We live in a world where we are consistently told that we need to be doing more. You need to work more, make more money and strive for more. We are lulled into thinking that whatever we have done, earned or bought is only a prequel to the bigger and better things that are still to come. We fall victim to being expected to live in the now, yet every message within society points towards the next big thing and how far we still have to go. Live in the now, but don't you dare forget to get back to work and earn more money so that you can start thinking about the next car / house / holiday / possession or accolade that needs achieving. We also spend a lot of time apologising for things, especially if they don't measure up to other people's level or view of success. For example "I know my house is small, but..." or "I know my car is old, but..." or "I know my business is new, but...". We are so well trained to do this and usually we aren't even prompted to begin our list of 'sorries'. Apologising and wanting to just let the world know that we are aware that things are not yet good enough, but we are working on getting it all up to an acceptable / successful level. It's terrible and hardly anyone is immune to feeling some form of inadequacy at some point in their life (if not every day). I don't like it and we need to stop living like this. This is both in our personal and professional lives and even more so in small businesses.
Most of us presume that if people leave the safety of a corporate job it's because they want the ever elusive 'MORE' or that they want to build an empire, run the world and be the boss of said empire with many, many people working for them. But... what if you don't want 'MORE'? What if your dream is to have a small business and for it to stay small? In most cases people will tell you that you are crazy, that you need to be building an empire and surely you are stupid if you aim to stay a small business.
Today I want to tell you that less is more and that it's okay to be happy with what you have achieved, despite the fact that the world will tell you otherwise (every single day). The thing is not everyone wants to have a huge business and that isn't a bad thing. It also doesn't mean that their business is not a success or that they don't care about making money, building their life or expanding what they do. It comes down to that fact that sometimes when we take on less and don't succumb to what society labels as success - then our overall happiness can in fact be worth more to us.
It's a tough balance to strike though. I love challenges, but I also spend a lot of time extending my comfort zone which isn't always a sustainable way to live or run a business. As I observe people and businesses I admire I often find myself marveling at how wonderfully balanced their lives look. It isn't that they aren't working hard or striving for more, but they are doing it at their own pace and taking time to just enjoy their current success. It has taught me to not be so hard on myself (a work in progress) and to not think that every single business related plan I make has to be GIGANTIC in it's complexity and size. I don't have to run huge workshops all the time, which is just one example. Sometimes it's as simple as 'less is more' because it brings you happiness and a different type of success.
A few reasons why less can bring more fulfilment within a small business...
When things are contained they are easier to focus on. You can really pay attention to each element because a project or goal is a manageable size.
Connecting on a personal level:
When I organise things on a smaller scale - I might not be able to make as much money, but I get to connect with each individual on a personal level. It not only feels good, but makes sense too. At the moment I would rather impact less people, but ensure that I can thoroughly assist them.
Quality over quantity:
This year's Etsy Party is the perfect example in this case. I was able to really make sure every aspect was just right as it was smaller and far more manageable. It brought me so much more personal happiness as I felt like I was able to do a better job.
It's easier to make a start:
Huge tasks or projects can be scary, so we put them aside or procrastinate. Making it more achievable means that you can grow, but on a level that allows you to still feel that you have control.
A certain level of control is maintained:
We all love an element of control (yes you too) and when we do less, but with more of a focus our control is maintained.
I want to encourage you to do things at a pace that allows you to enjoy the present, the success already achieved and to understand that we are all different. We strive for different things and levels of success and that's totally okay. Phew... that feels good! Sometimes we need to set boundaries so that we are not drowned in seeking 'MORE' consistently and in turn our true business dreams vanish because we are so busy thinking that we need to be making all these things happen. There is plenty of time for achieving and taking time with your journey will bring you more happiness in the long run and that's more than anyone can ask for...