When playing big makes you feel small
Ten months ago, I had an uncomfortable conversation with myself about my business.
Nearly a year into my business, I knew something wasn't working. I had taken on dozens of small, purpose-driven clients who reminded me of myself. I placed an enormous amount of pressure on my shoulders to help them succeed and felt I could never give them enough. I was in yet another cycle of overworking, people-pleasing, and burn-out.
I was passionate about helping working mothers succeed— and yet, I had to swallow the fact that this working mom (hi, hello, me!) was now the one who needed help!
My business coach suggested I scale my offering into an online course. You know, create a program once and sell it to hundreds of women on autopilot for months and years to come.
But I wasn't convinced this was my path either.
So I inventoried my life (as I do!) and realized I didn't actually want what I thought I wanted.
Growing up in an achievement-based society, and working in an incredibly achievement-based company for so long, I thought the next step for me was: influence, affluence, and impact.
And yet, when I began spending more time in my life, and less time in cars and sitting in pointless meetings, I had space to see more clearly.
Here's what I saw:
At this stage in my life, my priorities center around my lifestyle, and not achievement.
Walking my kids to school every morning matters to me.
Lingering in bed with a cup of coffee while I respond to emails makes me supremely happy.
Taking midday hikes calms my soul.
Being an active member in my community gives me purpose.
Journaling my life online fulfills my need to connect with people, globally.
Could my business be "enough" if it was a means to support my lifestyle?
Would I still inspire other entrepreneurs if I scaled back on my hustle?
Would I respect myself if I took on clients who weren't struggling to succeed?
I bet the farm on 'yes' and decided to take on far-fewer, higher ticket clients. I trusted that in time, I would attract businesses who could both afford to work with me long term...and who were in alignment with my higher purpose.
Ten months later, I'm here.
I share this story because many of you are like me. You've grown up in an achievement-based world and struggle to reconcile not "playing bigger" or "leaning in" deeper.
I want to remind you that life is full of many seasons. And no, you don't have to achieve everything you want in life all at once. Continually striving for more can lead to a lot of missed life along the way.
Today I recognize that the simple act of sharing my journey with strangers is "playing big"... that telling women they don't have to hustle so hard to make their dreams come true is audacious.
Today I invite anyone who self identifies as an achievement-based entrepreneur to probe what you really want out of your "big" success. Fame, fortune, helping millions of people? Remarkable! The world needs you, and you can achieve it.
But perhaps you're like me, someone who grew up learning that prestige, beauty, and money were your ticket to what you actually wanted: acceptance, love, and a quality life — and you're realizing that's just not how it works! Perhaps, like me, you're learning that your success if defined by you and no one else.
I'm a lifestyle-based entrepreneur, and I'm finally okay with that.
Sure. I'm smart, strategic, and I'm damn good at what I do to earn a living. The difference now is the freedom to honor those qualities equally alongside being a more present mother, a gardener, a dog walker.
If any of this resonated with you, please hit reply and let me know. Or better, forward to a friend who needs to read it too.
Tell me. Are you an achievement-based entrepreneur, or a lifestyle-based entrepreneur? Have you been both at different times? I want to know.
P.S. If you're looking for an women's empowerment coach, please reach out to my friend and fellow YouTube alum, Alyssa. She's accepting new clients and she's amaaazing.