This blog post is the short encouragement that maybe you need today, and it is the encouragement I’ve needed a lot in my season of business. And that is that it’s OKAY not to be growing your business. It’s ok to stay put. It’s ok to even “go backward.” It’s ok to say no to excellent opportunities. It’s okay to make less money than you did last year. It’s ok to work less. Simply put: The phrase "If you're not growing, you're dying" is not true. You don’t always have to be growing. And we’re talking about this often “untold truth” in this blog post. Keep reading for encouragement! I hope this blesses you and encourages you in whatever season you’re in right now.
There is a serious hustle culture that seems to be more trendy now, even within our anti-hustle culture. This culture tells us that we should constantly be growing. I feel this weight, and I know so many of you do too.
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An Important Quote
A few weeks ago, I shared an Instagram post when I was feeling the burden of the need to grow despite that being inconsistent with my current season and desires. I felt the push to talk about it because I knew some of you must feel this way (you can see the post I’m referencing here).
The first page of the post says, “If you're not growing, you're dying [crossed out], probably doing something else wonderful with your time.” Even if your reaction to this quote is something like, ‘Of course, it's okay to rest!’ You may still be beating yourself up about being in the season of needing to maintain.
I want to remind you, though, that it is necessary to have seasons where growth is slower. If you always try to grow your business, no achievement will ever feel like enough. Let your business serve the life you want to live instead of ruling your life.
Ask yourself, ‘Is my life revolving around growing my business right now?’ Maybe you've gotten into the trap of only caring about business growth and success. Pay attention to those feelings and forgive yourself for having that mindset. Even if you work far past the ‘normal retirement age,’ your business is not your only legacy. You can't take it with you forever, so don't make it your everything.
My Current Season of Life
I have been in a season of wrestling with this, which is why it's on my mind so much. My natural disposition as a business owner is always to be doing the next thing. I am always thinking of new products and podcast ideas. I love teaching and creating; I love my work. Do not mistake this as me telling you not to enjoy your business.
I think it's fantastic. But I also know it's not my everything, and I don't want to look back and wonder where the rest of my life is when this business disappoints me.
Not every season of our businesses has to be of the mindset that "If you're not growing, you're dying." I've been learning to resist the urge to do the next thing all the time. Sometimes this shows up as thinking I should do or say a lot of things, but I have to consider what I want at that moment. Right now, this looks like choosing a date night with my husband or quiet time with the Lord over completing my business ‘to-do’ list. This is a form of growth in other areas of life outside your business.
How You Can Practically Apply This
- Don’t work as much as you ‘need to,’ and choose to do something else you enjoy.
- “Be where your feet are.” - Jesse Itzler.
- Be present in your life outside of your business. Take a laptop-free vacation. Rest during your child's nap time instead of fitting in a work session.
- Say no to a fantastic opportunity to put something else amazing first.
The next time you feel discouraged because you can't ‘do it all,’ remember that the quote, "If you're not growing, you're dying," is a lie. Build your business around your life, not the other way around.
Plan for seasons to stay put and enjoy the work you've already put in, and focus on other things besides building your business. You didn't build your business so that you could stress out over hitting that next milestone. Instead, you probably built your business to enjoy the fruit of your labor and take breaks.
Business and life are seasonal. Your current circumstance isn't what it will always be, and that's ok. On The Work and Play Podcast, Nancy Ray said, “The key to abundant living is following God’s lead for your life in the season you're in and knowing the season will change. When we can joyfully press into the season we're in, then joyfully step into the next assignment He has for us, we find abundance. We are right where we are supposed to be.”
November 1, 2022