At the end of one of our Business Enjoyment "Breathing Spaces", I recorded a few people to get testimonials from the event. One person ended off his recommendation with these words:
“If you want to be miserable, don't come. It's not for you.”
A nice little line and very amusing but, underneath that lurks a truth that is quite distressing really, because the reality is that there are people out there that actually find it very hard to enjoy life.
Many of us have been brainwashed into thinking that life has to be a struggle. That anything achieved without sweat and tears has no value attached to it. Which leads to be people feeling guilty and ashamed when things are actually going well for them.
When I tell people that I have a belief that everyone who runs a business should enjoy what they do, it is quite common to get a response along the lines of:
“Enjoy business? You're not meant to enjoy your business.”
It's usually said with a nod, a wink and a cheek stuffed full of tongue, but humour is frequently used to disguise an uncomfortable truth, so it's saying a lot more about them than they realise.
The best reaction was when I was promoting my "Secret of Business Enjoyment" workshop, to which I got the following response. It was on one of the social media platforms and it came from a total stranger.
“There's only two things you need to enjoy business. Make a profit at the end of the year and have your bank manager smile at you.”
Now, this is the kind of philosophy that I'm desperately trying to shift, as it suggests that money and profits are the only thing of any value in what you do. I responded along the lines of “yes, money is important, but it goes much deeper than that. There are other things that need to be in place to truly enjoy what you do.”
To which I got the response
“In all my years in business, I can never remember not enjoying businesses when I had those two things in place.”
There was more, and a couple of other people waded in to denounce something that they hadn't even seen or read, but just objected to concept that anyone could possibly enjoy what they do. It took a bit of time for me to calm down my inner penguin (rejection is my key trigger) but, once I'd thought about it a bit deeper it made me wonder.
"Hmm. Maybe this guy has found what he wanted, possibly by accident. He may have all the things in place that are needed, he just wasn't consciously aware it."
This does happen now and again.
For my next book, I'm interviewing successful business people that have a drive or a clear purpose in order to explore and test the concepts I discuss, so this seemed like an excellent person to talk to. I sent him a connection request with an invite to be interviewed – very complimentary and full of intrigue and admiration. I then noticed the opening lines of his profile, which read as follows:
“After spending so many years away from my family, I knew that I had to make a change” - and proceeded to explain the changes he'd made in his life which had led to what he's doing now.
Hang on sec? Does this meant that Mr “I can never remember not enjoying business” had a point when he wasn't enjoying business. And it had nothing to do with money or the friendly advances of his bank manager? Now I'm even more fascinated to get into a conversation with this guy. Could be very interesting indeed.
This looked like a classic example of someone who recognised that he wasn't enjoying what he was doing, clearly made changes, but still preaches the same old mantra about it being just about money. The inference of such a philosophy is that you can sacrifice family, your health, your values, your own self esteem, your purpose in life - just in order to make sure that you have some spare cash in your hand.
This is one of the reasons that I want to create a Business Enjoyment community. There is so much more to business and life than just making money. There are fundamental element that need to be in place and these key themes are what we explore, share and discuss at the Breathing Space meetings.
Each meeting has a different theme to focus on and looking at the overall picture and finding out where things are out of kilter is part of the meetings themed “Enjoying Business”. This will be the topic at the next meeting in North Wakefield.
If you're interested in coming along, click on this link here:
If the time or geography doesn't work for you, no issue. Go to www.businessenjoyment.com/breathingspaces
and see if there is a meeting near you. If it's not up and running yet, drop me a line and let me know that you would be interested.
I look forward to seeing you soon and helping you be successful and enjoy business at the same time.
Oh, and in case you're wondering. Our friend never did respond to my invite. He didn't even accept my connection request.
Some people, eh?