The Pursuit of Happiness

I have some big news for all you money led entrepreneurs out there. I love money – it’s very handy, lets me do all the things I like to do. But here’s the thing – it won’t make you happy.

Business success won’t make you happy. Falling in love won’t make you happy.  Having children won’t make you happy.  I know because I did all of that and I still wasn’t happy. Seriously, I was at the polar opposite of that.

And here’s the thing; you need to get happy FIRST and then your entrepreneurial journey will be a whole lot easier.

I used to live lived by the ‘when’ principle. When I have this house, when the kids are older, when I have this car, when I earn this much, when I see this part of the world.  But then I got to the when and there was a momentary uplift whilst thinking  ‘I am STILL not happy’.  It was a relentless pursuit of ‘things’ and ‘experience’ but they would not give me the happiness I was so desperate for.

I landed on the island of Baros after flying my then husband to a place that had been my idea of perfection for years.  It was a £10k holiday, which to me in 2006 was a lot of money.  And after a day in what was truly paradise I realised that something had to change. Because I had achieved these great big goals, kids were doing great, I was married, business was doing okay and here I was in paradise as unhappy as I would have been after a bad day at work. If that holiday couldn’t make me happy nothing could.

In 2011 I finally left my husband, I walked out on a consultancy when the share deal I’d been faithfully promised was reneged on, was facing the toughest year for me in business in a long time.  I kept getting repeatedly ill, I wasn’t sleeping, I was drinking too much, and I’d started smoking again.  So I got help. Proper psychological, dig out all the crap from your past, deal with it, sort your head out, skilled expert proper help.  It took 18 months.  But change started to happen straight away.  There was no way I would have achieved the super success in the last couple of years particularly if I hadn’t dealt with my deep unhappiness.

There was really big stuff to deal with, my avoidant attitude, my real aversion to conflicts, and my inability to ask when I needed something but voraciously defending others in need, my lack of self-belief etc, etc.  Those of you reading this now will think WTF????  This is not the Kate we see before us?

Exactly.

Don’t get me wrong – I had achieved A LOT. But I was making lots of mistakes, giving myself a very hard time, experiencing lots of lows to reach the highs and really intrinsically pretty dark about a lot of stuff.  Nothing I had achieved was ever good enough.

I even had the very warped perspective that I needed this kind of angst to drive me. To be pursued by my demons to wealth.  But that was not true.  I achieved what I did before then DESPITE my feelings towards myself. Not motivated by them.

I achieved what I have now because those feelings have changed. Dramatically.

Every excellent sports team has a team psychologist – Dr. Steve Peters for British Cycling is a very good example. You need to sort your head out as an absolute priority because if you don’t your success will be transitory or might not even happen.  Worse still, if despite the odds, you achieve what you want – YOU STILL WON’T BE HAPPY.  What is achievement without happiness?  What is success without happiness? What is wealth without happiness?

And a psychologist I am not.  I have actually trained in NLP and Clinical Hypnotherapy and have worked with private clients on some pretty ground-breaking stuff. But this is not the intention of this site.  If anything I have just said resonates with you go and invest in some proper one-on-one time to personally sort your head out.  It will be the best money you have ever spent.

Are you happy in yourself right now?

If not, move away from this computer, look up a good shrink and start the process of once and for all getting your head sorted. This will be the BEST investment you will ever make and without this you will be building your life on shaky foundations.

Take care xx

Author: Kate Lester