Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘Money talks’?
It’s meant to indicate that money creates power and influence. And I suppose that’s true in some cases, be it right or wrong, but I’ve noticed something in the online entrepreneurial world lately that goes beyond money talking. Online, money is downright shouty.
People left and right are openly talking about how much money they make. And not in a good way.
This open practice is very different from what I remember about being in corporate. And for once, I prefer the corporate way. Not only do I find it strange, but rather distasteful as well. Downright gross, actually.
If discussed in the context of a private conversation, and your relationship with someone allows for a great deal of candor, by all means, share away. But I’ve noticed a practice of people writing blog posts and hanging their hat on, “Hey everyone, I MADE SIX FIGURES MY FIRST YEAR in business and SO CAN YOU!”
Perhaps I missed the memo when this became acceptable, but as I recall, this sort of thing wasn’t ok in a corporate setting, so why should it be otherwise?
This in no way means that people shouldn’t be proud of their accomplishments, particularly when they’re of the financial kind. But to shout them to world like a badge of honor—and allude to there being some kind of easy-to-execute formula for others to do the same—is bullshit.
Everyone’s business is different.
Even if you are selling the exact same products or services as someone else (how many logo designers are there? how many wedding photographers?), the unique way in which you operate your business is quite different. And as such, what worked for Business A to earn them 6 figures in their first year, won’t necessarily work for Business B.
There is no single formula to business. No one-size-fits-all. It’s just what works for YOU.
Talking about how much money you make is exclusionary.
Using a megaphone to blast your earnings to the world makes people who didn’t earn those 6 figures feel stupid, like they’re doing business wrong. The first year of business (hell, the first 3 years) is such a wild and experimental ride, full of ups and downs and lots of trial and error. LOTS.
New business owners often spend a lot of time looking around at what others are doing and in these instances, all they’re seeing and hearing is how much stupid easy money there is to be made. It’s exciting and incredibly alluring.
But when reality sets in, and they don’t make that six figures, that righteous, evil bitch of an inner critic shows up and tells them they’re worthless, making them feel like shit. Suddenly, they’re a failure.
Which we all know is bullshit.
While our society places a lot of value in being financially successful, here’s something to consider: not everyone measures success in dollars. People can be rich without lots of money. What if happiness were a currency?
Many people feel successful and wealthy because they get to come home every night in time to eat dinner with their family and read their kids a story before bed. Others feel rich because they can fluctuate their schedule, which allows them to travel and explore the world. Some feel successful because they’ve found something that supports their night owl tendencies so they can work when they’re most productive.
Or for a select few, their wealth comes from turning their totally unique, often considered off-the-wall passion into something they get paid to do. Dicture gallery, anyone?!
Every business and entrepreneur is unique.
How about rather than shouting how much money we make, instead we:
- broadcast the impact our products and services have on our customers.
- focus on growing together and creating a change in people, places and things for the better.
- celebrate those that made six figures AND help those that didn’t, without a formulaic, unrealistic approach.
At the end of the day, whether you made six figures or four, the result of the work you did is no more or less important.
Did you help someone set up some systems in their business, making their everyday activities a little easier, allowing them more time for other things? Talk about that and how you did it. It could probably help someone else as well.
Did you create a gorgeous identity design for someone that they feel represents them perfectly, giving them more confidence to sell themselves? Talk about that and help build confidence in others.
Did you give someone some tough love that gave them permission to set stronger personal boundaries and have healthier relationships? Fuck yes. Who doesn’t need that?
In my opinion, the result of these things is far more important than what you were paid to do them. Like my girl Heather says (have you seen the work I did for her?), “Forget the numbers for a bit and focus on what living a great life means for you. Therein lay the true wealth to aim for.”