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, it’s on your mind too.
Many of us are jaded and disillusioned from the corporate world, so we’ve 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 we’ve ditched the cubicles in exchange for entrepreneurial lives. But many of the female entrepreneurs I’ve met along the way feel frustrated. What motivated us to start our own businesses is a genuine desire to change the world — whether we’re 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 someone’s life. And this is a good thing. Serving the world is natural for women.
But here’s 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 we’re so busy serving our mission that we forget to sustain ourselves, our families, and our businesses. This is largely a female thing. Dudes don’t do this. They draw up business plans, look at bottom lines, and bail when things don’t pay the bills, even if the unprofitable service they’re 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, “If we sell just one e-course and change just one life, isn’t it worth it?”
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! Let’s 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.
That’s 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.
I’ve recently become aware of my tendency to tie my own value to how much I help other people. I’m a doctor, after all. It’s 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 didn’t rear their ugly faces as obviously as they do now. People paid their insurance companies, not me, so I didn’t 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 I’m 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 can’t afford to pay me what I’m 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. I’m not here on this earth to deplete myself, my savings account, and my family’s well-being in order to help other people. It’s 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 we’re worth it, and those of us who are changing the world for the better deserve to get reimbursed for our good work.
That doesn’t mean our businesses can’t 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 that’s what I believe.
So I resolve to:
- Charge what I’m worth
- Resist the urge to “fix” those who haven’t 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 what’s 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?
Let’s brainstorm on how we can keep the love and still grow profitable businesses…
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Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.com, Pink Medicine Woman coach, motivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d 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.