“Let’s not get tired of doing good, because in time week have a harvest if we don’t give up.”
~Galatians 6:9

The past year has been the most fulfilling ever in my business, despite being far from the most lucrative.

Why?

I’ve changed my mindset to focus on making an impact over income.

Don’t get me wrong, income is very important, especially when I’m the primary breadwinner in my home (for now). But given the choice between chasing money and changing lives for the better, I’ll take the second, thank you very much.

Surprisingly, choosing impact over income hasn’t hurt revenue, but rather has quadrupled it. Was this an intentional side effect? No. Was it a welcome one? YES!

Along with changing my way of thinking, I also adjusted my standard personal and professional daily/overall practices.

Clients
It’s difficult to do your best work when you say “Yes” and accept work which doesn’t resonate with you or your Why.

For years I had been accepting every client/project put before me for fear of losing income. As a result of saying “Yes” to everything, I ended up doing work I… disliked. And I can’t deny that I disliked some of my clients as well.

OK, dislike is an understatement, however I’m trying to be respectful.

When I opened my business’ doors in 2012, it was partially out of necessity, and partially to get out of a job I held no passion for. I hated the work and was there purely for the income.

Why would anyone walk out of one job they disliked and then start putting work they disliked into their own company?

I can name a few reasons…
  • Chasing income, not impact…
  • Scarcity mindset…
  • Lack of confidence…
For the first time in five years, I have a client roster I love. I have work I love. And by doing the work I love I am better able to show my skills and expertise because I am excited – and share my excitement – about my work. 

By allowing my heart to enter my work, my clout – with current clients and prospects – has grown and referrals have increased. I’m allowing myself to shine, having removed the lamp shade of ugh-ness from my work.

Personal Time
I am a self-professed nerd, and in past articles (insert link) have had no problem sharing this with you. I LOVE to read, watch training on various industry topics, and expand my knowledge in any way I can.

And despite articles and podcast episodes telling you why sleep is so important, in the past nine months I found myself slipping into a work-work-work mode schedule rather than one which allowed ample time for personal and family nurturing. My sleep was slipping and I was becoming resentful that everyone else in my house was finding time for leisure while I always had my nose to the grindstone.

Small changes shifted this drastically…
  • I reclaimed my nights and weekends. While I still occasionally respond to clients after 5 or 6pm, my Skype and Slack generally go into sleep or snooze mode after hours. As long as I’m not a medical or insurance professional, I don’t see the necessity to be on call 24/7. If clients can’t respect that I, too, need and expect family and personal time, then they are NOT my ideal client.
  • I started playing games with my family again. No, I don’t mean board games. The bigs of my house are video gamers, me included. After a year without touching a video game, I re-installed Ark on my computer and began taming dinosaurs again. Was/Is this a waste of time? Yes and No. While I’m not productive while Ark’ing it up, the mental break I’m giving myself has contributed to an influx of ideas — including blog articles!
  • I stopped setting my alarm. Waking up at 5 and 5:30am was taking its toll on me – mentally and physically. Many mornings I would wake to my alarm, and after sitting at my desk for 15-20 minutes would be overcome with exhausted anxiety. My body was telling me it NEEDED more sleep. After crawling back into bed as the sun was rising on more than a dozen occasions, I realized that perhaps I should be climbing OUT of bed at this time as well.
Now, let me be a bit more transparent about why I was waking unnecessarily early…

I was stressing myself out with all the “Woulda, shoulda, couldas.” For example, “I should get up and….” or “If I woulda done X I coulda had X.”

This needed to stop.

We all have limitations – mentally and physically – and we need to listen to our bodies when they try to convey these limitations upon us. Often it’s the chase after income, however, that drives us work extra hard and extra long.

Stop chasing income. Put impact over income and you’ll be amazed by…
  1. How much faster your work gets completed and
  2. How much stress can be removed from your life.
Social Media
While I had previously been in Facebook constantly surveying the boasting and successes of others, I severely cut my social media time. Although developing and implementing digital marketing strategies is a HUGE part of my job, I have learned to get in, get my work done, and get out.

Unlike previous months and years when I was in groups purely to sell my services, I removed myself from HUNDREDS of groups and remained only in those which are in sync with my Christian values. I have stopped caring when “SPAM Your Stuff” day is, and on the rare occasion I enter a group, it’s with the sole intention of seeing how I can contribute to others with no expectation of reciprocation.

In addition, I have been mass unfollowing those who only post drama, boasting, and negativity. I’m sorry, friends, however, if all you post is pictures of yourself posing with your new luxury goods and bragging about how your business has hit the half million dollar mark… Mmmmm… I’m not interested. Good for you, however… (cue the unfollow click sound)

What I make is none of your business. What you make is none of my business. So why should I be flaunting my income and my expenditures all over my social media? I would much rather be sharing how happy my family and I are, and short pieces of advice as to how you may be able to achieve a similar state of happiness.

Getting back to impact versus income…

In letting go of expectations of income and following my passion, I have been far more satisfied with my work than ever before. I have been proud of the content produced and have become much clearer about where I want my businesses to go than ever before.

And where am I headed?

I’m still figuring that out, but in the meantime, I’m having a fun time on this magnificent journey.

*****

Are you ready to stop stop chasing income and start making an impact? Are you ready to enjoy life whether you’re winning or losing? Sign up for a complimentary 30-minute Positive Productivity Coaching Call at http://meetme.so/PositiveProductivity.

*****

Kim SuttonKim Sutton is a Digital Marketing and Launch Strategist and owner of The Sutton Companies, which includes Sutton Strategic Solutions and Kim Sutton.  A graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she is passionate about helping business coaches, life coaches and speakers spread their messages and products to those who need them.

An avid reader and passionate learner, Kim is constantly researching, studying and developing business improvement strategies. You are invited to schedule a complimentary 30-minute Strategy Session by clicking here.

In her free-time, Kim cherishes the time she spends with her husband, Dave, and five children. She also enjoys reading, knitting, writing and playing video games.

Join Kim’s Private Facebook Group, The Positive Productivity Mastermind here.

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