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I used to think it was a great for my business that I was comfortable. After all, I live a good life, my husband provides well. We have a nice house and my kids don’t want much. I don’t have the stress and pressure to succeed like those “others”.
I thought I was lucky. Besides, who am I to want more? Who am I to think I even deserve more? It’s ungrateful to act like what I have already isn’t enough. I have already achieved enough in life. I don’t need anything. These are the things I would tell myself.
But then I would also say things to myself like:
“I don’t have to succeed.”
“We will be ok if I don’t make any money this month.”
“We won’t die if we don’t take that vacation.”
“I can handle driving my 8-year-old car for two more years.”
“My income is ‘extra’ play money.”
“If my life stays like this forever, I can still be happy and content.”
“Money doesn’t equate to happiness. I don’t need it.”
Unfortunately, those same things translated into not needing to prospect for clients each day, making up ways to stay busy but not productive, telling myself that I was happy (as an entrepreneurial failure), and justifying why I was just fine as is, without progress.
That’s how I continued to wake up and play small, each and every day, pretending that I was running a business, pretending that I was ok with how things were turning out and pretending to be something that I was not — a real live entrepreneur. It was a little like playing house but with a business.
I was at an entrepreneurial conference one day when the question was raised, “How many of you live a comfortable life?” I looked around a room of about 200 entrepreneurial women and watched in shock as about 90 percent of the room raised their hands. I thought I was the only one. I thought I was the minority. I thought my fake life was mine alone. I thought everyone else out there needed to work without fully wanting to.
I used to wonder when I’d go to these types of conferences what happened to all these people. We are all smart women, we all have a heart-felt reason for being in business, we all had goals and desires we wished to attain. So why didn’t every single person in that room, after learning all they needed to know, go out and make it?
The answer lies in what we were thinking. We were all wishing. We were fantasizing. We thought if we succeeded, it would be great, but if we didn’t we were ok too. There was no fire under our butts. There was no drop dead reason why we had to make money next month. Our minds played tricks on us and we sat around wondering why visualizing that dream vacation or home didn’t manifest into reality. Truth of the matter was that we didn’t really believe it. We were all comfortable — too comfortable.
This comfort that we think is so good for us, giving us a security and safety net in case we fail is the exact reason we block our success. We stay within the lines. We don’t reach far enough. We don’t risk ourselves. We don’t put ourselves all the way out there. We dip our toes and see if it’s warm and inviting. If it’s not, we decide unconsciously (and sometime consciously as well) that success is not for us, we don’t need it, it’s ok if it doesn’t happen and then what does The Universe say? “Your wish is my command!”
So if you’re wondering why nothing is happening and you feel like you’re spinning your wheels as an entrepreneur, check in with yourself. Are you too comfortable to succeed?
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