We recently read a piece, entitled Things That Won't Complete You, about all those material goods or experiences that you have convinced yourself will "fill in your missing piece, your gassy void, your melancholy nothingness, your gaping abyss." Harsh wording aside, we liked the sentiment of the list and wanted to create our own. Presenting:
5 Things in Business That Won't Complete You
- Reaching a financial milestone: Did you finally get your first thousand dollars or first hundred thousand dollars as a solopreneur or freelancer? You may get a boost in self-confidence, you may feel more comfortable telling people your rates, and you may rest a little easier at night knowing your bank account isn't near zero- but it won't complete you.
- Selling out a product, service, or course: You are in demand, lady! All those late nights and Venti coffees are paying off and filling up your bank account (see above). You can confidently say that you have found your target market and are selling to them effectively. That's awesome, but again, it won't complete you.
- Increasing your email list size by any percent: People like what you have to say and voluntarily give you access to their inbox? You have a targeted list to sell your awesome products and services to (see above)? That's huge in this email marketing driven world! But we're not even going to say it this time, but you know what we would say if we would say it 🙂
- Maintaining a 5/5 feedback rating: You better believe that this will help you sell more products or services in the future because your future audience will know that you provide value to your current clients and customers. It's an awesome rush to open your Google form responses and see a big 5 there, but it won't give you complete satisfaction in the long haul.
- Gaining new Twitter followers or Facebook likes: Do you watch these numbers religiously? We admit, we do too, but at the end of the day, there are a heck of a lot of things more important to us than making sure that we have more followers than people we're following. We've had that and it doesn't carry us through our day with a sense of ease and contentment, trust us.
We're not saying goals aren't important- but it would be misguided to think that any of the above metrics or accomplishments will, on their own, provide you with a sense of fulfillment overnight. The satisfaction we feel from reaching these goals is often fleeting and replaced by the need to set an even higher goal.
Want proof? Ash Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project is a hotshot in the online media world- and she's got over 10,000 Twitter followers and more than 9,000 Facebook likes to show for it. But guess what? She recently wrote a post about 9 things everyone needs to know about success, reality, and being human, where she admits to being overweight because she can't pull herself away from work, unconsciously picking her fingers due to stress, and ignoring friends and family so that she can focus on work.
We're in no way bashing Ash. We really respect her honesty and courage in baring it all and unfortunately, we're not convinced that she's too much of an anomaly in the fast-paced entrepreneurial world. But she is a great example that shows superficial metrics won't complete you (thanks for putting it out there, Ash!).
We encourage you to keep aiming high and continuing setting goals, but to simultaneously let go and realize that followers, likes, money, and positive feedback will never complete you.