What Does True Success Look Like for You?
I was listening to a podcast and the host asked, “If you were offered a $10 million check, but the price of receiving it was that you couldn’t experience real love in your life or have close connections with your kids… would you take it?“
My instant reaction was no doubt similar to yours… NO WAY!
Money and success are fine and good, but not at the cost of love and true connection with the people I care the most about.
I love questions like this because it jars me just enough to remind me of WHY I dream, and why I work and strive for more impact.
The truth is, as leaders and entrepreneurs, we so easily get tunnel vision with our success and goals.
You may not know this about me, but I’ve always struggled with defining my value by how much I’ve accomplished. It’s been a big point of growth for me over the last two years to realize that there is far more to me than being a high achiever.
I’ve recently returned to work, and Michael and I went out on our first date night out since Jackson was born (still cheering for this feat). We talked about how we each have perceived the last couple years in our lives and careers. Both of us have gotten used to double-digit growth in our business, year after year. We let it define us and drive us.
But the last three years have required more consistency, determination and grit than riding the wave of start up energy and early adopters. In fact, if I’m being really honest, I’ve looked back at our insane sales tracking and like most high achievers I didn’t focus on the crazy grwoth we’ve had that puts us up in the top 5% of revenue grossing gyms in the country. I instead notices two small plateaus in our sales. The year 2017 and this year, year 2019. It bothered me and I shared that with Michael.
Do you know what had happened in those years that was different than every other year? I had babies. My daughter in 2017 and my son in 2019. But instead of feeling good about my evident shift in priorities and my time, I had this deep guilt that I’d let the team down. As an external processor, I shared that too.
Then it hit me.
I haven’t stopped building my dream. But the truth is like more entrepreneurs, we can get lost in our identity with our goals and struggle to remember that when we dream about success we have people next to us enjoying it with us. Michael and I hadn’t stopped building the dream. We turned our attention into two places: our family & our new roles as parents and bringing our new business Gymnazo media online.
We are still building the dream with just as much intensity, the same long hours, the same high highs and low lows, BUT we have expanded our view of where we want to feel successful. Instead of only thinking about succeeding in Gymnazo, we care about succeeding online and in our home life.
We’ve had two kids in 2.5 years, and our lives are dramatically different. We have been intensely investing in our dream to have a thriving, loving family.
We’ve had the dream to achieve much with Gymnazo, but right alongside our quantifiable business goals have been these goals:
- Stay married.
- Still be in love.
- Take time to enjoy our kids daily.
- Invest in our kids’ lives and our relationships with them.
- Take time to pursue our individual growth and self-care so we serve from a place of abundance not scarcity.
It was honestly one of the more refreshing conversations we’ve had in a long time.
Dreams don’t just happen on their own. You have to take action. It’s one thing to be a dreamer, but the worst thing I can imagine is being a dreamer who never actually did anything with that dream.
It’s so easy to focus on the professional goals we have set for ourselves. We get praised more for them and they are quantifiable. They are more evident to those we seek approval from.
But at the end of the day, NO ONE can write me a check big enough to make me settle for a life without love, connection and belonging.
So I don’t know where you are today when you think about your dreams. I don’t know if, in the pursuit of your dreams, you’ve sacrificed others. I don’t know if you have big audacious dreams that you’re pursuing in the dark, unsure if anyone will take you seriously. I don’t know if you feel like you’ve had to shelve one to focus on another and you’re critical of that.
BUT what I hope is that you feel inspired to rethink about dreams as a reflection of your whole self and whole life.
“The grass grows greener where you water it.”
I’m so thankful for the last three years of raising the priority of my home life to make sure we give parenthood and our new roles the attention they deserve. I may not have consciously given myself permission to pivot my focus, but it is what happened and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Cheers to all the dreamers and doers making life beautiful, whatever version of that speaks to you. The world is a better place with you all in it!