When you make decisions in your business, or in your life for that matter, there is a general direction towards more. More revenue, more infrastructure, more systems, more support.
It is easy to get caught in that thinking to the point where any other option becomes unacceptable. Part of it is that we live in a culture that is permeated with the Myth of More.
The Myth of More says that in order to be successful, happy and fulfilled we must have more.
A client of mine, Kelly, was making decisions about leasing a new office space. She and her partner had been in the same space for 5 years. The lease was up and they had always assumed that they would move to a bigger space when the time came. They started looking at spaces they could afford. As they went through space after space, Kelly started to realize that they maybe didn’t need as much space, maybe not even as much as they currently had. The idea of going smaller felt really wrong – like she was “playing small” or like they couldn’t afford what they wanted. She was living in the Myth of More.
Kelly realized that she was making decisions based on what they could afford, and what felt “successful” instead of making strategic business decisions. They stopped and reassessed their needs.
Michelle, a colleague, shared a similar decision she made in her business. She had hired an assistant to help her set up systems in her business. Recently, Michelle realized that all of the systems were set up and the business was running well. She thought about letting the assistant go, and worried that made her less of a successful business owner. She was supposed to be taking on more support not less, right?
When Michelle thought about what her business really needed, and she did the math, she realized that her assistant was costing about $15000/year. Since the projects were done and the systems set up, did she really need that assistant? If she kept her, that money would not available to do other things in her business. Michelle decided to release the assistant knowing that she can bring her back in for special projects as needed.
In both of these situations the business owners could have made emotional decisions to protect them from feeling like they were ‘playing small’. Instead, they made strategic business decisions that free up time, money and energy for other areas of their business and their lives. That is playing big in my books.
Take a look at your business and your life. Are you spending money because you feel you should? Because it makes you feel successful? Look for clues of where are you making decisions based on the Myth of More instead of what will really work best for you.