Easy – you must be kidding….
In the 1980’s many of us lived the dream of wealthy futures. The ‘Maggie Thatcher’ era, ‘anything is possible’ if you work hard, drive for personal success and put your blinkers on to the rest of the country and the sabotage that happened in our manufacturing and mining worlds.
In the 90’s – well, that was the .com millionaire era! Just register a URL and walk around with your ego and business cards and you were holding a lottery ticket to the Millionaire future you so deserve!
Then the 2000’s, the birth of the Millennial and the realisation that not all is okay. Technology disruption, banking crisis, globalisation, corruption. and the fact that anyone could become an ‘entrepreneur’ as David Cameron believed “we were once again a nation of entrepreneur’s”, the Maggie Thatcher equivalent of ‘shop-keepers’.
Then through the mid 2000’s came the global, highly dominant brands, our dependence on the efficiency of Amazon to ensure we could still consume while working every hour that God sent us. We lost patience, tolerance and the ability to wait for things. Instant gratification, “I need it now”. The start of the decline of the High Street right there. Anger started to rise, on the roads, in the shops, in queues, inside our heads.
Then the social media addictions, everywhere we turned we were told we had to be highly connected, highly productive, highly lovable. Full of purpose and social impact and that we lacked, “I can make you more popular”, I” can make you more successful”, “I can make you more beautiful’ because you “are not enough”.
In the end, every statement is true, and this is apparently progress… but what about you, where are you in all of this? Are we all immersed in a world of fear and ‘follow the crowd’ mentalities? Or is it possible for us to each say “THIS is the life I personally want to lead’. Filtering out the subliminal and highly toxic messages we are absorbing that tell us to live ‘the other person’s life’
The result of this tough world is, “let’s all care, be kinder and let’s be aware of mental health and the fact that all around us is stress, anxiety and depression. So let’s now add that to our bucket of worries, “am I suffering depression?”, “am I not resilient enough?”, why am I so overwhelmed?”
Give yourself a break! You just need to calm that dialogue down, define your own definition of success and ambition and calmly work on the plan that will feed you and your family in a sustainable way. This vortex of ambition we are sucked into is sucking the life out of us all and it all started for many of as “I am an entrepreneur” or “I am a highly ambitious employee”.
Do you know what “I am a small business owner” and I am so proud of that. I focus on a few things at a time and step by step, I grow my income, find stability and see my worth to others by the payments I receive. I was one of those entrepreneurs for 19 years, I focused on a huge vision, I built scalable companies, I deferred my rewards as there was the tantalising belief that ‘all entrepreneurs should exit’, driven by the need for capital from investors and the needs and expectations of said investors. The ‘5 year’ exit plan. Not about the here and now and how to build value in your life, but driven by the rewards of the future.
Each one of us are so unique in our skills, knowledge, ability to sacrifice, ambitions and definitions of success. I don’t have to be you, you don’t have to be me. I don’t have to have power, beauty, popularity, I don’t have to win, I don’t even have to keep up with everyone. What a relief when you realise you have been trying and then you say ‘enough’.
So, why have I written this?
Many of you know I jumped off the business world at the end of 2017 and I wasn’t sure whether I would jump back in. I am happy to say I have, and I am loving it more than I ever have. I have control of what I want out of my life and business and I know how to say ‘no’ to myself and to others. I know where to focus my time, I know the pace I need to work at. I have my own definition of success and every night I pat myself on my back and I treat myself as the most valuable employee I have because she is very valuable. I no longer mistreat her, she is allowed the occasional short day, she is allowed to ask for help, she has even booked her holiday! What’s more, she is allowed to stay in bed occasionally when she feels really unwell. She (me) has learned pace and self-care and as a result is performing at a higher level than ever before.
The other reason I am writing this… because I have listened to over 80 business owners over the past 2 months while building my Mastermind, and I cannot believe the overwhelm, the lack of self-care, the lack of focus and therefore the lack of business performance in people that really should be achieving more. Everyone seems stuck in a pinball machine and by trying to keep up, they just ricochet from post to post, no one can keep up with the extreme world we are in.
The business environment has changed in many ways since the Maggie Thatcher days, more competition, more disruption, more noise, more demands, the always ON world. But we haven’t, evolution hasn’t changed our brains yet, hasn’t given us more hours in the day, hasn’t reduced our need for sleep or good food.
Business principles are also still the same, we need to treat business with the skills that we had 30 years ago and apply these to the modern world. Modern Finance Cahllenges, Modern Marketing, Sales, modern leadership culture etc etc, these are the framework of successful businesses, yet so many have turned to the noise of the online and the growth of their followers believing that something magical will happen to their business by just knowing and being known by more people. Being connected is a huge benefit, my social capital has got me through a lot, but we cannot expect business to work by this alone. We need to balance the online world in our life and leverage it, not be controlled by it.
Unrequited success is all around us. The incredible work so many people I have witnessed have out in over the past 25 years, yet, the disruption and challenges have held many people in the same financial situation they were in 20 years ago, not earning more, and many earning less.
Personally, I have healed a great deal though reflection, support and self awareness, as I write in my book “I had to break in order to be whole” (thank you Lao Tzu) I am now focused on helping as many people as I can, I know this feeling as I was that pinball, it is horrible.
Resilience is not about taking the knocks, it is about dodging them, having the skills to know what you want and how to get there. When you commit to taking control of the business and life you want to lead then you and your business performance will fly high
To learn more about my Mastermind page HERE
P.S. My book is on Amazon – Kindle, Audio and print HERE
P.P.S You can also order it on my website, I will personally send it and can sign a copy for you or your friend if you wish, I will be in touch if you order this way, click HERE for my order page, I will nudge you when it comes out