Redefining Business Success: A New Approach Without the Hustle Culture
I recently had a call with an incredibly driven entrepreneur who has built quite a successful business for himself. During our chat he walked me through how he got to where he is professionally and that upon telling someone else he had just published a book, they looked at him and said, “So what’s next?”
That question came up only two months after his book hit the shelves. Two months!?!
This guy barely had a chance to soak up how it feels to have months, and maybe years, of work come together and finally be public out in the world before being hit with the “That’s great! So what are you gonna do now?” mentality. As if writing, publishing and selling a book isn’t something worth reveling in for a beat (or 500 beats if he wanted.)
This got me thinking about the pressure we put ourselves as entrepreneurs to always be growing, scaling and pushing a boundary.
Chasing the Next Accomplishment
In the running world, the “What’s next?” question is an incredibly common one. I admit I am guilty of asking, probably too soon😬 Particularly when it comes to those who run marathons.
You finish a full marathon, cross the finish line, and then it’s usually less than a day before someone else who ran that race asks you, “So what’s your next race?”
As a 7x marathoner, I tend to ask the question because multiple marathons per season is how I choose to approach racing.
It takes so much work, dedication and effort to get to that first 26.2 finish line without injury that I want to get as many races and travel experiences out of my fitness as possible.
For a new marathoner though it can be really intimidating to even consider doing more than one race in a year, which is 100% understandable. They just spent anywhere from four to six months dedicating a tremendous amount of time each week to training for something that is over within a matter of hours.
Those of us seasoned in this distance tend to having another race on deck to avoid the post-marathon blues, which can come on the heels of the finish line euphoria as our brains realize this activity that occupied multiple hours of our daily lives is now over.
When we try to apply that same “beat the blues” logic to business though, it just doesn’t add up for me.
What’s so wrong with enjoying the level of success or accomplishment you have without wanting to push to the next one immediately, or at all?
The answer: absolutely nothing!
It is ah-mazing when people have conquered one mountain and are immediately ready to climb another.
It is also perfectly normal (and 100% OK) to want to relish the feeling of accomplishment from Mountain 1 for more than two seconds before you sign up for the next race, launch a new service/product, or join the mastermind to get you to that next income level.
It’s a lesson it took Hugh Jackman’s character in The Greatest Showman an entire musical to learn. The lyrics from the final song convey the hustle culture perfectly:
For years and years
I chased their cheers
The crazy speed of always needing more
And what did that chasing cost him? Everything. Family, employees, revenue…all of it. Learn from him and start singing this now…
Varying Definitions of Success
This is why we all have our own definition of success. Mine does not look like yours. It also doesn’t look like anybody else’s. Yours is entirely unique which is what makes it yours.
So if you feel someone asking you “What’s next?” and you don’t really have an answer, that is OK. I’ve been there, I am there, and you are not alone👊🏻
Enjoying the moment, even if that moment lasts more than a couple of weeks or a couple of months, is perfectly acceptable.
Let them climb that next mountain while you can sit there and enjoying the view in maintenance mode from the top of yours.
When you’re ready, then you can establish what “next” means to you.