We live in a culture of more. Earn more money, to buy a bigger house, to have that bigger car and so and so on. Usually, happiness is portrayed as being in things, looks and personas. Business is no different. Everything is about growth. There are agencies out there who can do anything and everything to help you grow.
The government spends a lot of money 'helping' businesses to grow so it can add to the country's GDP. I fell into that trap. I thought my happiness was in that bigger turnover, bigger premises and staff. Thought I needed staff to do the jobs I could no longer do because my job was about growing the business.
Then came the agencies I 'needed' to help my business grow - PR, social media, SEO, flash accountants and so on. I ended up unhappy and the business became skint. These agencies didn't know my customers like me and didn't get what I was about. I was no longer speaking with my customers on social media and happily packing their orders knowing what a difference that new bundle of nappies is going to make. I decided I had to sit down and work out what success looked like to me. I needed that path to guide me because I had lost my way. The people I had surrounded myself with were filling my head with ideas of growth in a way I didn't feel comfortable with.
Freedom is what drives me, the reason I wanted to be in business. Freedom to run a purpose-led business my way. Being able to take time off at school holidays. All of which became impossible with staff and a bigger operation. So I am back packing orders, chatting with customers on social media and feeling so much happier and inspired.
Back in my little office where I first started. It's been a long trek to get to this point. Feeling like a failure because I almost caused the end of my business. Just because I fell into the trap of wanting more. But not knowing what 'more' I wanted. Almost failing made me realise what my success is. It was already there right under my nose.
Business doesn't always have to be all about wanting more money. It's not my driver. Of course, it needs to be profitable and earn you money to keep your mission alive. But is also about making connections with other businesses and brilliant people. People who pick you up, people who drive you forward to be a better you.
Aside from wanting to making a difference to our planet, those are the things that are the quiet markers of my success in business. That's where my happy is.