When is Enough Enough?
Today I’m going to talk about a pressing question that some of our more successful clients have, and that question is simple: When is enough enough?
Basically, these people started out with small shops, and they were motivated, and innovative, and all these things. Today, they’ve really succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. If their 60- year-old selves could talk to their 30-year-old selves, the 30-year-old would never believe the kind of success the 60-year-olds have achieved.
But now, they have this existential question: “When is enough enough? Is my business big enough? Is it successful enough? Do I personally have enough wealth as an entrepreneur? When is enough enough?” They look around, and they compare themselves to their friendly competitors. They compare themselves to other people in their communities that also own businesses, and they see they have it pretty good.
Of course, there are many business owners out there that don’t take vacations because it seems like when they’re out of the office, nothing gets done. So they just can’t get away from their business. Most business owners probably dream of reaching a point where they have more freedom from the business, and luckily, I think many of our clients have reached that point. But these clients who see that they have it pretty good, they tend to wonder – when is enough enough? When is it enough wealth? What is enough company success? What is enough of an impact in the community? Etc.
After talking through it with a bunch of entrepreneurs, I have the answer. So when is enough enough? The answer is ‘Never.’ It’s never enough. It’s not a greed thing, it’s not a raw ambition thing, it’s because the people that are really successful in their field are better operators. That’s what it comes down to. They’re better operators of their businesses than the competition. They’re either more efficient, or they’re better at attracting talent, or they’re more innovative, or something, but some combination of factors makes them better operators.
At this point in their lives, they’re not trying to grow because of greed, or ambition, or a desire to have a bigger footprint, or a desire to be bigger than the competition, or anything like that. They just want to be improving at all times. They have a thirst for excellence. When they see something wrong in their business, they want to fix it. When they see an opportunity, they want to take advantage of it. It’s just this entrepreneurial flame that never extinguishes in the hearts and souls of these entrepreneurs.
So, when is enough enough? Never. These people are never satisfied with the status quo, and really, we should bless them and thank them, because they provide such a wonderful example to the rest of us. These people are humble, they’re grateful, they’re thankful, they really are just some of the greatest, most caring and generous and wonderful people you could imagine. But somewhere inside them, they have a thirst for knowledge. They have a thirst for innovation. They have a thirst for improvement.
Just because they’re profitable, it doesn’t mean they sit still. They want their employees to be happy, they want morale to be terrific, they want great customer satisfaction, and they want everything in the business to be perfect. They’re demanding of themselves and others, of course, but they’re never satisfied, and that’s the secret to being a successful entrepreneur over long periods of time.
So when is enough enough? Never.