What’s your bigger game? And is it ok to have a smaller one? | The Chameleon Guide
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What’s your bigger game? And is it ok to have a smaller one?

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Do you have a plan for business growth? And do you look at it and feel guilty if it doesn’t include world domination? That you don’t have a burning desire to want to save or create a better world with your business?

I used to.

There is a school of thought that we’re supposed to have a bigger game, a vision, a passion, creating something to help millions.

There are people who do this – Tom Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Daniel Priestley, Mario Forleo – who says ‘The world needs that special give that only you have’. And so many others say similar things.

That you’re being selfish if you don’t try and sell what you do, because you’re depriving someone/a business if you don’t.

Well, I’m here to counter that argument. I really don’t think we all need to be out there trying to drain oceans. And I think those of us who don’t want to shouldn’t feel guilty for not wanting to do that. The thought of trying to take what I do nationally, let along globally, exhausts me.

I’d be quite happy to be famous in my own lunchtime working with enough good clients locally who I know I add real value to and who pay me enough that I have a really comfortable living. And that means I have a good balance in my life.

What does success mean to you?

Success is your definition, not anyone else’s. Don’t feel guilty if you aren’t out there hustling, making the 120 phone calls you need to make to fill your pipeline, bashing doors down. You won’t be as successful as others for sure, but if it’s not your thing, then find a different way. I realised that if this was what I needed to do to make my business work, and there are many who say it’s the only way, then I shouldn’t be in business. It makes me that miserable and the payoff of getting lots of work isn’t worth it. Of course this works for some people and I am always impressed with those who do.

I sat down earlier this year having had a light bulb moment and decided to stop beating myself up about not wanting to go large. Instead, I worked out how much money I needed to earn in order to give me the comfortable lifestyle I wanted and enable me to save into my pension, and I was pleasantly surprised at how relatively small the figure was. I’m lucky in that I no longer have a mortgage (I have managed to surf the property market well over the years) and if you call it lucky, I have no children so that’s one less expense for me.

I’m not suggesting you coast – far from it. I have targets, and I write down what the following year will look like. For example, I had a target to be mortgage free by the time I was 55. I hit that target at 52.

But I’m encouraging you to decide what it is you really want. Some people do want multi-million-pound businesses. That’s fine. They have to work pretty hard to make that happen. They will also have the drive and passion to make it so. And I take my hat off to them.

But I have clients who have aspirations of having enough money to be able to save for a future, to be able to take four weeks holiday a year, to go somewhere nice and to have weekends off. These are far more humble ambitions, but they are no less important for that. And they will still have to work to make that happen – they will still need targets, plans and to take action (with me prodding gently in the background).

You still need to love what you do

Having said all that you absolutely do have to love what you do. Otherwise, it isn’t ever going to work.

I have a friend who is a varicose vein surgeon. Probably one of the best in the world. Not everyone’s choice of career. But I don’t think I have ever met anyone who loves what they do more than him. He lives and breathes veins and all their wonderful varicosities. If he’s not treating them (which he does brilliantly and I can highly recommend him), he’s researching them, writing articles on them, travelling the world to talk at conferences (yes, there are whole conferences specialising in veins!), or inventing equipment to deal with them more effectively. He rarely takes holidays because he’d rather be doing something vein related. This is a man who doesn’t stop, because he loves what he does so much. I envy him that passion.

I know an accountant who loves the magic that numbers reveal, an electrician obsessed with beautiful fuse boxes (amongst all other things electric), an IFA whose passion is making sure his clients get the best financial advice above all else, and a, sadly departed, friend who was obsessed with making us understand the importance of social media.

Other than the varicose vein surgeon, these other business owners are not people who are looking for world domination. They aren’t looking to change the world one pension or balance sheet at a time. They are looking for excellence in their local environment – getting and keeping happy clients whilst doing the best job they can. Fuelled by their passion for what they do. No oceans will be drained, but they do make waves in their own way.

Isn’t this enough?

I’d be interested to know your thoughts.

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About the Author:

About Karen Espley, blogging for The Chameleon GuideKaren Espley of The Chameleon Guide works with ambitious small business owners on her Profit Accelerator Programme. She brings pragmatic and real world advice in a group setting to help her clients make a significant difference to their business through increasing profits and running a highly effective business.

Offering workshops and group profit programmes for companies wanting to reach their full potential.