“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” Steve Jobs
This is a question that comes to mind often. Is the hard work, sacrifice and brain strain really worth it? Is the ‘me’ time I’m sacrificing going to this networking event tonight really worth it? Is deciding I’ll invest in a membership that will benefit my business rather than buying a cool pair of shoes that I just lurrrve worth it?
It’s also a question I hear other people asking. Whether they are entrepreneurs or career executives, people are constantly asking themselves ‘is it all really worth it?’
In business we are driven by the bottom line. Cash flow is king. Profit must improve year on year. We have KPI’s for sales and revenue that are commonly increased year on year. There’s so much pressure to get the sale, to convert the opportunity, to win.
But what if winning just isn’t worth it?
I know that sounds ludicrous especially when we are in a very competitive, challenging and volatile market. We need to make the most of all opportunities and take what we can get our hands on right?
But what if the client you bring on board simply so you can meet your sales target is one that will cause you no end of angst. And you know this because intuitively this client conflicts your values and the ethics by which you and your company does business?
What if the new team member you bring on board simply to fill a gap is the wrong fit for your culture and creates such disruption in your business (for all the wrong reasons) it’s going to take you more time to manage them out now than if you stuck to your principles and kept searching for the right one?
What if the time you sacrifice for your business instead of going to see your children play in sporting events or have dinner as a family means that you become increasingly disconnected from your family to the point you practically become a stranger? Is that worth it?
What if you are sacrificing your happiness and fulfillment for a job you hate simply because the money is good? Is that worth being miserable for?
A great question posed by the late Steve Jobs “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”
Too often we craft our lives around our business or career rather than crafting our business or career around our lives and what is really important to us. The evidence of this is the high and growing rate of depression and anxiety. We’re not happy people and in part this is caused by doing things that conflict against our values and constantly sacrificing the things that and people whom are most important to us.
The question is – Is It Worth It? If your response is ‘yes’, you know your why, you’re committed to your vision and there’s light at the end of the tunnel then great, keep going. But if the answer is ‘no’ then perhaps things need to change for you.
Perhaps by taking a more proactive approach to how you want to experience your life will benefit you. Being true to who you are, living true to your values and having boundaries in place for what you are prepared to compromise may be a great first step to ensuring it is all worth it.
Don’t wait for it to be too late and then have regrets. That’s definitely not worth it. And you can’t do a thing to change it.