I am being bombarded by emails from so called “business and life coaches” who think they know something about both. They keep telling me that I need to set my “money goals” for 2018 if I want to be successful either in life or business.
In the e-book “Your Gift Basket Business – From Good Enough to Great” that I published, I addressed how I feel about this in one of the chapters which began:
“When I was a Realtor, each New Year began with my broker saying, “It’s time to create your business plan. Set your goals. Decide how much money you want to make this year and then determine what it will take to make that much money.
This is something that I was never able to do because money wasn’t the reason I was selling real estate. There were deeper, more personal reasons which were difficult to put on paper and couldn’t be counted in dollars and cents. Even so, by being a “multi-million dollar producer,” I achieved what is considered success in the real estate business. And along the way, I achieved my real goals — which were having a busy and happy life.
Why am I sharing this with you?
Because I’ve learned, through my own personal experience and as a small-business counselor, that knowing how to set goals and objectives and even the ability to create a technically-perfectly business plan is not enough
Like New Year’s resolutions, goals alone have little or no meaning and are soon tossed by the wayside and forgotten if they are not grounded in the heart and the passion that you feel about your business. You can set all the goals you want and create the best possible business plan and still be a failure.
But if you have a purpose for what you are doing and feel strongly about it, success will follow.”
As I stated in the rest of that chapter, success isn’t money in the bank.
To me, success is living a happy life.
As I was a kid growing up in a relatively low-income area of Pensacola, Florida, we didn’t have a lot of money. I remember my mother going to a meeting about organizing a Brownie troop in my school. When she came home, she told me that I couldn’t be a Brownie because we just couldn’t afford it.
But we were happy growing up. The neighborhood kids played hop-scotch and other games in the street in front of our house. We went fishing with my dad and had wonderful dinners of mullet and hush-puppies. I used that experience in the article in a previous issue of the magazine about “Fishing for Customers.” I learned the skill of story telling from my mother who sat on the front porch with us kids (that was before air-conditioning) and told us tales of growing up in rural Alabama while teaching us to crochet and embroider. We attended Vacation Bible School and played softball and went swimming with the city recreation programs.
My parents had little and probably struggled to pay the bills while putting food on the table but they loved each other and had a happy marriage. That love was obvious to us as kids. No, money wasn’t the most important thing in our home. Love and happiness were.
So through the years, I’ve always lived with the idea that money is nice to have but it isn’t the most important thing in the world. Helping others as I share what I can combined with kindness has been my mantra. And that has resulted in several successful businesses that do make money even though that was never the primary goal, a life where I don’t have to be concerned about money, and — to me, the most important thing of all — happiness.
I know that many of you are going through difficult periods in your personal life while struggling to maintain a profitable business. Some of you have shared the stories of those tragedies and setbacks that have and are still a daily part of your life with me and I know that you aren’t feeling a whole lot of happiness right now.
No one’s life is completely happy all the time. We all experience the ups and downs of living.
My advice to you is to do what you can to maintain your business right now. The struggle may even be so difficult that you have to put it on the back burner for awhile.
But if the most important thing to you is your family or something other than business, make that your top priority. The rest can wait. And, if we as members of the gift basket community, can help you through this difficult period of your life, tell us what we can do. Never be too proud to ask.
And, another thing . . .
I am also getting bombarded with emails wanting to sell me a class in “how to set up a consulting business and make thousands of dollars from people” or “how to become a business coach.”
I don’t need to set up a consulting business or become a business coach. Why? Because I consider that to be what I do already. There are some who call themselves coaches and sell their services and who do it well. There are others who take your money while pretending to be the “know it all” who can solve all your problems and leave you dangling.
Neither of these is who I am. I already share what I know in my magazine, in this blog, and in the Facebook groups that I operate and maintain on a daily basis. I receive and answer questions via email from some of you who are struggling to find your way.
Am I successful?
I think so. I don’t set money goals. They aren’t important to me. Some years I make more money than others. What is much more important is the ability to sleep at night feeling that I’ve done what I can to make this world a better place.
To me, that is what success and happiness is all about.
How about you?