of the group. And after a while, as you get older, as I’m getting older, that’s not always possible. And it’s not even always something you want to stick with.
I’m finding that there are other things I want to spend my time doing versus spending hours and hours and hours cycling all day long on a Saturday. But that’s what it feels like though when I’m riding in those groups in that kind of atmosphere. It just always feels like this competition that I have to get better. And then I think this translates to our businesses and I know as a business coach, I can feel it growing my own business. But then I also really see it with my clients. And there has to be at some point… This point where it just doesn’t make sense to try to grow it.
Money won’t make you happier
Now you can have dreams, you can have goals on what you want to create, that’s all fine and that’s great. I’m not here to say you shouldn’t grow anything, you certainly can. But if it’s growing just for the sake of growing, or making more money just for the sake of making more money. And you’re not happier, you’re actually more unhappy, is what can happen. Maybe you’re busier, maybe you’re more overwhelmed, maybe you’re feeling more stressed, maybe you have less time to take care of yourself, is it really worth it? That’s the question that I keep asking myself now because I’ve had some downtime in the sense of things that have just changed or to have shifted. So I’ve had a little bit of extra time to take care of myself and do things that I know make me feel good. And what I’m realizing is, yes I love helping people, I love having coaching clients. I love doing presentations and I love making money quite frankly. And I love what money does for me, but I don’t need gazillion dollars to be happy. Money doesn’t make you happy.
And if I am just stuck in this place, I am growing my business just to make more money because I think it will make me happy, which I think is what we end up falling into. We fall into this trap of thinking if I get here with my business, then I’ll be happy. Yet low and behold, we get here and we’re not happy. And then we think, “Well, if I get here, then I’ll be happy.” Or, “Then it’ll be enough.” And then we get there and it’s not enough. So it’s like, what I’ve seen with people is that it’s never enough. The money is actually not what makes you feel safe or give you stability or anything like that. I’ve actually known this for myself, the more money that I’ve made, the less stable and secure I feel and the less at peace I feel.
Now, does that mean, “Okay Kim, so I don’t make any more money?” No, it means I need to work on that, I need to work on what is the fear that comes up as I make more money. Am I getting attached to the money, am I getting attached to the things I was buying? And then at some point feel like I had to have this stuff to be happier or to feel good. But then when it goes away, what ends up always happening is once I get past the initial shock and I can fully accept what’s happening, I realize that I’m actually fine just as I am.
Happiness can be a way to define success
We all know Maslow’s Level of Hierarchy of Needs, and safety is always the basics, right? We need safety, we need security, we need food, we need to feel that. But once we have that, more, more, more, more, more doesn’t improve that experience. It can actually make it worse. So, I’ve been thinking about that a lot, thinking about what is success to me? And then ask my clients to ask themselves, what is success for you? So that’s the question I would propose to you. How do you define success, what does that look like? What does that mean?
Then from there start thinking about how much do I need to be happy? Or how much do I need to pay my bills, how much do I need to break even, how much do I need to save, put some away to go on vacation, do some fun things? But if I can create this thing that I love to do, and I can do that. And I can make this amount of money, do I have to keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger? Well as a business coach working with clients, I want to help people create a business that supports the life that they want to have, and that helps them enjoy their lives.
If I’m helping them create something that just ends up being a monster. And maybe they’re making millions of dollars, but they’re overweight, they’re totally stressed out, they have lots of health problems, they have no time to spend with their family, no time to even enjoy the money that they have because they’re completely overwhelmed, that’s not cool. What’s the point of that? That doesn’t make any sense to me. So I want to help people do what they want to do, whether it’s to build a business or not but do it in a way that makes sense for them.
Success is different for everyone
So you have to know what is your definition of success. It’s different for everybody. And this whole idea of competition is just stupid because there’s plenty of room on this planet for lots of businesses. And there is an abundance of clients or customers, whatever you want to call them, there’s an abundance of money.
When we come at everything from this lack of mentality, we feel like we have to grab our market share. And so we have to do something to get it from other businesses or whatever to make ourselves feel good or feel like we’re accomplishing something. And honestly, that’s just not true. If we’re a basic small business, we need a certain amount of sales to survive or to thrive and to do the things we want to do. We’re not Coca Cola. We don’t need whatever percentage of the market share of the world to buy our products and be successful at it.
Money shouldn’t be your primary goal
So look at what you really absolutely need as far as sales, to create the life you want. And be honest, what makes you happy? And when people say… When I ask them what their intention is for their business or what their goal is, “Make money.” That’s not a good goal or a good vision. That’s a by-product of doing something you love and creating something that works. But when that’s the goal, that’s all you get, is more money. You don’t get happiness, you don’t get fulfillment, you don’t get security, you don’t get any of that stuff, you just get money. Which probably somebody watching this is like, “Well that’s what I want.” Well, yes, of course, all businesses do, but we can’t focus on that. You have to focus on what is it that I really want to create, what will make me feel like my life has meaning and purpose?
And then financially, what do I need to do the things that I want to do, realistically? And what is that number? Because once you get clear about that, that number is so much more realistic and you realize that you can start a business, you can run a business, you can do anything you want if you know exactly what you need to bring in. So think about that, the definition of success, what is it? Okay. And then what do you need to actually create that success? What do you need as far as the amount of money per year, per month? What do you need as far as employees, 1, 2, 20, 50, 1000, what do you need? What will make you happy?
And again, always, always, always, what is your why? What’s your vision? What’s your intention behind doing this? Be grounded in that. When we’re grounded in our intention we move in a specific direction very methodically. And we do things that bring those things into our lives, into our business that help us be successful on that level. But you have to know what it is and you got to have clarity around it.
So give all that a shot. Let me know how it goes, I would love to hear. And as you’re doing that, the stuff that comes up, your emotional stuff, because as entrepreneurs or business owners our stuff always is involved, know that there are ways to work through that stuff. And one of the ways is a process I created called shift.
I would love for you to go, do my program, it’s totally free. It’s like seven videos that you can watch and it will teach you how to do it. You get worksheets and all of that but go to my website, go to the link that’s on here, click on that sign-up for it, it’s free. And give that a shot as you’re working on all this stuff to grow your business. Because yes, we need business skills or we need to work on that stuff but we also need personal development, you have to be working on yourself. So this is a system to help you work on yourself and see what’s keeping you stuck, alright.