Are your conditions for success kinda arbitrary?
A conversation between Striving Pace and Enough Pace
I’m so close to my goal. I’m so close to success. I’ve got to keep striving. I’ll know I’m really good at what I do when I cross that green line. I’ll prove I’m worthy. Just a little further… just a little more…
Hold on a second, Striving Pace. Where did that green line come from, anyway? Why are you enough when you’re above that line and not enough when you’re below the line?
What counts as “success”?
That line is when I’m making more money than I’m spending. It’s how I’ll know that I’m a successful entrepreneur.
So, successful entrepreneurs make more money than they spend?
And if you’re not a successful entrepreneur, then you’re not enough, and therefore unworthy of love?
Got it in one!
Uh… we’ll come back to that. But first, do you think that making more money than you spend means that you’re good at business?
Well, sure! I would trust someone more as a businessperson if I knew that they were making more money than they spent, and I would feel a little dodgy about taking business advice from someone who was losing money.
Joe takes out a loan
What if Joe intentionally takes out a big business loan to grow his business, and he’s still paying it back?
Hmm, I don’t know. Maybe Joe doesn’t count as successful until he’s done paying back the loan.
Rosa moves to a bigger house
What if someone just has a lot of expenses? Like, Rosa was successful by your standard, and then she chose to move to a bigger house because she had a new baby. Her old house hasn’t sold yet, so she’s paying two mortgages, so she’s spending more money than she’s making. But she knows it will be fine soon because the house will sell and her business will keep growing. Rosa counted as successful by your definition before she moved… and choosing to move to a big house instantly made her unsuccessful?
Hmm… I guess so.
So you would take business advice from Rosa before she moved, but not after?
But she’s just as smart as she was last year when she lived in the small house. She’s even smarter this year, and she knows more.
Hmm. You have a point.
Let me bring it home. Remember that graph you showed me earlier, about how you were almost making enough money to count as successful by your standard, but not quite enough?
So close! Must… keep… striving…
Pace moves to a tiny one-room apartment
Rein it in, cowgirl. What would happen if you stayed the same – your knowledge, your skills, everything that makes you a good or bad entrepreneur… but you moved to a tiny, one-room apartment?
I… I would be above the green line! I would be successful! Kyeli, come over here! We’ve got to move right away! Can we get out of our lease?
(Kyeli interjects, “Oh gods, I’m not coming anywhere near this creepy-ass conversation with yourself. Let me know when you ‘two’ have worked it out.”)
Hold your horses, Striving Pace. We’re not going anywhere. I just want you to see something. If you did move to a tiny, one-room apartment, would you become any more skilled? Would you become any more knowledgeable? Would you become any more trustworthy? Would you become a better entrepreneur, a better teacher, or a better coach?
I would be… I would have exactly the same skills. I would be exactly the same person… just in a smaller apartment.
So do you think that maybe your “making more money than you spend” criterion is… maybe kinda arbitrary?
Really? *cocks eyebrow*
Uhh… I guess maybe it is arbitrary. Moving to a tiny apartment doesn’t make me a better entrepreneur. It’s arbitrary! My definition of success is unrelated to whether I’m good with money or business.
Bringing it home
Bingo. Now for the one-two punch. What if how much you make and how much you spend have absolutely nothing to do with whether you’re worthy of love?
But… but… I’ve got to… strive…
What if you were enough, just as you are, right now?
What if… I was enough…?
You mean… I can stop striving? You mean… I can let go?
Yes. You can let go.
Feel clear and confident about your direction in life!
Do you wish you could follow your heart, but it seems impossible? I can help you find the clarity and courage you need.
In other words, I can help you find your path.