Can you live a divinely-inspired life, connect to your calling, be an entrepreneur, and still make money?
That question has been buzzing in my head lately (see Part One in this series, “Do Well By Doing Good”) and from what I can gather from those of you who are writing to me, talking to me at my public speaking events, and posting in Owning Pink comments, itís on your mind too.
Many of us are jaded and disillusioned from the corporate world, so weíve left behind boardrooms, hospitals, courts, classrooms, and other systems where†we went to practice our art and found ourselves lost. After leaving the systems that conspire to dim our lights, we often find ourselves faced with uncomfortable choices as we align with our Inner Pilot Lights. We may desire the comfort, stability, ability to be generous with others, and little (or big) luxuries that accompany a lucrative paycheck. But many of us are simply done selling our souls for the privilege of that stable income.
So weíve ditched the cubicles in exchange for entrepreneurial lives. But many of the female entrepreneurs Iíve met along the way feel frustrated. What motivated us to start our own businesses is a genuine desire to change the world — whether weíre teaching people to eat more nutritious foods, building bathrooms that help keep the elderly out of nursing homes, or selling art meant to bring beauty into someoneís life. And this is a good thing. Serving the world is natural for women.
But hereís the rub. Many of those same entrepreneurs cannot pay the bills.
As women, we are rarely profit-driven. We are much more likely to be mission-driven. And this is a good thing — to a point.
How Much Is One Transformed Life Worth?
The problem comes when weíre so busy serving our mission that we forget to sustain ourselves, our families, and our businesses. This is largely a female†thing. Dudes donít do this. They draw up business plans, look at bottom lines, and bail when things donít pay the bills, even if the unprofitable service theyíre†offering is good for the world.
This has been coming up for me lately in my struggle to promote my new Get Out Of Your Own Way e-course in a way that aligns with my Inner
Pilot Light while also being wildly profitable. (Read about my struggle and join the lively conversation about authentic marketing and how we all hate those cheesy sales letters, here.)
In a three way conversation between me, Owning Pink marketing director Melanie, and Angela, the marketing consultant we hired to help us skyrocket to the stratosphere, Angela was running the numbers and suggesting we make a few changes to increase profitability. And Melanie, in defense of what we had created already, said, ďIf we sell just one e-course and change just one life, isnít it worth it?Ē
I found myself agreeing with her internally. RAH RAH! Yes! If we change just one life, the whole thing will have been worth it. WOOT! Letís change a life! WHEEE!!!
But then I caught myself.
No. If we sell just one e-course, I will have spent half of this year and tens of thousands of dollars creating a product that only sold to one person.
Thatís just not okay.
While it warms my heart to know that I changed a life, Owning Pink is a business, and as such, it needs to make money.
Iíve recently become aware of my tendency to tie my own value to how much I help other people. Iím a doctor, after all. Itís what calls us to medicine in the first†place — we want to help people heal.
But we also must make a living.
When I was practicing medicine, my money issues didnít rear their ugly faces as obviously as they do now. People paid their insurance companies, not me, so I†didnít have a problem accepting money for my services (especially when I did the math and figured out the paltry hourly salary I was actually getting paid by†managed care).
But now, when Iím offering life-changing coaching, transformative e-courses, and public speaking events that revolutionize how people feel about themselves and their lives, I feel conflicted. I want to help people (plus, pathologically, I want to feel needed). So what if they canít afford to pay me what Iím worth, when I know I can help them?
If I can change just one life, should I do it?
You’ve Gotta Draw The Line
No. Iím not here on this earth to deplete myself, my savings account, and my familyís well-being in order to help other people. Itís not my job to fix anyone (plus,†fixing implies that someone is broken — and nobody is ever broken).
I believe we can be Heartpreneurs — entrepreneurs who do well by doing good, who run Pink heart-centered businesses, who change the lives of others in a†positive way, and who rake in the moolah in the process — because weíre worth it, and those of us who are changing the world for the better deserve to get reimbursed for our good work.
That doesnít mean our businesses canít do charitable things. You can still give to those in need. But you must provide for yourself and your business first. Bill Gates can give away millions because he earned billions. When you let your business thrive first, you can help even more people in the long run. At least thatís what I believe.
So I resolve to:
- Charge what Iím worth
- Resist the urge to ďfixĒ those who havenít even asked for my help
- Look seriously at the bottom line and make sure my business is profitable
- Realize that my money issues stem from my childhood and are limiting beliefs that no longer serve me
- Release all limiting beliefs that are holding me back
- Figure out what Pink Business means so I can teach all of you how to be Heartpreneurs as I learn
- Get out of my own way so I can help you get out of yours, so together, we can change the world
Are you in? Start by signing up for this free e-course. Then tell me whatís up for you. Do you have money issues? Do you have an obsessive need to help†others at the expense of your bottom line? Have you figured out how to be a Heartpreneur?
Letís brainstorm on how we can keep the love and still grow profitable businessesÖ
*††† *††† *††† *
Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.com, Pink Medicine Woman coach, motivational speaker, and author of†Whatís Up Down There? Questions Youíd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.
Learn more about Lissa Rankin here.