For the past week I’ve been in bed with whooping cough (ridiculous, isn’t it?). And, as happens every time I get sick, I get anxious that things are backing up; I feel stressed and worried that I’m falling behind. This, of course, only makes it more difficult to recover. Stress isn’t exactly helpful tot he immune system.
In an attempt to feel more on top of things while recovering, I decided to read a book that is both personal and business related. I picked up Eleanor Roosevelt’s Learn By Living. I’m so glad I did.
There are a lot of lessons in this book and I’m sure I’ll cover any of them in future Musings. But one that is really sticking out to me is this passage:
Your ambition should be to get as much life out of living as you possibly can, as much enjoyment, as much interest, as much experience, as much understanding. Not simply to be what is generally called “a success”.
How true this is. And how guilty we all are of being general about what we want in our lives and our businesses!
“I want to be successful”
“I want to build a successful business”
“I want to grow my fashion business”
Does any of this sound familiar? It does to me! I say it all the time. I use it in the copy we have on the StartUp FASHION website, and I use it communicate how we, as a business are working to help you, independent designers.
And while I understand the importance of descriptive and sensory language in writing effective copy, it wasn’t until I read this passage while coughing in bed, that I visualized just how general and ineffective “success” is.
It’s important when it comes to communicating with you, our community, so I definitely have some copy updates to make on the website. But it’s also important when it comes to visualizing our businesses.
If we continue to use these statements of general success when we think about what we want in life, we’re never going to reach the things we want. Because we’re not saying what we want.
Are you thinking about how you want to spend your days?
Are thinking about where you want to live?
Are you thinking about what you want for your family?
Are you thinking about the hobbies you want to nourish?
What will your Sunday look like, in detail?
What will your Monday look like, in detail?
When we can get specific about what, exactly, success looks like for us, we can spend our time more effectively working towards that picture. It’s pretty amazing.
And you know what else? When we know what we really want in life, we suddenly stop comparing ourselves and our businesses to those of others. Think about it. It’s really easy to feel envy when we see fellow business owners reaching exciting goals, making lots of money, or living a personal life of adventure.
But, if we have a clear picture of what success looks like to us, what we ultimately want our lives to be, and know that we are taking steps every day to reach that picture, then the envy is unnecessary. The desire to have what they have is irrelevant. Because you know what you want and you’re doing everything in your power to get it.
So I challenge you to sit down and think about your life and your business. Close your eyes and picture your Sunday and your Monday. Write down the things you value and the way you want to spend your time. Create a vision that’s based on a detailed account of what success is to you, and I guarantee you’ll be a lot closer to getting it.
All my love and encouragement,