Can I get real with you about money for a moment? While we all know that success isn’t only about the money, we can’t ignore the fact that money matters. And it especially cannot be ignored when you run a business.
Sure, there are lots of people who’ve changed the world without money, but there are far more people who change the world and have an ongoing say in its direction with money than without it.
I’m not ashamed to say it: I’m a financially ambitious woman.
Last year, I learned a tough lesson about financial ambition vs. the human need to be fully alive.
During a closed-door, mastermind meeting of my colleagues and mentor, I shared how much I made in 2013. While my business increased by more than 60 percent, I came in under my goal for the year by $25,000.
Despite the growth in revenue and reach, I was deeply disappointed I was off so much from my plan. My mentor looked at me and asked me what was up with my lack of gratitude. At the time, I didn’t know. But it hit me two months later.
I wasn’t grateful for what I made because I earned most of it doing something I wasn’t in love with doing. I felt like I had a right to make the full amount because I let go of a part of myself to get there.
(Sounds awful, doesn’t it?)
Let me explain…
I’ve come to realize that what we really want, more than compensation, is to be appreciated for our self-defined, full potential.
But in 2011 and 2012, instead of doing the work that let me express my full potential in my business, I let go of the work that was most meaningful for me. The more I did the work I thought I “should” do to make my financial goals, the more unfulfilled I became.
When we’re compensated for doing something we didn’t really want to do in the first place, it’s hard to be grateful because we feel like we bought the rights to the outcome — in my case, the right to have generated the money on my revenue plan.
I know there’s probably someone reading this thinking, “See, I knew money was the root of all evil. You can never focus on the money.” But I will challenge you on that today. I believe you can have your cake and eat it too when it comes to money and a fulfilling life. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. It’s all in the choices we make.
I spent 2014 getting back in touch with my life purpose: to help people see and celebrate the truth of who they are.
I created a clear vision of what I want my business to be and my brand to stand for, based on my life purpose, so that I can always aim for fulfillment in my work. I began to curate my content and offerings to be vehicles for my full potential. And then I defined clear financial goals and looked for the team that could help me get there.
From this experience, I learned an incredibly invaluable lesson: I will always choose the solution that lets me live my purpose and honors my financial ambition.
If you’ve ever found yourself in this position — ungrateful when you really want to feel gratitude — there are three questions you can ask yourself that will help you gain clarity about what to do next:
1. What gift within me did I give up to create the success I don’t feel grateful for?
2. Why is this part of me so important to other people?
3. How can I realign what I’m doing to give more of my gift and have the outcome I desire?
Take some time to journal about your answers. It could very well change your life in the best of ways… like it did for me.
Kristen Domingue is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.
Kristen Domingue is a speaker and blogger on the topics of personal brand development and living a purposeful life at kristendomingue.com
For practical tools about serving others well, building a purposeful brand, and having more fulfilling life and work, join her free newsletter.