I’m currently sitting in a cafe in what I refer to as my local village, in inner city Brisbane. Old school hip-hop is being piped through the tinny speaker system, and the gentle murmuring of several conversations floats through the crisply cool spring air and out into the baby blue sky above. The smell of beautifully brewed coffee wafts past, as I sit in anticipation of the first creamy-bitter sip of my oat-milk flat white.
Most weekday mornings, by around 8 am or so, this is where you’ll find me, tapping away on my laptop, writing. Usually, after I’ve done an early run to F45 (HIIT training), returned home for a protein + superfood smoothie, stretched and showered. I love the buzz my body feels after being put through its paces, and my body is bathed in endorphins for the rest of the day.
This morning, as I edge closer to my bleeding time, I replaced said intense exercise with an extra-long sleep-in (10 hours! craaaaazy I know) and meditation/embodiment practice in bed. This evening I’ll take my body for a gentle stretch at my local yoga studio because I can feel my joints quietly yearning for exactly this. And I’m about to book myself in for my regular Network Chiropractic appointment, to keep my nervous system in check.
I’m also preparing my biz / clearing the decks for a week away at a remote beach shack in New South Wales with my bestie next week to write, channel, and create space for our next inspired and aligned life and business steps.
I tell you all of the above, not to #humblebrag but to demonstrate that what I speak to above, has so many of MY hallmarks of daily success:
Sovereignty and the freedom to do what I want to, when I want to do it – and not needing to justify or be apologetic about it.
Being able to listen to my body, and honour where it’s at – at any point.
Regular expression and giving myself an outlet to do that, daily.
Supporting myself to operate at my highest potential for both me and my business (and my staff / clients and so on).
Prioritising my energy, health and well being.
Supporting local businesses with my cash money.
Time in pristine nature, to cleanse, recharge and rejuvenate.
Precious intimacy and quality time with loved ones.
Feeling a gentle delightful thrum of contentment and joy running in rivulets through my body.
All of which are not exactly what I was conditioned to aim for as signals of ’success’ in life, by any means. In my culture (and perhaps yours too), success metrics are very much based on external markers. It’s so easy to speak to ’success’ when talking about:
- Claire who became a partner at her law firm (but secretly nurses a gnarly anxiety disorder and her stomach churns with raging bile every time she walks into her office).
- Or Liz, who’s now head of her government department. Yay Liz! That is an easily recognisable milestone of success. (Let’s just sweep under the rug that she feels hemmed-in and stifled by the suffocating bureaucracy that plagues her every move.)
- And Sandra who’s just been appointed head of surgery at an esteemed hospital only a few years after starting there. (We don’t talk about how she only went into medicine because of parental expectations and is living the life her father wants for her. Sandra would rather be a scuba-dive instructor in North Sulawesi.)
But SUCCESSFUL, objectively, by external metrics, they all are.
Allow me to brag to you for a bit: I’ve done very well this year. Extremely well. (Now I’m calling myself out here because the following is uncomfortable for me to share overtly and publicly. I feel like I need to self-deprecate or diminish my accomplishments and ‘balance’ it with tales of woe and strife.)
I’ve knocked a lot of my own expectations out of the park and seen a lot beyond my wildest dreams come into fruition, which now feels like just the beginning.
My lifetime legacy has expanded and landed deeply in my bones and continues to evolve.
I’ve launched and hosted / taught 7 different offerings.
My clients are realising and landing their own wildest dreams and becoming leaders of their own movements (of this, I am especially proud).
I have a completely upgraded platform and site that can house programs and has usability up the wazooo (!!).
I have staff and contractors working for me.
I’m investing significantly in my business and offerings so I can keep adding value to the world and serving YOU as best it can.
I live in abundant overflow, being able to redistribute my wealth to things that matter deeply to me: indigenous / local business and art, organic producers and paying farmers directly, donating to causes that support women entrepreneurs, refugees and asylum seekers, the environment and climate change activism, artisanal creations that make my heart sing with glee and and an awesome wardobe that I love.
Without pushing myself into burnout. I’ve flourished, even. And taken a lot of naps.
Despite this – some of my family and friends still have a tendency to conflate what I do with a ‘hobby’, not dissimilar to selling bric-a-brac out of my car boot of a weekend (kudos to you if you do this and enjoy it! Please don’t @ me about bric-a-brac).
This largely doesn’t bother me, but we end up having conversations that sound like variants of this:
“How’s your little business going?”
“Are you still doing your little biz?”
“So you’re actually making money in your little business?”
‘Yes. Yes. Yes. It brings me so much joy.’ I answer, to a whiff of curious disbelief in the air.
‘My business is on track for multiple six-figure earnings this year’.
The conversation pauses, and realisation sets in. ‘Oh so this is more than just a hobby.’
Earnings are one external metric of success that can be held onto, easily.
(Look, it could be because I’m a tad sh*t with PR that they have no idea how I’m doing, so let’s not lay blame on anyone.)
The thing is though – I felt wildly successful long before I hit the six-figure earning mark with my biz.
As I’ve mentioned above, my success-o-meter has for a long while been calibrated to my daily successes (how I feel/how I’m being in the world), co-creating amazing results with my incredible clients & program participants, and regularly cross-checking this with my larger lifetime legacy aims.
So long as I’m on track with these things, I’m pretty thrilled.
I don’t need the validation of people’s coo’ing or ahhhing over who I am or what I do, but I am kind of over the inability of society at large to acknowledge that so much of what we idolise as ‘success’ can be very freaking empty and completely void of true happiness.
It was the writer Annie Dillard who famously said, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
Let’s stop kidding ourselves that it’s the shallow measures of external success foisted upon us by a delusional society that ultimately matter. Or putting our happiness on pause for the ‘one day I’ll be able to’ dream.
When that one day is actually today.
So what are we actually doing?
Shall we screw society’s external success metrics together? I’m keen.
P.S I love you, no matter where you’re at with all of the above. These are my musings and message for the day and I hope it serves you in some small way.
P.P.S If you’re ready to stop following other people’s rules and begin listening to your inner voice, I’ve just opened the doors to my juicy and light-filed program Illuminate, my most epic high-level private 1:1 mentorship. Click here and come chat to me if you’re feeling the heart pull! Limited spaces available.