Episode 102

Defining Success

December 13, 2016

What does success really mean and how do you define success in your business? Today we’re continuing the conversation from our episode on success without sacrifice with Jenny Shih by really digging into these questions and learning how to measure success.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"I feel really boss whenever I know that I can change my mind."
- Kathleen Shannon

Discussed in this Episode

  • How social media shapes success
  • Defining what success looks like for you—getting specific
  • The comparison trap in other people's views of success
  • Dealing with the fear of success
  • Being able and open to changing your mind of your definition of success
  • Connecting to your "why" to find success
  • Redefining selfish
  • Deciding what you're not willing to sacrifice for success


More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Unknown Speaker 0:02
Hello, and welcome to being boss,

Emily Thompson 0:04
a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson.

Kathleen Shannon 0:08
And I'm Kathleen Shannon. Today we are talking about how social media shaped success defining what success looks like for you and really getting specific about that. We're talking about the comparison trap in other people's views of success. We're going to be talking about dealing with the fear of success and being able and open to changing your mind of your own definition of success. We're gonna be talking about connecting to your why redefining selfish and deciding what you're not willing to sacrifice for success. As always, you can find all the tools, books and links we reference on the show notes at WWW dot being boss club. Hey, guys, I want to take a second and talk a little bit about getting on track with your finances and your business. So there are a few ways you can stay organized. But I'm going to propose fresh books, cloud accounting, is the best way to send out invoices so that you can get paid faster, you can track your income and expenses and quickly pull reports to see exactly where you're at with your finances and your business. You can organize and keep track of your clients. You can even track your time, right in freshbooks. So try it for free today. Go to freshbooks comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section? You know, it's time to give it a try.

Thanks, you guys so much for hanging with us. We are so excited to be continuing the conversation that we started with Jenny she on success without sacrifice. And so today in this podcast chat, and we want to talk all about what success actually means to us how we define that for ourselves, and what we're not willing to sacrifice. And we want to get a little bit more specific here. And is there anything else that you want to add to that, Emily, that we'll be discussing today?

Emily Thompson 2:17
I don't think so I think that about sums it up, I'm excited to talk about and talk about defining success and really helping everyone figure out that it's, it's about diving into what you want. I think that all too often, we are encouraged to define success based on anyone else's terms, usually everyone else's terms that are in our life or in the media or whatever it may be. So I'm excited about about writing that in a little bit. And helping people define success based on how they feel in this moment around what they want, period.

Kathleen Shannon 2:54
So I'm excited because we've talked about taking a little bit of time off this winter. And I think I'm going to do a social media detox for a couple of weeks. And I really want to see how that reshapes success. For me, I feel like sometimes I accidentally fall into the comparison trap of comparing or even defining success for me by someone else's highlight reel that they've got going on on their social media. And I know this about social media, and I actually love that about social media. I love that people are sharing the best bits of their life. But it often makes me feel like what the hell am I doing whenever I'm having a meltdown, or my toddler is having a meltdown? Or I am not, you know, launching as quickly or as big as everyone else seems to be.

Emily Thompson 3:45
Agreed. I think that I think that again, when we can rein it in, it's so much more reachable and therefore not this big scary thing that we like the life that we don't see at the end of the tunnel instead, it's something that is within reach for as we define it based on where we are and who we want to be. And not anyone else's version of success. So I'm really excited about diving into this as well.

Kathleen Shannon 4:11
So for those of you who are here with us live today, we are actually recording this as a podcast. So if we make any reference to like our listeners, it's because this is going to air on the being boss podcast. So thank you for joining us for a live podcast recording. And for those of you who are listening to the show, through iTunes or on our website, we are here with a live audience of bosses. And we love doing this so much because we get to hear in person how everyone who's joined us is defining success. So before we got started, we asked how do you all define success for those of you who are not live with us, I want you to take a second to think about how you define success and I want to see if any of our definitions more by the end of this show. So Kimberly said, being able to buy groceries, have an evening home without worrying about bills, and maybe a vacation. groceries is a big part of success on my list. Like, I want to be able to shop at Whole Foods and not worry about it.

Emily Thompson 5:14
Right or for me. So same for me, I realized that I had reached a version of my success whenever I could go shopping, and I never looked at price tags, like I wasn't having to like choose the can of corn that was cheaper than the other cans of corn, or like, it wasn't even something that I was having to think about. So for me, reaching that point where I could just go to the grocery store, and buy what I wanted and needed without having to like add things up in my head, that for me, it was success reached in. And I don't take it for granted. Now, like knowing that I've reached that version of success for myself, whenever I go to the grocery store. Now I'm more grateful for the fact that I can just go grocery shopping without having to do math.

Kathleen Shannon 6:03
And we're getting a lot of stuff, like having the freedom to live life the way I want to, and not worrying about money, or defining success as feeling secure and comfortable financially, so I can live a successful life. Um, and what I think is interesting about this is this word freedom has been coming up for me a lot lately, and just the idea of success. We all want to live a life that we love, right? Like that would totally feel like success. But the thing that I'm really questioning lately, and really grappling with, quite honestly, is really getting specific about living the life that I love. What does that actually look like? And even whenever it comes to the money stuff, having enough money that I don't have to worry about bills, how much money specifically would that be? Because I've reached a point recently, I mentioned this last week, whenever we were chatting with everyone that my anxiety will start to attack different things in my life that are totally fine. And I think that's how I need to start. That's the red flag that tells me I need to start really redefining success, and figure out what that means for me whenever my anxiety starts trying to just grab on to something to get worried about.

Unknown Speaker 7:24
Yes. Oh, I

Emily Thompson 7:25
love that. And that's not something I ever thought about. But as you're describing it, I agree. Like whenever I'm in a point where I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels, and I don't know what comes next. And I I'm angry or like I'm a little more testy than usual. And whenever David asked me what I want for dinner, I like fly off the handle because decisions. And I definitely see that as a time when I need to just sort of bring it back down to the ground, really get clear about what I'm trying to accomplish next, so that I have a path in front of me because that uncertainty around what it is that you are going towards. It can cause you to get angry,

Kathleen Shannon 8:08
or Yeah, absolutely. So I want to talk a little bit about comparison trap, because I don't think that we can talk about defining success without looking at how other people's views of success might be shaping us. So I think traditionally, growing up, it's easy to look at how our parents define success to define success for ourselves. But as we become grown as adults, it's easy to start looking at other creative entrepreneurs or other people in our industry and how they are successful and using their boundaries to define our success. So for everyone that's here with us live, I want to hear in what ways have you looked to someone else to define success for you? or what have other people done? That you think, Oh, I need to do that to be successful. And Emily, I'm curious to hear from you. Have you ever fallen into defining success on someone else's terms?

Emily Thompson 9:13
No, except obviously, yes. So the thing that I think that I want to point out here is our education system, for one and like cultural traditions and those sorts of things. We are most of us are taught to think inside the box, like in terms of education we grew up with what is it like five subjects that we study and whatever our interests are in are supposed to be in one of those five little boxes so that we can play around really well with everyone else. Or even like culturally or like in your religion, whatever it is that you're brought up in your family traditions, like those sorts of things, act as ways to, to box you in and not that they're bad. Because I definitely see my family traditions and even some of the religious things that I was brought up with. And obviously, my education was all very important for me. But we are boxed in in that some of us are not allowed the freedom to play outside of those boxes. And so I think in those terms, just setting it in that light growing up, I was certainly boxed in and being gang, you know, I had to get my education. And I had to get a job in the place where I like, or in the field that I got my education or my degree in, and I had to find a nice man and get married and have a baby. And like maybe be a stay at home mom, even though I had a degree while my husband worked like, that is the the box that I was given to play in and I hated it. So I broke all of the rules. Every single one of them. Um, and but for a long time, I did struggle with this idea that I was going along that path I was in college, and I was getting a degree a degree in something where I would have a career immediately after college and that definitely like fed into what I chose to do in college, it wasn't so much what I was interested in what I was most interested in, I ended up taking as a minor because I never would have gotten a job in it. So I let the the the idea of success being you get a job immediately after college box me into choosing a educational path, that would have gotten me a job, not something that I loved the most. So whenever you can start breaking through bait breaking free, I got our I broke out of the box immediately after graduating like I got my degree I almost quit college like three weeks before I graduated because I almost didn't get to graduate because of some some transfer credit issues. I cried, and I got mad. And then I graduated. And but immediately after I knew that I wouldn't use this degree that I just got. And instead I tried to do something else I redefine success for myself, blew everyone's mind. My parents thought I was a little bit nuts. David's parents prayed for me, I'm sure. But I made it like I redefine success, I broke the mold of taking the job right out of college. And I paved my own path. And that's just one example, I think of a million that I could throw at you in ways where I broke free of what people expected me to do, and did something better than what they expected me to do because I decided to do something else.

Kathleen Shannon 12:37
So we've got a couple of bosses chiming in. And Emily says it was really hard for me earlier in my career when I was working in a day job. I lived by my boss's expectations. And it was tough to get to the point when I was ready to do what I wanted and follow my own expectations for the life I wanted to create. So I had a similar experience. Whenever I worked a day job, my boss was my sister, who is now my business partner. And she's really brilliant at being able to write ad copy. And so I remember working in advertising, feeling like she wanted me to write ad copy. And I've always been interested in writing. But because I couldn't do it on the client side, I felt like I was just a shitty writer, that I didn't know how to do it, and that I couldn't do it well, and I remember the day that I told her, I don't want to write, I just want to focus on graphic design, I felt so incredibly liberated. And that was kind of my first experience of voicing what I really wanted and being afraid because I look up to my big sister so much. I think she's one of the most talented people in the world. I followed her path, like almost 100% of the way because she got her degree in graphic design. So did I we shared a lot of this similar extracurricular activities, and what was important to her I made important to me, and so really kind of breaking off of that was scary, and it felt risky. But then also, um, we've got some other people mentioning, just seeing others succeed in places where I haven't has been huge source of comparison, envy and defining success or failure for myself. And Lily says watching someone launch a business to what seems like immediate growth. So this is a more recent comparison envy that I had. I was taking a course in Facebook advertising because it was something that I wanted to learn a little bit more about and see if it might be helpful for my business. And the woman teaching the course basically talks I mean, she admits to being an overnight success that within four months of launching her business, she had a million dollar launch. And you guys I'm like six years into this thing, not making anywhere near a million dollars. Hope Not bursting anyone's bubble there. But just making a living salary as a creative entrepreneur, I can pay my bills, I can go to the grocery store, but I'm not making a million dollars. And all of a sudden, I felt really shitty for all the success I had already accomplished, because it wasn't a million dollars in four months. So I'm totally with you there Lily, the overnight successes hurt my feelings. But I think it's also important to recognize that most of these overnight successes, I put that in air quotes are really 10 years in the making, that most people have been working really hard along their path, to set themselves up to then become an overnight success.

Emily Thompson 15:42
Right. I think a great example of that sometimes we hear that from being boss fans, and we're like you guys just took off so immediately, and things got really great. And it did for being boss. But Kathleen and I have been doing this, like the work that got us here and building that that those first two email lists that we launched the first podcast to, we've been building all of that stuff for years, so that whenever we did create the new thing, it did go off. But it wasn't us just waking up one day and going oh, I think I'd like to start an online business doing a podcast and you know, having an exclusive community, let's make that amazing. It was definitely years in the making. And I think that i think that that's one of those things about comparison envy is that we are seeing everyone's highlight reel, we are seeing the high points. We're seeing like the best of the statistics, but what you have to do is fill in the holes, and it's not the responsibility of those people to fill in the holes for you. I'm about done with everyone getting all mad about everyone's highlight rails. Just be realistic with yourself when you're looking at these things, high five them for their successes, but also understand that between those beautiful Instagrams, like their house probably looks a mess too.

Kathleen Shannon 16:52
But you know what actually really helped me with this. Because a lot of my dear awesome friends are the very ones that I can easily fall into the comparison trap with because I am following them. And I'm happy for them maybe a little bit jealous. But one thing that really helped me really get over that kind of comparison, envy specifically, was really recognizing that we are all one and I know that might sound fluffy or woowoo. But whenever I can really get into the frame of mind that my friends successes are also my successes, like in a really kind of more like universal level, it really makes me start to feel like, Okay, this is, this is good for everybody, whenever someone is successful, and then it's not taking anything away from me if anything, is giving me something to look up to. And it's really giving me an idea for what is possible. So whenever I can start to celebrate my friends who are doing really well. I feel like it just I literally start vibing a little bit higher. And then what I love about our podcast is I can then invite them on the podcast and ask them how they did it and get a sneak peek behind the their daily lives and realize, like you said, Everyone has their struggles, everyone has their insecurities. And everyone even though we're like we're looking forward at their successes. They are also looking forward at people who they're jealous of and not that that makes it any better. And we all know this is just a good reminder that we are all on our own path. I feel like I've been seeing that stay in your own lane quote on Instagram and Pinterest all the time.

Emily Thompson 18:42
Well, and I want to say here like the difference between envy and inspiration is just a reframe of mind. Like that's all it is like you can look at someone and be annoyed by it. Or you can like and let that hold you back because you're wasting energy on being annoyed by someone else's life. Or you can look at it and use it as inspiration for you to to redefine your success based on maybe their terms, but not even their terms like based on what you admire about their success. So use it as inspiration. It's just like it's just how you want to look at things. For me whenever. I think that especially using Instagram and Pinterest, those sorts of things. Feel like those things are helping people cultivate like a more inspirational or aspirational feeling whenever it comes to looking at everyone else's beautiful shit. Like we like that, or we like those things. We repin them and I think that whenever whenever you can reframe it from envy to inspiration, and use it as a guide for you to you know, define your own your own success based on you know, the things that you admire and others like that's where that's where happy shit comes from. That's when you are vibing higher and not lower because that sucks.

Kathleen Shannon 19:59
So I Lynda asks, How about the fear of success? What if you're doing well, but are facing that fear of more? I totally get this. And I always hit me every day. I know, I don't think that's something that people talk about enough. We all talk about the fear of failure, but we never talk about the fear of success. And I think it's because it feels very humble, braggy or like, Who am I to be afraid of something that so many people would just, you know, love to have? And so yeah, that's a very real thing, how Emily, do you deal with that fear of success,

Emily Thompson 20:38
I breathe really deep. Like, I don't know if you know, it's like record, like, I just had to sit up straighter and take a really deep breath. Because this is something that I absolutely face on a daily basis, where, you know, we're all doing great things. But we're also like put putting our voice and opinion out there like to build this, we're having to put ourselves out there, there's huge amounts of vulnerability that come into it. And the more successful we get, the more vulnerable we have to be and to more people. And that is frightening as hell to me. Absolutely. So I just have to breathe really deep. And remember why I'm doing this. And that by stepping back, I am turning my own back on, you know, this purpose that I've created for myself. And that, for me is a little bit more frightening than actually succeeding.

Kathleen Shannon 21:32
Yeah, so for me, whenever it comes to the fear of success, I always look back at the evidence of what I've accomplished, and how it's felt along the way. And I remind myself that I am completely capable of success. And I will continue to expand my capacity for success. And this is why I'm so actually grateful to not be an overnight success. Because that would be a lot to handle. Think about, like, child Disney stars, and how messed up a lot of them get is because they had so many eyes on them. And they got so much success at such a young age, I feel like it overloads their little systems, not all of them, but some of them. And I feel like certainly for me, if I had gotten the success that I craved, even five years ago, I would have gotten so burned out and overloaded and scared. So for me, I like leaning into it leaning into it is a phrase that my coach Jay Pryor says all the time, you just got to lean into it. And so anytime I'm wanting to make a change, or push my boundaries into something that I haven't done before, and to continue to grow that success, I just do one thing at a time. And usually if I focus on the thing that I'm doing that very thing is not that scary. Like for example, recording this podcast, not very scary, thinking about 10,000 people downloading it tomorrow, super scary. And so I just have to keep my eyes on the task at hand. And whenever it comes to, Leslie says, success equals eyes on you, then they'll see my flaws. So expose the flaws, let them right, I believe and I like

Emily Thompson 23:19
you and I are pretty good at

Kathleen Shannon 23:20
that. Yeah, we built our entire platform on just kind of apple and this is why I love personal branding is that we are all real people. And I think that we all give each other I mean, despite some of the hater conversations we've had, I think for the most part, most people are get more giving of grace than we expect them to go hand. So for example, like whenever our crowdcast is not working, and we have to move everyone over to zoom. Rather than saying you guys look unprofessional, we're getting feedback that saying, Wow, you guys handled that like champs like a flaws happen. Sometimes I've also recently decided to be okay with being wrong. And I'm recently decided that I feel really boss whenever I know that I can change my mind. And just knowing that I'm working through this as I go so I could say something wrong. And I can change my mind later. Or I can be wrong about it. And that's okay.

Emily Thompson 24:21
Yeah, I love this talk about about changing your mind. Because I do feel like whenever it comes to comes to success, I mean, God think about like college. I remember David had to do a class as a freshman, where he had to, like, define success, like where do you want to be in five years? And I've talked about before I hate it when people ask me that question. Like, I have no clue where I want to be in five years, like I cannot commit to success then and what that looks like at all. Um, I don't want to I don't think that people should. I think it's really good for giving people a general direction and maybe that early in life for sure. But But I don't like, or what I most like is knowing that I can change what my version of successes how I define success at any given point. So, you know, a couple of years ago, for me, success kind of looked like building a web design agency, like I thought about doing that for a couple of minutes. And then I changed my mind, a lot of people would have taken that initial success definition, as like, written in stone have to do it, they're not checking in with themselves ongoing to see if this, this definition for themselves is actually ringing true with how they want to feel and how they want to live their life. And then they reach the thing, but they're not happy with it. They didn't check in and see if they needed to change their mind. And I think that knowing that you have the freedom to change your mind whenever you want about what success looks like to you. And you know, shift your path so that you can grow and change and become who you want to be. You will be learning things every day for the rest of your life. And I think your success should be a combination of all of those things. If you stunt your growth by saying like at age 18, here's what success is. But you're not taking into the into account all the thing you're going to all the things you're going to be learning over the next couple of years. That sucks and you're missing out, I think on lots of opportunities. So I love the idea of really focusing on the idea that you can change your mind, and especially around success and really being that like student of life, and keeping your definition of success very fluid. commit to it like when you're in it. But otherwise be open to changing it and recommitting when you need to.

Kathleen Shannon 26:46
Yeah, so I've even changed my mind recently, whenever we were in Toronto recording from freshbooks headquarters. I mentioned that one of my favorite things that I've purchased with money was my car. And at the time that really felt like success. This like external status symbol, car that I love driving and I still love driving is what made me feel successful. But now not so much. Now I'm like, Why was I so hell bent on getting a new car? And why did I use that as my example at freshbooks. Because now just a few weeks later, my definition of success is no longer the car, it's now having time to go on a long walk. Like that's really all I want. And I will feel successful if I can just take a 30 to one hour walk 30 minutes one hour walk every day, like that would be so super awesome. And yeah, I think that okay, but what I want to say about that is my idea of success being in the car was not wrong. Like I don't want to make myself wrong for that. Even three weeks ago, or three years ago, whenever I bought the car, like that very much was what I needed in the moment. And that's something that I'm really thinking about a lot is our definition of success doesn't necessarily change. It evolves, because we're humans that are evolving and our needs. Yeah, the things that we need, it changes from day to day based on what we're giving what we're receiving. Okay, so Jessica says, I think I struggle with connecting to my why. So earlier, Emily, you mentioned that really getting in tune with your intentions and your values and your purpose and your y is how you kind of not it doesn't keep you from being afraid, but it keeps you courageous, it keeps you brave and keeps you going. So Jessica says can your y change does your y evolve? Right now my Y is providing for my family. So I can be in a place where I don't have to price check the corn, move my family out of where we are and then what So Emily, I feel like your definition of success for a long time was simply providing for your family. So I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Yes, I

Emily Thompson 29:10
just saw this question. I got really excited about it. Because I totally want to dive into this. Absolutely. I mean, we don't wake up one morning. Like if age five, most of us don't knowing what our life's purposes and simply going for it like we learn what it is through experience. And I think like that's permission for you to accept that your y will evolve. In the very beginning of my business it was providing for my family, both monetarily but I wanted to stay home with my kid. So you know going out and getting a job was not something that I wanted to do so very early in my business though that was my why staying home but also making money. Then it became sort of a creative outlet both like as an entrepreneur because I love doing the business stuff and growing things like that's really fun for me but also in terms of designing like I like making things So, so my y evolved from just providing to also being personally fulfilling. And then I started learning that what I actually really like what I found most personally fulfilling was not just designing things, but it was helping creative entrepreneurs run businesses of their own. So I was building businesses for other people and coaching them and how to make them successful. So through that, yeah, like your y will absolutely evolve. I think as accepting that it does change and evolve, but also checking in consistently and seeing how it is evolving for yourself. So that you can make really good decisions about what comes next for you. Because if I were to be stuck in, I just want to make money for my family. Like, I probably wouldn't be very personally fulfilled or have clients who super love me for the expertise that I have, like, I would just be like, just pulling in a paycheck. And I don't even know what that would look like. So being aware that your y will consistently evolve, like, I can only imagine what my y is going to be in five to 10 years, like I can't even like project my brain that excitingly far in terms of this, in terms of this topic, so I won't try. But it does excite me to think like, where I am now. And where I was 10 years ago, and where I could be in 10 years from now just around my why not even what I'm doing to fulfill it.

Kathleen Shannon 31:26
So I want to talk about the why a little bit. And I think that providing for my family might be at the top of your why. And think of your why as a pool or an ocean or like a beautiful sunny day, like just something really like a gorgeous body of water. And at the very surface of your why is providing for your family, keeping them a float. Why do you want to keep them afloat? And then keep asking yourself why. And the more I want to challenge you, Jessica to ask yourself, why five times, and you're going to get deeper and deeper and deeper into that purpose, it doesn't eliminate the fact that you need to keep your family afloat and provide for them. But it starts supporting it from a super deep level. And whenever you can get there, I think that's where you get really super creative and really in tune with what it is that you're actually doing and why you're doing it.

Emily Thompson 32:27
I agree. And just to follow that up, cat says I've always known that my y has been to play by my own roles and never work for someone else. So that I can set my own expectations and have the freedom to choose how I love since realizing that I've been miserable no matter where I work. So I had the same thing like part of me like part of my personal Why is I want to make my own rules. I want to get up when I want to I want to work when I want to I want to work on what I want to work on when I want to. And I think that like that, why will never change. But what I will do is become more and more aware of it. And I'll become more and more practiced in it. I think, you know, seven years ago when I was starting this like that was definitely part of it. I've always, I've always had some very healthy authority issues that I've gotten to work with, and certainly fed into me being my own boss. But like I was also just like just touching the surface of what it was like for me to make my own rules, I was still grading website packages that were based on industry standards, I was still more or less working a nine to five, because that's how you work. And I was still following a lot of those rules. But what I've gotten to do in terms of that, that personal why for me, is I've gotten to dig deeper and deeper into it. So that now I'm just better at that why. And that one hasn't evolved too much. But it has become more defined with beautiful details.

Kathleen Shannon 33:56
Yeah, and on the flip side of that, I feel like my y helps me work anywhere. Like I actually loved working at an agency and having a super collaborative team. And being in an office, I really loved it. And I feel like my y helped support me in that environment as well. So I've definitely been one to play by my own rules. But I was always challenging those rules within structures, and kind of like challenging it from the inside out, if you will. And

Emily Thompson 34:29
just an example of this is that Kathleen got her agency to change their dress code so that Kathleen could wear what she wanted to wear to work.

Kathleen Shannon 34:38
Yeah, so that everyone around me could wear what they wanted to wear to work. So I definitely think that you can have a purpose, a why and even a personal brand within the context of an organization or even within the context of societal structures, right. We all have rules that we need to play by to maybe Not be total assholes or so that our cars aren't crashing into each other, like we have to stop at the red light. Right? So I think it's also just kind of understanding picking your battles. And yeah, okay, so Sophie says your Why is your higher purpose? Why are you doing what you're doing in terms of affecting others. And this is something I don't know if this is quite the question, but something I want to touch on is that it's okay to be selfish with your y. So my Y is simply being I just want to be able to be who I am 100% of the time, no matter what the context is. And if I can help others feel like they can be who they are 100% of the time to great, but I've found and maybe this is just the youngest child and me coming out that whenever I'm really doing something, because it really fuels my own fire, that it's a little bit more contagious, and maybe a little bit more helpful to the people around me. Whenever I start just thinking about how am I going to help 1000s of listeners, like that's whenever I start feeling the pressure of what am I doing, and I start grasping for straws or looking for formulas or silver bullets, whenever I can just focus on doing what it is I want to do and really serving my own inner why that's maybe even from a selfish place. I feel like I have a better ability to serve from that place. I don't even know how to be coherent about this.

Emily Thompson 36:42
But I think I do I think I do know how maybe we'll see how this goes. So I will one First of all, I think we need a new word for selfish whenever, like your thoughts for yourself has no negative impact on anyone else. Like for me selfish, like equates to negative impact. But there's a lot of selfishness that has nothing but positive impact. So can we just like call up Webster and ask them if there's a word for that. I

Kathleen Shannon 37:10
love that too. Any of you guys know a word for that? Molly says shameless. But I think that the root of the word shame in there has a negative connotation. So I don't know that it's shameless. But yeah, I love that that selfish is kind of something that has a negative impact. So self loving, or self care. I mean, we all talk about how moms are better moms whenever they're taking care of themselves and

Emily Thompson 37:37
their wishes is what cat

Unknown Speaker 37:40
self delicious. That's That's it.

Emily Thompson 37:43
I like it. So whenever I want to be self malicious, I'm totally going to be using that now. Thank you so much cat. Oh, my God. Okay, so about this like self maliciousness versus, like, what it is that you're putting out into the world and what your purpose is, I certainly think in this, like, I'm just talking this out loud here, guys. So let's see how this goes. I certainly think that there is a correlation between what's important to you, and what it is that you are sharing with the world and, and therefore your purpose. I think that I think that what are the things that you most hold true for yourself? are the things that you're supposed to be sharing with everyone else and becomes your purpose? So maybe that's just a little more succinct way of saying what you were saying, but that's how I feel about it.

Kathleen Shannon 38:32
Yeah, no, I like that idea. Like, I like the idea that sharing my Y is how I serve others, but it's still my

Emily Thompson 38:40
why. And for me, it's about like making money. Like providing a life for myself, doing work that I love and making my own rules in the process that has that is my most self deliciousness that I have like that is what I will always be doing for myself. I don't want to work for people who don't respect me, or, or doing work that I don't believe in for companies who have like, backwards ass way of thinking, like, that's not what I want to do. I want to make money doing what I love, and living the life that I love in the process. And you and me together like our purpose of being bosses helping other people cultivate those exact things for themselves. And obviously, it's resonating. So I sort of challenge everyone to think about what it is that you most hold dear for yourself, like what beliefs do you have that you most hold dear and see if it doesn't resonate with what you feel your purposes or maybe it even causes a huge and amazing dramatic shift and what it is that you think you should be doing with your life and feel free to get self malicious about it? Absolutely. I'm gonna call Beyonce and ask her if she'll do a self Alicia song.

Kathleen Shannon 40:00
Okay, so I think that coming, circling back around to how we define success and our why, like, I guess for me, then I could simply say success for me is getting to be who I am 100% of the time, but really waking up every morning and asking, what is going to make me really feel like me today. And following that path every single day, obviously, I still have my to do list, even if that doesn't make me feel like me. But really having the freedom to cut off all my hair, or wear whatever I want to wear, like, those are more superficial aspects of it. But it could be a little bit more like how I spend my time, or the kind of content I'm writing. Because I'm writing for us and creating podcasts for us, I can talk about anything I want to talk about, and being able to follow the inspiration or follow the thought form that makes me feel like me, or uncover more of who I am along the way. That for me is probably most how I define success right now.

Emily Thompson 41:06
Same and for me with, you know, living, what I love and making money doing work that I love to do. Like my definition of success is you know, financial freedom is, you know, building a business or two or three businesses depending on what day of the week it is, I feel, but building businesses that are profitable, but also run really well. And my employees are super happy. And we're making amazing things. And our clients or customers are super thrilled with what we're making. So building successful businesses, but also having plenty of free time to hang out with my family, and to just sit on my porch and chill out or to go have dinner or to not like price check corn, like those things are certainly my definition of success. And it is tied very hugely to what I feel is my like life's purpose, or at least in this moment is my why of cultivating that within myself, but also helping other people find and reach the same thing.

Kathleen Shannon 42:12
Love that. So one of the things that I really enjoyed about talking with Jenny, she on episode number 35, about success without sacrifice was whenever she simply said, What are you not willing to give up on your path to success? What is that? So I'm curious to hear like, what are you not willing to give up Emily,

Emily Thompson 42:36
the first thing that came to my mind was an alarm clock in the morning. And I think we even talked about that in the episode a little bit. But literally, that is my biggest not fear, because it's not something I see ever needing to happen. But just the idea that I would have to wake up on someone else's schedule like that is never ever going to happen. Like maybe kids Sure, like I do have a daughter and she Well, I guess I do get up on her schedule. But I'm usually at first. But just it's when I decide to wake up that I get up. So for me having to get up early in the morning would be a deal breaker for me, consistently, like I'll get up and hit a flight early in the morning or something and that's fine. I think something else that would be a deal breaker for me is not being able to, to just make my own schedule during the day to like we've been decorating for Halloween and things and, or we'll just like go out and enjoy the fall leaves somewhere like in the middle of the day. And the fact that I can leave after a meeting, go out, do whatever I want come back and not have to ask permission from anyone or not have to just sort of make sure ducks in a row like I can just leave and really no one's gonna miss me. And if they do, I'll be back soon and there are no repercussions. Like that, for me is something that I would not to give up for anyone I love the freedom that I have just within my like daily life and work.

Kathleen Shannon 44:07
So Emily, who is here with us live on this recording, she mentions deal breakers change over time to there's things I used to say I never do that don't bother me anymore, as I've grown as a professional and I think this is so incredibly true 100% your

Emily Thompson 44:23
mind about these things, but you can change your mind about anything, guys, anything you want. Um, I agree with this, I think, you know, maybe when I'm older, I won't mind like getting up earlier in the morning. Or maybe at some point, when we've talked about going through phases where like sometimes we crave more structure than others. We've talked about, you know, currently we're both working from home but we've talked about what it would be like to have like studio space again, which we've both have previously after the first bout of working from home. At the moment, I think it would kind of be a deal breaker if I had to leave work or if I had to leave home to go to work. But in a year, I may totally change my mind. So I agree with that deal breakers absolutely change over time.

Kathleen Shannon 45:06
I think my deal breakers like on a more surface level, I love being able to control my schedule to I don't feel like I actually have a lot of control over my schedule. I feel like my calendar is packed tight. And that's just never ending. So I don't know what that looks like to feel complete. I mean, I am I think I'm, I'm failing to recognize how much control I do actually have, you

Emily Thompson 45:31
know, things are physically on your calendar, you're saying now, so you can say No, we'll do it a different day, you have all the control as you are a little bit of a slave to your calendar on going though. And that's something we're both working on, because we both recognize that that shit needs to shift.

Kathleen Shannon 45:48
So but But that said, I think that I'm a little bit of a slave to my calendar, because the thing I won't sacrifice is my morning workout. I go to the gym every single morning. And that is just unless I've booked a massage during that time. Instead, it is a deal breaker if I get scheduled in that time slot. And then I think on a more broader level, or maybe deeper level, a deal breaker would be being told that I can't write or say something that I want to write or say, Yeah, like not having the freedom to create the content that I want to create or follow a path of inquiry or curiosity that I'm really wanting to dig into. That would be a deal breaker for me.

Emily Thompson 46:37
I once got invited to speak somewhere where I accepted they sent me a contract in the contract that said I couldn't cuss so I declined. And then for me, it was like a very real example of the exact same thing like if you are going to censor me in any way by Yeah, total deal breaker.

Kathleen Shannon 46:56
So Kat says I think a deal breaker for me is doing work that is not inspiring, or is just black. That's actually not a deal breaker for me. We have to do a lot of like admin blah, like sitting behind the computer.

Emily Thompson 47:11
Right? Sure. Right. But I think the way she ends that is day in and day out. Yeah, I agree. Like if I had to look forward at the next month of my job and see that it was gonna be blood every single day, then no, like, it's easy for me to get through the not inspiring days because I know there are inspiring days absolutely in there. So, so yes and no cat that day in and day out certainly saved that.

Kathleen Shannon 47:39
And Emily follows up with this in the comments of our live podcast recording, but is the blood work in service to your larger mission and that is such a good point. Because if you're doing the admin stuff that maybe doesn't inspire you, but supports the inspiring stuff that you do get to do it's totally worth it.

Emily Thompson 48:01
And and then cat followed up here was I love doing my own books and marketing, though just not mindless work for others, then what I would challenge you to do and anyone who finds themself in themselves in a place where where like you're not living your current definition of success, like where you could feel successful right here and right now is to change your mind. Or to change like one you could either look at the the man work that you're doing as service to your larger mission and therefore just come to terms with it, or change with that mindless work looks like for you. If client work is not working for you, or this kind of client work is not working for you, then what can you change to make it work for you. That's my favorite thing about like all of us in this like platform of online business or working for yourself or building these creative businesses is that you have complete and utter control as to what it looks like. And if you find yourself in a moment, right now where you're not loving it one is it just a phase in which case get used to it these phases come and go or two What can you change to make it really dreamy right now. One of the things that you've I've heard you talk about Kathleen is how how you use how you use envy and like looking at other people's like Instagram feeds or Finch Pinterest feeds as, as again that inspiration for you know, if someone is celebrating with champagne and it looks glorious, and you're sad that you don't have champagne, get up and go get yourself some champagne, right there are little things that you can be doing to live your version of success. Right now you just have to do the work and sometimes the work really does just look like pouring yourself a glass of champagne.

Kathleen Shannon 49:46
So let's wrap this up in a tidy bow and give our listeners and our everyone that's joined us live. Let's give everyone a few prompts that they can journal through or just think about. So the First one is how do you really define success for yourself? and ask yourself why? Why do you define that as success? And keep asking why until you get deeper and deeper into that purpose. The second thing that we really talked about is being allowed to change your mind. So I would love for you guys to think about how your definition of success has evolved over the past few years. And in what places have you changed your mind? Is there any place right now that you think could use some mind changing now? Are you still hanging on to some old definitions of success? And then the third thing is, what are your deal breakers? What are you not willing to give up? Think about both the surface level stuff and then the deeper things? And I think that's about it.

Emily Thompson 50:53
Well, and I think my final one would be what little things can you pepper into your life right now to begin living your version or your definition of success in this moment. And it can be really small things like glass of champagne, Andre is not expensive. Or, or maybe it's it, maybe it's going for a walk, maybe it's taking a mid day walk and asking no one for permission for it, whatever it may be. I challenge everyone to end your prompting with little doing of the work and actually pull something really dreamy into your life right here right now and enjoy the hell out of it.

Kathleen Shannon 51:33
All right, you guys. That's all we've got for you today. Thanks for joining us live. And if you guys are listening to this show and ever want to join us live and hang out with us, be sure to go to being boss club slash events. We're always posting our live hangouts there. And for those who of you who are with us live today, if you like hanging out with us, you might consider joining the clubhouse I'm just gonna throw it out there. Visit being boss dot club slash clubhouse we still have just a few spots left open for our December retreat, and we'll be hosting a few more online retreats through 2017. But this is the last one we're signing up for now. Thank you for listening to being boss. Find Articles show notes and downloads at WWW dot being boss club.

Emily Thompson 52:27
If you're a creative entrepreneur, Freelancer or small business owner who is ready to take your goals to the next level, check out the being boss clubhouse, a two day online retreat followed by a year of community support monthly masterclasses book club secret episodes and optional in person retreats. Find more at www dot being boss club slash clubhouse.

Kathleen Shannon 52:50
Thank you so much to our team and sponsors who make being boss possible our sound engineer and web developer Corey winter. Our editorial director and content manager Caitlin brain, our community manager and social media director Sharon lukey. Our graphic designer Jessica Bramlett and are being countered David Austin, with support from braid creative and indicia biography.

Emily Thompson 53:12
Do the work the boss and we'll see you next week.

Kathleen Shannon 53:28
I Oh no. But I do think that there's still this like deeper need for permission giving or some sort of guilt that's making its way in there probably based on society's definition of what success looks like and kind of climbing up that traditional ladder of success versus building our own ladder.

Emily Thompson 53:46
Agreed, man.

Kathleen Shannon 53:50
Put that in the podcast. Write that in there somewhere.

Emily Thompson 53:53
There you go. Cory There's your outtake right there Kathleen, dropping bomb