It happens so frequently – I wake up in the middle of the night with another brilliant business idea. That lightbulb moment. Something I just can’t ignore. And I have to act upon it there and then. I mean, I don’t want to see my idea on TV in a year’s time and think “If only I’d done that”. So I start frantically jotting things down, scribbling notes in my notepad, and brainstorming brand names.
I thrive off the buzz of business but I also thrive off the stress. I thrive off the pressure of achieving impossibly high standards because it’s all I’ve ever known. And what happens when I don’t achieve them? Well, I don’t actually know because I’ve never stopped trying. Never stopped to take a breath. Never stopped for a little break. Never stopped to just look back and say “Actually I’ve done quite a lot, maybe I’ll just appreciate it and have a little rest”.
I don’t know where or when but somewhere along my life, anything less than 100% was seen as failure. In fact, 100% wasn’t even something to aim for. It was expected. I wanted, needed more, and anything less just wasn’t good enough. Now, this approach to life kind of works in education where everything is graded, but when you’re thrown into the ‘real’ world – as anyone older than the millennial generation calls it – things don’t work like that anymore.
Take having a baby for example. Did I get 100% for my birthing experience? No, obviously not. In fact I probably would have received some kind of D- because the baby was 2 weeks late, I was induced, still couldn’t get it out and ended up having a ventouse birth. Not exactly what my birth plan detailed.
In my job as a marketing consultant, I’m all about goal setting. I want my client’s campaign to achieve XYZ. In fact marketing is all about setting goals and working through a strategy to achieve them. So it’s only natural I do the same in my life. I want this many clients, I want to make that much money etc. In 2018 I set myself a load of goals which weren’t unrealistic but I didn’t plan for life getting in the way. And boy did life get in the way. So at the end of 2018 instead of feeling proud of everything I did accomplish, I felt empty, rubbish, depressed at the things left on my to-do list. I’d spend the whole year trying to tick things off without reassessing whether they were still viable. And I wasn’t happy.
So for 2019, instead of writing myself a list of ‘goals’, ‘resolutions’, or ‘things I need to have done’, my one, and only goal is to be happy, and making Luna happy. If it makes me happy, I’ll do it. And if it doesn’t, then see ya!
So there’ll be no more: “Launch at least two brands, acquire at least 12 new clients, generate at least £Xk in revenue”.
Because after all, what’s the point having a ticked off to-do list if everything on the list made you miserable? I think I’d much rather do one thing, do it well, and enjoy it.