I had an “a-ha” moment recently as I was talking with a colleague recently. She’s a successful business owner who offers training and coaching for entrepreneurs. As soon as I met with her I could feel a heaviness; at first I couldn’t pinpoint what it was, but then I began to see it.
What I saw was someone who was depleted by their business, stressed-out about pressures from a few unhappy clients; someone who missed seeing their kids after school… someone whose business dictated their life, rather than their life dictating their business.
I made this mistake in the past myself; it’s an easy one to make. When you’re inspired to make a difference serving people through your business, you’ll go the extra mile to do that. Right? But it should never be at the cost of your own peace and well-being.
What I discovered for myself (and saw in my colleague) was that no business is worth sacrificing your life for. The truth is I’m in business to help and serve you because that’s what I love doing! But, if I’m doing so at the expense of serving myself and my own well-being, then what kind of service am I really doing anyone?
When I saw this colleague wrapped up in working hard, not seeing her children as much as she wanted, and not very happy… I was sad.
I was most sad because there seems to be a pervasive lie being put out to entrepreneurs – that running a business and making a difference in the world is easy, and even worse that you can make “millions overnight” doing what you love.
People are getting stuck in this trap, sacrificing their souls, their well-being, and in some cases their family, in pursuit of that million-dollar (or multi-million) dollar business. I just can’t stand to see it anymore!
Growing a purposeful and profitable business is not an easy feat. Millions of dollars don’t come overnight and hard work IS required. Don’t let anybody tell you that what you see me or any other “mentor” out there doing is easy. Yes, there are times when the grace I experience in my business is incredible and the flow happens, but not without a lot of effort on my part. I’ve been an entrepreneur for 23 years… the success you see in me today has been underway for decades. None of it was “overnight.”
OK… the point to all this is to help you understand that while it is important to serve people through your business, it’s important that your business serve YOU first. If you are depleted by trying to be “Superman or Wonder Woman” in the relentless pursuit of “more” you’ll miss out on LIFE along the way.
So the valuable lesson is to put your SELF and your LIFE first, and do not compromise these things in pursuit of business/money. The happier and more joyous you are in your life, the more you’ll be a beacon of light for the people you’re meant to serve.
What do you think? Am I off my rocker or right on the mark with my thoughts? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.