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If you’re a parent, you would likely do anything for your kids.

There is something about having a tiny human relying on you that shapes your opinions and directs your decisions. So what I’m about to tell you is going to sound foreign – harsh, even.

If you want to succeed in your business, you can’t let your kids be why.

This idea hit like all my best strokes of insight do – in the middle of the night, half asleep. I was tossing and turning worrying about not just my business, but my two-and-a-half-year-old who had come down with the flu.

All of this stress just made me want to go cuddle with my little guy, but my loveably practical husband pointed out what a horrible idea it would be to wake up the sick child we had finally gotten to sleep.

Instead, we stayed up talking about the things that were weighing me down: the stresses of running a business, the pressure of being a mom, and my feeling that I was sacrificing effort on the second role to succeed at the first. Like any good husband (men, take note) he reassured me that I was a great mom and I was being too hard on myself. And during this conversation, something clicked.

Are you feeling all the pressure to “make it” for your kids?

The difference between entrepreneurs who make it and those who don’t is not what they do, but why they do it. 

Any good parent wants to make a good life for their kids but making them the “why” of your business is a well-meaning but misguided mistake.

Now, before you call me a heartless monster, let me explain. 

It’s not really a well-kept secret: kids cost money. A lot of it, actually. If your kids are your top driving factor in your business, you will begin to make your business decisions based entirely on what will make you the most money because money translates to stability for your kids. You will eventually come to realize that there are easier ways to make the money it takes to keep them alive and happy. And those ways come with a lot more flexibility to be there at your children’s every beck and call, but chances are slim that they would fulfill your passion or light a fire inside of you. You would be doing a job, not running a business.

Every parent wants to be someone their children are proud of. But your two-year-old doesn’t care if you made $10,000 this month. He cares if you read him “Cat in the Hat” for the sixth time this week. The best thing you can do for your kids as an entrepreneur is to show by example how to follow your dreams and never give up!

Why I stopped making my son my why…

When I made my son my why, I spent a lot of time stressing out trying to become “financially secure” enough to take the time I wanted to spend with my son and to provide the kind of life I thought he needed. But no matter how much progress I made, it felt like I would never get there. And with every month that passed, I felt more and more guilty.

But here’s the truth: your kids should be a part of your “why”. But they can’t be your only priority. Though a valiant purpose, centering your business decisions on your children will eventually lead you off course. Your “why” needs to be found within yourself, not in others – even if those “others” share your DNA.

So where should you find your “why”?

Entrepreneurs who succeed have an impenetrable connection with a purpose bigger than themselves or their families. They find their purpose in that sweet spot where passion and ability intersect to create a positive and recognizable change in the world. That is what will carry you through the ups and downs of your business, even while nursing a toddler back to health or losing track of how many Dr. Seuss books you’ve read in a day.

Need help connecting (or re-connecting) with your why?

We all have blinders on when it comes to nailing down, and articulating our purpose. Do you need a hand figuring out yours?

Each week I offer 5 totally free (no-pitch) strategy session to my community, and I would love for you to book one of these sessions to help you find deeper “why” and co-create an effective marketing strategy to help you relentlessly pursue it.

If this sounds like exactly the boost you need, check here to see if any spots are currently open.

Sincerely,

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