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Feb 07

Success in small business: Why do you do what you do?

I read a very thought-provoking short story recently and it got me thinking about what we deem “success” to look like.

Clearly it's different for all of us, but I think it is all too easy to become caught up and driven by societal expectations of what “success” is, rather than really stopping to think about what we want and how we can get there.

I believe this is hugely relevant to you, a trailblazing woman entrepreneur. Why?

Because unless you are crystal clear on what your version of success looks like, it will be very hard to get there.

Reflect on your answers to these questions:

  •  Why do you do what you do?

  • How clear are you on what you really want?

  • How important is it to you that your business allows you to have a life as well as being an entrepreneur?

  • Have you ensured that you are setting yourself up for success in both business AND in your life, whatever success looks like to you?

  • What are the current costs to you of doing what you do and are they worth the ultimate reward?

We believe in encouraging all the women entrepreneurs we work with to think hard about why they are in business and what success looks like to them (preferably before they start out, but it's never too late!), and it's a topic that we are passionate about….which is why we are hosting a webinar on just this topic!

7 Steps to a Business that Empowers you to Work Less, Earn More and Have a Bigger Impact Doing what you Leeerrrrve.

It's free and we'd love you to join usas we share our one golden rule for lifestyle business success, and of course our 7 steps for making it happen.

We believe passionately that is IS possible to have a profitable business without compromising on all the other things that make you “you” and that it is possible to achieve success. BUT it won't happen without some conscious thought and planning.

To find out more about the webinar, take a look and register your interest here!

Ooh – and here's the short story I referred to earlier.

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.  Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, "only a little while."

The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked, "but what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos.  I have a full and busy life."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you.  You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat.  With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.  Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery.  You would control the product, processing, and distribution.  You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15 – 20 years."

"But what then?" Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, "That's the best part.  When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!"

"Millions – then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.


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  • Susan Andrewes

    Hi Jo, great post! I came across this story recently as well and think it is just such an interesting example of everything you mention about success and what it truly means to us.

    Even more than that though, is the idea that we are constantly striving for more – more stuff, more money, more ‘success’, whatever that is, in the false belief that our happiness somehow lies outside of us. This is an outside-in (victim/needy) approach which I have been discovering from my own coach, who works with Steve Chandler, an expert on it.

    What I understand now is that our happiness and wellbeing come from inside us and are there all along. It is only from this inherent foundation of happiness and peace that we can then create true success. And to me, I realise that success means simply making a difference by doing what I love, in the knowledge that I don’t actually ‘need’ anything else, be it money, more clients or whatever to be happy and successful, because I already am.

    Wanting it (as a bonus!) is of course an entirely different matter (I want to make a great income from doing what I love and from the huge transformations I help my clients get) – and the amazing thing is that it really starts to flow when we remove all that ‘need’ .

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