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Defining Enough as an Entrepreneur

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312-Blog Defining Enough as an Entrepreneur

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There’s so much praise and glory around the notion of hustling so hard as an entrepreneur that we keep getting to the next level, and then the next, and then the next, no matter what’s at stake or how much time we have to sacrifice, the next level is always what we’re working towards. It’s partially human nature but also partly due to this hustle mentality and culture that’s being crafted around entrepreneurship that’s making us believe hustle equals happiness.

We all know that adrenaline-pumping, soul-filling, butterfly-inducing feeling of knocking our goals out of the park and then going on to chase bigger and better ones. It’s kind of this long-yearned-for spot, and if you’re a business owner, finding that magical motion of continued wins is seriously dreamy. You probably battled through a lot of mountains, valleys, and times of doubt wondering if you could really do this, if the fruits of your labor would finally pay off. I know this because I have LIVED it. And I know that it can all feel wonderfully thrilling — until it doesn’t.

When we can define “enough” in our world, it frees up our most valuable resource: our time. It gives us the ability to make decisions on how and where we want to spend our time and gives us permission to slow down and rest.

For all the goal-setting and dream-chasing we talk about in this space, I think it’s equally important to remember that there’s real life to live, families to snuggle and spend time with, new restaurants to visit, and leisurely walks around the neighborhood to take. When you can set a tangible goal and also construct your vision for what enough is to you, you can really begin to build a life that achieves more balance than you might currently have.

How to define your enough

I don’t care what season of entrepreneurship you are in, if you’re about to get started, 2 years in, a decade into the game — there is always this opportunity for us to take a step back and really figure out what enough means to us.

Your enough isn’t just one figure or one category of your business. It’s not you saying, “Once I have 10 steady clients this month, that’s enough,” or “Once I hit 6 figures in revenue, that’s enough.” Your enough is simply the over-arching level of success that you can realistically achieve and would be pleased to reach. This sounds counterproductive, but think of it as your baseline standards.

What would be the minimum you could achieve this year and be content with? Instead of thinking of it as settling, think about what really and truly matters to you. It might be working only 4 days a week so you can spend one day on a side hobby or passion project and then two days with family. It very well could be a certain number figure — a dollar amount for your income or a number of clients that you could plausibly hit — but it’s not necessarily ALWAYS a number. And this “enough” isn’t your forever enough — remember that, too.

Your version of enough should create space in your busy life to actually slow down and rejig your priorities — after all, work and success are pretty high priorities for many of us, but I would argue you wouldn’t place them higher than your family, or your health, or your mental state, or your happiness. Getting in tune with what is ENOUGH for you and then creating boundaries in order to protect that is really what this is all about. You can’t expect yourself to hustle, hustle, hustle all day and be wildly successful AND be healthy and happy.

My Definition of Enough Right Now

When I became a mama, my “enough” was more focused on outsourcing and spending less time in my business because I wanted to be with my family and soak up the sweet moments of baby cuddles, nursery rhymes, and lullabies as much as possible. So, enough to me became less focused on time spent in my business. I hired more help, outsourced more tasks, and handed over the reigns to free up my schedule and be able to enjoy these fleeting and joyous moments of new parenthood.

My enoughness for this season was measured in time — I wanted enough time with my family and enough hours to do the work I love and frankly, this entire year I have worked part time… like 4 hours a day max.

That’s not to say I just up and left my business and stopped caring about the numbers. No way. I still have goals and dreams and big, measurable aspirations I want to take on. I still very much value my business entirely and the people who have trusted their own business journeys and growth with me as they’ve invested in my offers. But my version of enough encompasses how I choose to show up for the big things like connecting intentionally on social media, attending events for brands that matter to me, being the visionary and voice behind my brand, and then trusting the team I’ve built to rock out that vision and run with the implementation of it.

Right now, my enough is less to do with dollars in or hours logged or followers gained. My current enough is not something measurable through numbers — but that doesn’t mean numbers don’t still motivate me and my team. It’s just that, to me, right now enough is having the energy to wake up in the middle of the night to feed my baby. Enough is spending one-on-one time with Drew to reconnect with each other as husband and wife.

Enough is delegating 70% of my business to my team and trusting them to run with their own genius spots. Enough is taking a morning walk every day. Enough is fueling my body with movement and good foods and the occasional bag of salt and vinegar chips, too. Enough is taking a day off to spend time with old friends catching up.

See, it’s less about these pushes and reaches and going after the biggest of goals. Those things ARE important. But

Try This Exercise

Let’s do a little exercise to help you define what “enough” looks like for YOU. Write down these answers in a place you can look back at and reference when you start feeling overwhelmed and consumed by the rat race.

What does your perfect work day look like? As an entrepreneur, you already know you have a little flexibility and mobility with organizing your day differently than a typical 9-to-5 so really lean into that.

Once you have a pretty solid vision in mind for your perfect workday, start to write a list of priorities: the stuff you know you would love and really want, but don’t necessarily NEED, to do everyday. For whatever reason, whether it’s time constraints or too much on your plate or a lack of clarity, you’re not able to do them all currently even though you’d really love to do them.

Now, think of a few numbers. This is going to be different than goal-setting, where you think of a big reach you’d be super thrilled to achieve. This is more of your bare minimums — AKA, what would be ENOUGH for you to be happy with.

There are going to be a few categories here, too, but let’s start with the big one: your income. What would be enough money for you to make this year so that you could pay your bills, make payments toward debts, save some, and have a comfortable amount left for a bit of fun stuff, like shopping or an annual vacation?

Now, it’s time for a little math. Depending on what kind of business you’re in, start to decipher the number of clients or customers you would need every year to maintain your enough income. Again, it will most likely be LESS than your goal amount of clients or customers, and probably even less than the current amount of people you’re serving. This is good! That means you’re currently working above your enough, which most of us are, and there may potentially be space to ease up a bit and allow yourself a bit of a break from time to time, or maybe even for set periods every day.

These numbers? Your bare minimum income, clients, and hours? They define your level of enough as an entrepreneur. They will hold your business at a strong and steady level so you can be comfortable and pleased with your current state of affairs. Of course, growth and forward motion are important for the overall trajectory of your business, but they aren’t everything, and that’s what this exercise is meant to outline.

Once you know your “enough,” you kind of have this freedom and power to know that not everything is riding on your constant pursuit of kicking butt and taking names in your business. You can feel assured that taking even just one hour of time away from work and infusing other life-giving activities or even just resting in that space every day won’t send your business plummeting into the ground.

Your goals should not dictate your enough

Determining your enough should free up your mind and allow you to feel okay with not hustling all day, every day but it shouldn’t totally take the place of your goals. Right now, I’m in a season of contentedness being a mama, working part-time, supporting my community, while being more offline.

Your enough is the baseline for what you need to do to keep things running well, while your goals are the ambitions and lofty pursuits to grow to the next level. When you’re working from an enough-based mindset, you can STILL go after your goals — there’s just not quite the same urgency and desperation to achieve them, which some schools of thought would say will actually make them more easy and pleasant to achieve.

When we focus on doing our best in our businesses AND also allowing ourselves to pursue hobbies, rest, family time, and health, this only adds up to better circumstances to achieve your goals. Doesn’t it just sound and feel so much better to set a goal and maybe give yourself double the amount of time to achieve it than you normally would, in order to keep your promise to yourself to maintain your enough baseline? Slow growth, deep roots, my friends, don’t forget it.

If we’re living from a place where our goals are the end-all be-all — where they become our enough — they’re no longer goals. They’re non-negotiables. And this becomes problematic because, if we happen to kill ourselves working overtime to achieve them and then fall a little bit short, our entire self-image goes flying down the toilet with the goal itself. But if you live in a healthy place of knowing what your enough is, prioritizing the things you WANT to prioritize, taking care of yourself and reaching for your goals when you have the bandwidth and wherewithal — then the journey itself becomes a blessing and an achievement. Your worth isn’t riding on whether or not you snag the goal.

Time and money are your biggest indicators of enough

While my current measure of enough has more to do with lifestyle than numbers, when it comes down to it, we all have a baseline of how much money we need to make to make ends meet, and most of us have a number of hours it takes to achieve that. Can I tell you something crazy? I never dreamed that I would reach this level of success. When people have vision boards and talk about manifestation and stuff, I love it, but I could have never pinned this life to a board because I didn’t even know it was possible.

Going into this year, I set a huge goal that I’m a little hesitant to share but I set the goal of saving enough money, that I could retire any day I woke up and didn’t want to do this anymore… Like right now, I don’t HAVE to do this… but the beauty in this is that anything you see me doing whether it’s recording this show or being at a meet and greet or going on vacation with my family, it’s purely because I WANT to do it.

I set a number and defined a version of enough that would allow us to just float away into the abyss of life and retire for good and I hit it, which to me is the ULTIMATE level of freedom that’s possible with entrepreneurship so that I could refocus my time on the things that are most important to me which is being with my family and serving my community well.

If you’re not sure what you’d like more of in your day to day, and you feel like you’re working yourself to the bone, start there with the time and money piece, focusing on the money first so that once you hit that number the rest of you time can go towards other passions or your family or serving your favorite causes or napping on the couch. Once you know how much you realistically need to be making to get by, you might realize there are a lot of areas you in your work where can ease off of, outsource, or make less urgent.

Where to create boundaries

I’m having a little vulnerability hangover from sharing my retirement goal thing — and don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere! I’m just waking up each day with the option to show up and I keep on choosing it because I LOVE WHAT I DO!

Finding your enough is just the first step toward freedom. The next is a little tougher: creating boundaries to protect it. If your enough says you only need to realistically be working 30 hours a week, but you know an extra 4 to 5 are needed to steadily climb toward your goals without maxing yourself out, honor that. Give yourself a 35-hour cap each week. Sure, you probably have MORE time you COULD be working during the week, but there’s also probably a lot of other things you would like to be and should be doing, too, but you haven’t prioritized them because they don’t feel as productive as working does.

So set those boundaries. Give yourself a no-technology after 10 pm rule. Designate an hour a day for emails. Create routines and habits that reinforce what it takes to maintain your enough and make space for your priorities outside of work. Then, when your rest is refilled and your family time is fueled and your priorities are taken care of and your boundaries are honored, the leftover bits and pieces of time can be used for dreaming and tackling those big goals at a pace that feels GOOD, not urgent or frantic.

How to make adjustments to your current work style

The thing I love about defining and knowing my enough is that it’s allowed me to outsource, delegate, and hand my trust over to others. I always say nothing in my business is urgent. Literally, today, a member on my team had to go to the doctor because she wasn’t feeling well and she told me she’d be back online after the appointment and I literally told her to log off, rest, nothing is urgent, it’ll all still be here when she’s back and feeling better.

Yes, I want to help and impact others. Yes, I want to experience growth. But nothing needs to happen RIGHT now. I sat and rocked my baby for an hour when she was fighting a nap and just slowed down even though I had things to check off my list because I reminded myself: it can wait, it almost always can wait. I’m not curing cancer or getting people up to space, you know?

Resting in this non-urgency has created this acceptance to bring in helping hands, to take a step back, to feel the permission to say no. I can always be more hands-on if I really want or need to, but for now my enough is more about maintaining my business and serving my audience where they’re at, WHILE I raise my little gal and keep these precious moments of her quickly-passing first months close to my heart.

You might also have this shift after you realize your enough. Maybe you do need to be spending 60 hours on projects and client work a week to maintain your enough — but maybe that means you can hire an assistant or some other contractor to take on 20 hours of that work at a lower rate so that you can spend time doing the stuff you love in your business AND in your life.

See that shift? Finding your enough helps you to see the big picture — what really matters is your happiness and health, not an insane surge in business advancement or reaching another level of success by working all hours of the day and night.

The Big Picture

When you know your enough, you’ll be able to really hone in on your priorities and actually make time for them on a daily basis. You’ll be able to craft a schedule that encourages balance over hustle and happiness instead of climbing to the next rung of success. While yes, we all want to be successful, I’d encourage you to start thinking of success as offering the value of your business to others while simultaneously creating space to take care of you and all that you need to be content, healthy, and live a full life. That’s way more important than another few grand in income or few hundred addresses on your email list anyway, right?

 


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by Jenna Kutcher 

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