So much of the marketing world is filled with pitches and imperatives; ‘do/buy/make this and you will…’ and promises of grandness; ‘join this/that/the other thing and double/triple your…’, so many of them implying that what you have or are right now is not enough. You are lacking the secret sauce, the magic mojo, a red pill to open all the doors to your success.
I call these equations the Metrics of More. More is based on the assumption that you are lacking: money, a closet of designer shoes, a new SUV-no matter how you package or promote it, more is a message of consumption and want. There is an implied superiority and pressure to more-if you don’t follow the expected equations or formulas then you won’t succeed. But we know better, right?
My biggest problem with these metrics is that they are a one size fits all solution to our diverse lives and they ignore the fact that bigger isn’t best all the time, or for everyone. Some of us love our bitty businesses, adore our day jobs, or choose to stay small and focus on children, health, or other passions. The metrics of more looks down on smallness and pushes us to buy more, do more, make more. It forgets that thriving economies and healthy communities need variety and our lives have a natural ebb and flow. As creatives we have the amazing power to be able to choose our own equations- I call these the Metrics of Enough.
Enough recognizes that our needs are vast and different and will shift as our responsibilities and lives do. It is not about an endless pursuit of more but of loving the stage we are at right now and growing with intention. Contentment does not equal complacency! More pushes us to feel inadequate, as if staying small or feeling your own slow way forward is unacceptable-leading us to frenzied business building, over consumption, overwhelm, guilt, resentment and insecurities. More says there isn’t enough to go around so take all you can get and hold tight to it. There is a brittle, frantic neediness to more and it feeds on fear, scarcity, and uncertainty.
On the other hand, enough is abundant and has lots of breathing room. It allows you to build your business and life while defining what you need and deeply want. At each stage there is space to expand and contract. Enough gives you permission to look clearly at where you are right now and forward with intention. Your enough might very well be a 6 figure income and a house in Hollywood but maybe it is a little farm and a sweet cottage biz making jam while your children play outside. Both have value and a place as does all the range of diversity in between. Small is beautiful AND big is beautiful!
What is enough will change and shift as our lives do. When I was focused on being a full time homeschooling mama to two girls my metrics of enough defined how big I could grow my business and how much time I could dedicate to it. I needed to limit my growth because I was needed elsewhere. It is rather hilarious that now, when I thought I could not possibly field MORE, more came knocking. Opportunities to travel, potential collaborations, so many inquiries all have shown up as we are renovating, selling our house, parenting two kids and working. I am convinced success is most likely to find you in the middle of something ridiculous like doing the dishes or changing diapers–catching you with bed head and a fuzzy hot pink house coat at the most inconvenient times. You just do your thing, day after day, with joy and then all of a sudden, there it is! Demanding to be noticed and invited in. I have found that when I chase more there is never enough, but when I follow my truth more is all around me, and I have to make decisions about what doors to leap through and which to keep closed.
Almost 2 years after becoming editor of OMHG my dual roles of homeschooling full time mama/business owner don’t fit well and we are taking steps towards a different enough and leaping through some of those doors. I am trying to increase my equation with intention, setting the stage to make a larger space for building the Oh My! community. The difference between the metrics of more and the metrics of enough is the room to decide what I really want and can handle vs. ever bigger for the sake of bigger.
What we have is enough. Everything we need is here, within reach, right now. Like Alice we can get bigger and smaller as we move through life until we find the place where it is just right…and when that just right no longer fits, we can grow or shrink again. I find this beautiful and comforting! When you are feeling pressured or pushed (by others or yourself) remember that you are enough, you have enough, you do enough. The universe will expand in direct proportion to your sense of self-worth and in turn provide you with more than enough!
We are enough, we have enough, we do enough! Dive into more vs. enough with @ohmyhandmade http://bit.ly/MI7KQS click to share on Twitter
Do you feel pushed towards more by others or yourself or feel where you are now is respected by your peers & community?
Has your enough expanded & contracted as your life has changed?
What is enough looking like for you right now?
Let’s talk about this together in the comments, see you there!
Thank you, Jessika. A million times thank you. It’s exactly what I needed to hear.
Big hugs and a million you’re welcomes Micheline! It makes my heart happy to know my thoughts connected with you-lets connect in real time please?!
very powerful, jess. this is coming at a great time for me, as i sit and contemplate scaling back just a wee bit as i head into my little girl’s last full year being at home with me before she heads to kindergarten. wow! i’m wanting to enjoy every minute of her, but there’s always this draw to grow in the back of my mind, pressure! i am ok with being smaller for the time being, but always wonder what others think. gotta stop that! thanks for this 🙂
Thank you for your thoughts Lesley! You know best what you & your littles need, the awesome thing to me is that if you start to feel like your scaled back biz is too small-you can grow, if you are feeling overwhelmed or like you are missing something precious you can expand again. The biz wil be there waiting for you when you are ready for either. (and the people who love you will understand + support!) <3 <3 <3 you!
This is such an inspiring post Jessika. I love how you referred to Alice, how we can shrink and grow to adjust, ever evolving. It made me think of Goldilocks too. How we need to search around and try out things until we find what is “just right” for us. x Tania
Thank you Tania! Goldilocks is another perfect parable for this-the big bowl might be too hot, and the little just perfect. It depends on our personal just right. I think you have it nailed with your acronym for BIG (be involved genuinely) no matter what size your biz is you can be BIG about it!
You are brilliant.
I hate what pain-point marketing does to people, myself included…it’s really created by people/brands who think small and act out of fear for their own lack of awesomeness. It’s just a shame that they make that horrid way of thinking spread like the plague.
Thank you beautiful wise one! I think you are brilliant!
I see this type of marketing push more places then I care for-it seems the hard sell might be making a come back & I’d like to do my best to call it out into the light. Marketing that is a gift or offering or invitation makes me praise the heavens but anything that makes us feel less than is unhealthy & contagious. Thankfully it seems like our community has it quarantined!
What a great post, Jess… I had to reevaluate my own metrics of enough 5 years ago while dealing with life-changing + devastating news. But, in the midst of confusion, sorrow & uncertainty came a complete clarity of what I didn’t want anymore, and with that, I began to find what I did want, which has led me on this new wonderful journey!
I find that when life kicks the stuffing out of you, it also offers you a clearer picture of what your own metrics of enough are, as well.
My Mum just gave me a print of a quote by Joseph Campbell that I think also ties in well with your post:
“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us’
Such a wonderful comment Geri, yes! I talk about that a lot, how it is vital to know what you don’t want in order to determine what you do. So often chaos/crisis/loss strip away everything we thought was essential and reveals to us the bare bones truth of what we deeply require-to heal, to move forward, to begin again.
It is such synchronicity that I actually deleted a whole paragraph related to Joseph Campbell & following your bliss-I thought it fit better in another post but that is the perfect quote. I found this one after I published this post too, “Happiness is to continue to want what you already have”-http://www.etsy.com/listing/101593281/aqua-what-you-already-have-print-poster
The constant bombardment of ‘you MUST…’ from every direction in our lives… I’m struggling right now with making sure I’m doing the right thing, not only for my business, but for my family.
I got caught up reading a story this weekend about working parents, moms in particular, and how if you choose to stay at home and work, you’re not contributing to society in the same way as a working-outside-the-home mom. And going through the comments, which were mostly in favour of moms (and dads, too, but this was a female-centric website) working outside the home, I felt worse and worse. I’m a struggling entrepreneur, but because I stay at home taking care of my daughter while also working on my business, I don’t have the same standing as someone who works at a restaurant/store/whatever? Why do they get to decide that? Frustrating.
I want to have it all, but I – and you and everyone else – should get to decide what our ‘all’ is. I don’t want to follow the beaten path or have all the latest gizmos and gadgets. I don’t want to be competing with the Jones’s and the Smith’s to see who has the best/biggest/most of anything. I want us all to be happy and content and live our lives the way we want to, not how a faceless brand demands we should.
Thanks for letting me ramble on 🙂
@Stacey, testify sister! Amen! You can ramble on here any time! All of us, in our beauty and complexity, have value. I resist anything that tries to deny that very basic truth and keep us divided where we should be supportive. I absolutely despise the working mom vs. stay at home mom debate, it makes my heart ache. Being home as a mother was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life, hands down. I can also imagine leaving your children to the care of others being equally hard. Both have value, to our individual families and also to the world. I think what our kids need most is to see their families deciding what their enough is as joyfully & intentionally as possible without coercion.
What a wonderful post, Jessika, and such a timely reminder for me as well. Often I think many of us focus so much on the future, worrying about how to make it there, that we neglect everything we already have in the present. We really can be satisfied here and now, and find joy in what we are, without becoming stagnant. And when we love what we are doing, and love who we are, the opportunities that come will find us in a better position to make them happen. We can blossom and grow in contentment, which is something I think gets forgotten sometimes in this kind of ever-moving fast-paced world we inhabit.
@Genevieve, I love this: “We can blossom and grow in contentment” learning how to be present & here instead of always looking 10 steps ahead is something I personally continue to work on. But I look at my girls and know it is something I need to keep working on. I totally agree that when we are secure with where/who we are and what we want that we are so much more equipped to choose to take on more (or let go of it when we need to).
I just love this, a timely reminder. It’s something we all could do with remembering more often, rather than stressing ourselves unnecessarily.
@Amanda, @Alison & @Darice, Thank you friends!
this is timely and beautiful. thank you jessika! (I think that’s all I need to say really, simplicity)
Beautiful…a proclamation that needs to be spread to the far corners of the world. Thank you.
Such a powerful message – a message I’ve been trying to send out from my green blog daily.
Consumerism is not environmentally responsible. ..which contradicts what I’m trying to do on Etsy but by definition, handmade is green. 🙂 And as a hand-maker, we can only make what we can sell so I feel great about being on Etsy!
But you have to remember, in business and in life, enough for one person is not for another.
It’s an ever-evoloving “song and dance” with ourselves. Just find where that line in the glass is and you can always be satisfied with it being half full.
@Karen- Yes! Overconsumption of material goods is totally linked to the metrics of more & the paradigm of objects=success. The more value we place on our personal equations of enough the less we feel compelled to purchase ever more to fill up the holes where self-love/contentment should live. Thank you for your comment!
@Arianne-so funny you should mention the Red Queen since after publishing this post I tweeted a friend that I often feel like a mix between Alice & the Red Queen, running to stay in one place. When I sit down & realize that if I root myself in what I am doing what I need is magnetically pulled to me instead of having to chase after some undefinable “more”.
@Beth-Hooray to choosing the smallness or bigness that fits you & allowing yourself to grow organically (the best things are always those that take a little time to come to fruition anyway!).
@Zoe-Love it! I couldn’t agree more! This community especially has taught me so much about what is truly valuable & what I don’t actually need at all. Having others to be your lodestone is a powerful antidote to self-doubt. When you are surrounded by others who see your enoughness there is so much less room for questioning it yourself!
@Colleen-from the bottom of my heart you are so welcome! Love that these words came when you needed them:)
Perfectly lovely, Jess! We need to praise contentment and satisfaction a lot more.
Another Alice comparison is the Red Queen’s race, where she has to always keep running and running to stay where she is – and if she wants to get further along, she needs to run twice as fast!
If we don’t ever stop and feel content with what we have, then when we get the magical “more” that’s supposed to make us happy, we won’t be satisfied with that, either, and we’ll keep running.
If the mindset is that you always need to do and be and have more, there’s no way to enjoy it, because an infinite more is not attainable.
What a beautiful and wonderful reminder, and one I think we all need to hear on a regular basis!
I consider myself to being very new to the small business // artrepreneur world, and I can easily get caught up comparing myself to other artists and makers while being bombarded with messages of “Work harder!” I love that I have the freedom to create at my own pace right now – I’m sure I wouldn’t enjoy it as much if it became something I had to STRIVE at. I am content with where I am, in all it’s smallness, and am ok with growing organically. It’s a good place to be!
Wow, wonderful quotes. Exactly what I need these days to remind me being thankful for all that I have accomplished already and not going for more more more…
Well said, Jess! I think this is my favorite bit: “I have found that when I chase more there is never enough, but when I follow my truth more is all around me…”
I’ve found that to absolutely true for me as well. It certainly helps to have this community you’ve built to recognize each other’s accomplishments, as well, as I know many of us have trouble seeing them or celebrating them properly ourselves.
I am always amazed when someone states so perfectly exactly what I need to hear.
From the bottom of my heart-thank you.
Beautiful! As a homeschooling mom of twin 5-year-old girls, I dig this! I only have so much time to commit to my business, I have other priorities. My business is my fun “me time”. It’s my exciting brain-tingling thing that seems to grow as I sleep. My goal is to keep it down to size so it doesn’t take over my life, but still allow it “some” growing room! This article really puts into words what I’ve been thinking for a long time. 🙂
I am also a homeschooling mom of 2 who is running a growing crafty business. As a blogger and quilter, I can and would enjoy working all day long, but I also have to remember that the children come first for me, even before my business. It’s funny – I started this so I could stay home with them. But, now it’s all to clear that “this” can take on a life of its own.
Enough is important.
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