The Art of Slowing Down for Success
As Americans when we think about success it is typically in terms of dollars and cents.
Success is measured in the hours we spend at work, toiling over the next budget report. The years spent pouring our emotions, love, faith, hard work and futures into someone else's success – or for startup entrepreneurs pouring their ideas, hard earned money and many times their family members hard earned money into their success or pursuit there of.
What if, just what if – don’t worry no one is making you get off the hamster wheel – you were to ask yourself – what makes me happy?
What makes me thrive?
What makes me more productive and fuels my genius?
And when the answer is ceramics, or dog walking or whatever it may be – what if you poured all of those energies into THAT, into yourself – what would become of your success then?
Aligning yourself with your goals and planning for a future where work is only part of your life’s success can be a hard won concept.
Seeing yourself as something outside of a workhorse and giving yourself permission to make other choices outside of the corporate world of success is a tough one for sure.
So define your success – make a plan – carve out the time in the future where your priority is yourself because in the end it doesn't mean you are abandoning the grind – it just means you are placing harder boundaries on what the grind means to you.
If this means a one week vacation each quarter – great!
If this means taking a sabbatical from being a CEO to pursue your passion of dog training (and then becoming an uber successful dog trainer because you just can't stop being amazing and super productive and helpful – ok we digress) great!
You have defined what that success looks like to you and have set parameters around it not only for your own mental well being but for the line in the sand to the workforce around you – it states hey – I value my work and my time here but I also need to fill myself here abc and ways so that I can come back and be just as productive if not more so.
Boundaries are not a punishment – they are an act of self love.
Share the Love
It’s sad to say but as successful entrepreneurs in the world, it can be more than hard to give yourself permission to step away – my inclination there was to say slow down but in many ways – stepping away from the pressures of the workforce only amplify our desires to do more and give back in other ways that in the long term can have farther reaching implications.
You can always go back to work
You can always build another Microsoft or Google or Big Pixel.
What I dare to say you cannot build, while also trying not to be cliche, is another YOU, another family, another moment lost, another idea or moment of joy lost.
Look away if sentimentality makes you feel yucky: Okay so here it is – we only have one life – yes we need money to pay those pesky bills – ew, and some of us even love the hamster wheel we are on building and forming new companies. In the end, we all just want to be seen and heard.
To know that we have made some small change in this world and that that change is felt and seen by others, and to do that, sometimes – just sometimes we need to make friends with that hamster. Let it guide us, hop off that wheel as friends and join the land of the living. You can always hop back on, we promise. Try to enjoy life while you can – its short – and it's beautiful.
Based on excerpts from the Biz/Dev podcast Episode 88.