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The Price of Ambition

The other day I met with a group that I have been facilitating for almost three years. While only October, one business owner had already met her financial goals for the year and, in fact, had seen a 40% growth in revenue since last year.

 

Even better, she had changed her business. She was delegating to her team on a consistent basis, running a more profitable operation and, best of all, she had more time—time for herself, her business, and her family. All of this translated to a whole lot of joy.

 

As she was talking about her plans for the rest of the year. She said something that sounded reasonable, but in fact was completely unreasonable. In fact, it made no sense at all.

 

Here’s what she said:

 

“I’m going to exceed my goal some more. Just keep going!”

 

“Why?” I asked. “Would it help to take the pressure off college costs? Would it make an enormous difference on the home front? Is there something you’re going to use that additional revenue for?”

 

“No,” she said. “I just think I can do it.”

 

(And there’s nothing wrong with that!)

 

But here’s the thing I want you to think about.

 

It takes enormous effort and time to achieve 40% growth. And sometimes, that effort can lead to exhaustion and burnout. I see it every single day. So why do we always feel the need to move the goal post? And what’s the price of doing so?

 

In this business owner’s case, exceeding goals a bit more was actually going to be okay—for now. But only because she had also worked really hard to make more time, and to bring joy back into her life. So her reserves were full. And when they’re full, we feel like we can do anything.

 

But what happens when moving the goal post becomes a habit? Maybe you lose some of the time you’ve been setting aside for yourself. Your reserves go down. All of a sudden burnout and exhaustion set back in. Even worse, negative thoughts might start to creep in.

 

So remember to keep the ambition in check.

 

There is beauty in “good enough”—especially when it’s already amazing.

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