Why are you working so hard?
The first time I read it, I was waiting in line at Jimmy John’s. At that time, I had a full time job, a brand new business, and I was pregnant with my first baby. The story moved me, but not enough to change what I was doing and how “hard” I was working. I let myself get to the point of burnout, but it won't happen again. Not for me or anyone that works with me.
That being said, I still struggle with doing too much (old habits die hard), but I no longer subscribe to the ideology that success has to be hard. I am all for doing things that encourage you to grow, taking risks, and building cool things. I am not for taking on things that cause you so much sacrifice that you miss out on all the amazing life right in front of you.
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”
“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”
“Millions – then what?”
The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
My goal with each and every client is to help them find a way to do more of what they love in their business. This means putting marketing strategies in place, streamlining their customer experience, communicating clearly, being accountable to their big scary goals, and yes, taking time for reflection to see how much success they have already created for themselves.
I help my clients work smarter, not harder. To set up a business that supports them and their life. If you are looking to make the shift in your business and need support to do it, let’s chat.