There’s a culture of more going on right now. More money. More social media followers. More customers. More attention. More. More. More.
As someone who’s fought to have more of everything in recent years, I’ve learned I don’t actually want more anymore. I want enough.
I want enough money to live a comfortable life.
I don’t want all the problems that come along with more money. You may scoff at that notion and think it’s a “first world problem,” and maybe it is, but it’s a problem nonetheless. I don’t want money to control my decisions ever again. I don’t want the pursuit of making more money to be any kind of driving force in my life again. I don’t want all the additional expenses that come with additional income.
I want enough money to know my bills are paid. I want enough money coming in that I don’t have to worry about money every week/month. I want enough money to take off on an adventure at a moment’s notice.
I want enough of an audience that I can actually manage.
I’m not interested in being famous. I’ve had an incredibly small slice of what that feels like, and it’s completely overwhelming. I remember having an insurmountable amount of emails (400-500 per day) to reply to, and it’s not fun—especially when you genuinely care about replying to people. I don’t want so many Twitter followers that I wake up to 99+ notifications/mentions. I don’t want so many email subscribers that I can’t reply to everyone who takes the time to write to me. I don’t want server-crushing traffic to my website.
I want to be able to reach enough people that I feel reachable in return to those people. I want to be the type of person who can reply to an email or a tweet, especially when the person on the other end doesn’t expect that to happen.
I want enough travel, but not too much.
Isn’t it glamorous to think about traveling the world? In 2011, I traveled 30+ weeks out of the year. It wasn’t glamorous to be recognized by TSA agents in two different airports. I hate the idea of having to check luggage, or even carry luggage that doesn’t easily^ fit in the awkwardly designed overhead bins on airplanes. I don’t want to be on the edge of airline statuses where I’m wondering if I should do a “mileage run” to reach the next level of seat upgrade-ability or the next color of frequent flier card.
I want enough meaningful trips every year that I feel like I’m being adventurous, but not too adventurous. I want to visit places that look interesting, but also seem safe. Sometimes, I just want to take one big trip in a year and spend the rest of the time not traveling.
I want enough friends, but not too many.
There was a time when the amount of friends I had mattered. It was a quantity game. A badge of honor to have so many names in your phone’s address book that multiple finger swipes didn’t even get you through the last name’s that started with “A.” I don’t want to have to make tough decisions if two friends are having a momentous life event on the same weekend. I don’t want too many friends pulling me in too many directions, leading me to the guilt of having to say “no” (or worse, showing up for things I don’t actually want to be doing).
I want enough friends that I feel I can make an impact on their lives, and they on mine. I want enough friends that I can actually remember all their birthdays without Facebook having to remind me. I want enough friends that if I think about having a wedding, I don’t ever have to wonder, Hmmm, is so-and-so a good enough friend to invite?
I want enough time, but not too much.
My mind can be a swirling mess. I’m notorious for trying to spend a relaxing day at the beach, only to be overcome with boredom within 12 minutes of arriving. I don’t want to feel like I’m wasting time if my time isn’t actually occupied with things to do (if that makes any sense?).
I want enough time to enjoy the limitations of time. The thought of living forever scares the absolute crap out of me. I feel empowered when I know I only have a certain amount of time to accomplish a task or launch a project, and I make it happen. Having just enough time can make the time you have that much sweeter.
I want enough projects to keep my mind busy.
I juggle too many projects. I have too many things going on. But as soon as I remove a project or free up space to think of a new project, ideas hit me. My brain has no issues coming up with ideas, but the problem is the energy my brain will put forth to any new idea. Sometimes I end up way too far down a rabbit hole of a business idea that has no reason to exist (and trust me, I’ve passed on many more weird ideas than I’ve pursued).
I want enough projects that I can constantly be learning new things. I want enough projects to continue to diversify my skills. I want enough projects that I continue to show up on people’s radar and keep enough people interested in my work adventures.
I want enough news, but way less than most people.
I don’t believe being “informed” makes us better people. Because the source of the “informed” information we consume is being fed to us by people with agendas.
I want enough news about the world I live in to know everything’s not completely going to hell in a hand-basket around me. Other than that, I have enough news with no news.
I want enough customers, but not too many that I have to outsource things.
Some business owners take pride in immediately outsourcing things like design and customer service. Especially when it comes to customer service, I want people to feel treated exactly how I’d want to be treated. It’s nearly impossible to train someone to treat you the way you want to be treated (especially because that can change in the moment). I don’t want to get to a point with any of my business ventures where someone complains about the customer service, ever.
I want enough customers that I can always be the first person to reply. I want enough customers that I have the ability to not get overwhelmed when something goes wrong. I want enough customers so that when my competition keeps playing the game of more, the customers they piss off can fall into my lap and I can give them the time and attention they deserve.
I want enough people reading this to understand that when I say, “I’ve made it,” I’m not being arrogant or gloating.
I’ve earned where I am in life. I’ve put in countless hours of hard work, both in my business and with who I am as a person. I’ve dug deep to figure out what I really value in life and how not to get caught up in what society tells me I should value. I’ve had recent conversations with fellow entrepreneurs who go silent when I tell them, “I’ve made it”—both because I think they’re shocked to hear me actually say it, and because their version of enough is measured by more, which has no end in sight.
I want enough people reading this to understand my definition of “making it” without having to show you an income report. I want more people to celebrate running businesses without 7-figure (or even 6-figure) income. I want more entrepreneurs to stop consuming the impossible dreams that people are force-feeding them in well-written copy in well-designed sales funnels (ew).
I want enough people reading this to realize you have enough, and not to want more.
More is a losing sum game. Once you get more, you only continue to want more. We’re pre-wired this way. Human beings instinctively collect more because thousands of years ago we had to if we wanted to survive. Back then, we were collecting nuts, berries, twigs, and animal pelts. The things we have the ability to collect have changed, but our instinctual habits to collect things have not.
I want enough people reading this to give enough a try. I want you to draw a line in the sand and realize you don’t need more. I hope you’ll finish reading this article and think about the changes you need to make in your life to shift from more to enough.