A few years ago over a cup of coffee in New York City a man asked me: Are you seeking Fame or are you seeking Fortune? I was confused. What do you mean I said?? Don't they come hand in hand?? The answer shocked me but was so logical.
He gave me two name:
The first one was of a world renowned celebrity wedding planner who has done top celebrity weddings, published many books and had numerous TV appearances - if you know anything about weddings - you would know about this person.
The second name - I had never heard of before in my life.
He went on asking me who I wanted to be?? No hesitation - the first one!!! At the time I had a goal "I wanted to create a brand that was synonymous with weddings"
He smiled and paused - He looked at me with the kindest eyes and went on to tell me that the first planner although extremely famous was broke - his EGO was the cause of him being broke - and because he was so well known he had to meet expectations of others and that was the cause of his demise.
The second one on the other hand - ran an extremely successful business in the wedding industry - and was bringing in millions of $ in revenue a year - unfortunately I did not know him - he obviously didn't care - he preferred to be under the radar - work silently - make his money and go on with his business - he was in business not for the accolades or the fame - he was in business to make money and to live his passion.
Which one did I want to be now?? Well things took quite a turn for me ever since that meeting.
We are living in a society that gets their validation from the number of followers they have on social media and the number of likes each post gets. There actually are workshops on how to increase your likes and followers - and if you are a business I think you NEED to be on social media - BUT for the right reasons - I have come across humans that define their self-worth by their social media numbers. Everyone wants to be known and is seeking fame.
Question is: What is it that you want to be famous for? Why is it that you want to get all these followers and why do you get excited over these likes?? What is it ultimately that you want out of your life? And most importantly are you busy feeding your ego - or are you making a living???
This mans question made me realize that I was spending my time building a brand - I was known - quite well known in my city - I had succeeded in building a brand that was on it's way to becoming 'famous' (In our small city) - and I was doing all that I could to satisfy my ego and feed that 'brand' which constantly needed to be top of mind. BUT what I did not realize is that the success is not the fame or the brand - for me success was the freedom my business gave me - and the freedom comes with having a lucrative business - a business that makes money - a business that contributes to society - a business that generates money and also helps other small businesses to also make money!
To elaborate more about what I mean by 'feeding the ego' - I would get famous clients coming to me saying we want to hire you - BUT you'll do it for free - because after all we are "famous" and you will be better known because of us - and hence I would take on those contracts to feed the 'ego' and help maintain and grow that fame. (I want to say that I don't regret any contract I have ever worked on... but that's not the point I am making - point is it wasn't being done for the right reasons) - Growing my brand and feeding my ego became addictive and I found my self in a spiral - because once you are known - you need to always be top of mind - you need to constantly create, produce and all eyes are on you!!!
It no longer was a business I was running - it became a completely different monster of managing that 'brand' and caving into the expectation of others of the 'brand'. If you are the best in the city - then you NEED to be in the MAGAZINES - then you NEED to get the biggest weddings in the city - then you NEED to do the celebrity events... then you NEED to be everywhere... I was not focused and lost track of my ultimate vision and direction of my business.
I lost my path - until that afternoon in Tribeca when the man looked me in the eye and asked me:
Maddy what is it that you want - fame or fortune? That's when I got my aha moment!
That's when I was finally able to connect with my inner self and be brutally honest with my self - even though it was hard to admit - but I did not want the fame - I wanted the fortune - I was in business to make money - I was in business to build an empire - I wanted to build a sustainable business that would grow - that would allow me to have the disposable income and give a life for me and my family that I dreamt of. A job that would ultimately give me the freedom to do all the things that I loved and was passionate about. I was in business for business and not for the sake of being popular and known!!!!
Things have changed and shifted for me in the past few years - I have said no to a lot of offers that would feed my ego - but not my pocket. I have said no to so many opportunities - that did NOT align well with what I had envisioned for my business - and since then my business has flourished and grown in so many ways that I never thought possible. When I stopped seeking fame - that's when I started to value my worth and see my business grow to new heights!!!!
So now that you read this... are you seeking a business that feeds your dreams or a business that feeds your ego always looking for accolades from the outside world??