I get asked for business advice a lot. And I’m a little unconventional in my answers at this point in my life. I’m not going to tell you to hustle or work harder. I’m not going to point you to three webinars and two books that changed the course of my business. I’m most likely going to share these two things with you.
And they aren’t popular bits of information. You won’t hear these in business school, unfortunately.
Be ok with where you are!
I think it’s sad that in our culture, we are constantly asking everyone about the next thing. After graduation, we ask where our teenagers are going to college. The day after engagement, we ask our love birds when the wedding is. As soon as the honeymoon is over, we ask when the kids are coming. And while we are still pregnant with our first, we get asked when the second will be coming. It’s a never-ending cycle that forces us into discontentment about where we currently are.
This can translate to business so easily. Your business grossed six figures this year? When are you going to reach a million? You’ve hired an employee? When can you hire another?
Let me lift a weight of expectation off your shoulders. You don’t have to always be thinking about the next big thing. It’s ok to sit and enjoy the present in its fullness. Goals are good. But reaching our goal is not the goal. Enjoying the process of getting there is. That’s what matters. Wake up and be content TODAY. Be thankful for the size of your business, the ages of your kids, and the status of your home. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow with any of it.
Where you are in life and your business is enough. It is so so good. Of course, it would be great if everything continued to grow and mature, but if we miss the highlights and the moments of today, then it doesn’t mean anything. And we won’t be content even when we reach our goals. Enjoy the very second you are in.
Be the turtle.
You all know the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. They are racing and the tortoise is convinced he is going to win. The hare laughs in his face and races ahead, leaving the turtle in his dust. But, soon his hustle makes him tired, he gets cocky and sits down for a rest. Meanwhile, the turtle keeps his slow and steady pace and ends up winning.
This is my life motto. I want to be the turtle. I want to keep my head down on my own work and my own business and work steadily. I don’t want to work so hard and so fast that I need to take an extended break just to rest back up. I want to work from rest.
I don’t need to keep tabs on other people’s businesses. I don’t care what they do or how fast they grow or what opportunities they are given. My responsibility is to steward Better Life Bags well and I can’t look at other people while I do that.
So, be the turtle. You’ll look slower than others and people might make fun of your pace, but you know the secret. The turtle wins in the end. Crawl on, dear friend. Crawl on.