What to Do When You Should Be Grateful (But You’re Not)

Kristen Domingue (Business Heroine Magazine)

Can I get real with you about money for a moment?

While we all know that success isn’t about the money…

We can’t ignore the fact that money matters.

And it especially cannot be ignored when you run a business.

I’ll let you in on a secret about me: most of the women in my inner circle aren’t interested in just having “enough” when it comes to money. We’re committed to having more than enough. For lots of reasons.

For me personally, having more than enough ensures that I can impact my family, community and the world in ways that leave them better than I found them.

And while we understand that there are lots of people who’ve changed the world without money –- there are far more people who change the world and have an ongoing say in its direction with money than without it.

I’m not ashamed to say it: I’m a financially ambitious woman.

And last year I learned a tough lesson about the place where financial ambition meets the human need to be fully alive.

Almost exactly one year ago to the date, I sat in a closed-door mastermind meeting of my colleagues and mentor and shared how much I made in 2013.

While my business increased over 60%…

I came in under my goal for the year by $25,000.

And despite the growth in revenue and reach I was deeply disappointed I was off so much from my plan.

My mentor looked at me and asked me what was up with my lack of gratitude?

At the time I didn’t know. But it hit me 2 months later:

I wasn’t grateful for what I made because I earned most of it doing something I wasn’t in love with doing.

I felt like I had a right to make the full amount of it because I let go a part of myself to get there.

(Sounds awful, doesn’t it?)

Let me further explain…

You see, recent research on Full Engagement in the workforce through Gallup shows that the #1 experience people want to have at work is being appreciated (not necessarily compensated. Money came in at #8 on the list of things required to make someone happy at work.)

And the new research from Harvard on happiness and positive psychology shows that happiness is “the joy you feel when you’re growing toward your full potential.”

When put together in my work and research on Purpose -– I’ve come to a startling conclusion. This means that what we REALLY want is to be appreciated for the gifts we bring to the table –- our self-defined full potential.

And we’ll take this over compensation-as-appreciation for letting someone else define our full potential any day.

Living on Purpose means we’re doing work that lets us express our innate gifts in a way that’s fully appreciated by others. (As opposed to getting appreciated for someone else’s definition of our full potential.)

But instead of living on purpose in my business in 2011 and 2012, little by little and launch by launch, I let go of the work that was most meaningful for me. And instead I did the work I thought I “should” do to make my financial goals and grow my business.

And the more I put my true gifts (my full potential as defined by me) on the back burner, the more unfulfilled I was.

The more unfulfilled I was the more entitled I felt to make the money on my revenue plan.

See how tricky this little either-or cycle can be?

When we’re “appreciated” (read as: compensated) for doing something we didn’t really want to do in the first place, it’s hard to be grateful because we feel like we bought the rights to the outcome. (In my case the right to have generated the money on my revenue plan.)

And it’s near impossible to feel gratitude when you actively put a part of your true self on the back burner in an effort to achieve success.

I know there’s probably someone reading this thinking. “See, I knew money was the root of all evil. You can never focus on the money.”

But I will challenge you on that today.

Rather than flipping to the other side of the either-or-coin, I invite you to take a look at the both-and opportunity here.

Here’s how I did it:

I spent 2014 getting back in touch with my Life Purpose:

to help people see and celebrate the truth of who they are…

I created a clear vision of what I want my business to be and my brand to stand for based on my Life Purpose so that I can always aim for fulfillment in my work.

I began to manicure my content and offerings to be vehicles for my full potential.

And then I defined clear financial goals (monthly, quarterly, and annually for the next 3 years) and looked for the team that could help me get there.

I believe you CAN have your cake and eat it too when it comes to money and a fulfilling life. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. It’s all in the choices we make.

From this experience I learned an incredibly invaluable lesson:

I will always choose the solution that lets me live my purpose and honors my financial ambition.

If you’ve ever found yourself in this position – when you should be grateful, but you’re not – there are 3 questions you can ask yourself that will help you gain clarity about what to do next.

Take some time to journal about your answers. It could very well change your life in the best of way like it did for me.

  1. What gift within me did I give up to create the success I don’t feel grateful for?
  2. Why is this part of me so important to other people?
  3. How can I realign what I’m doing to give more of my gift AND have the outcome I desire?

 

Kristen Domingue (Business Heroine Magazine)

Business Heroine Magazine

 

We’d love to hear from YOU…

Have you ever experienced being ungrateful for your work after great success? How did you handle it? Leave your answer in the comments below! 

 

 

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