In our consumption filled, instant gratification world, more is always available at the next click or swipe. Consider that more is the enemy of enough.
The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, who advocated a simple lifestyle, said: “He who is not satisfied with a little is satisfied with nothing.”
If you are reading this article, congratulations, you have made it! You are not starving. You have a roof over your head. Sure, you probably have had times in your life that were both better – and worse – than they are now. Regardless, is it totally unreasonable to say that you are just fine? By ‘fine’ I mean you have all the basics needed to survive. Survival is handled. The question then becomes, how much more are you striving for, and the correlate, how much is enough?
Studies around the world have stated that, beyond a basic level, more money does not increase well-being. In the United States, the cutoff is said to be about $75,000. If you live in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, or New York—the cutoff is clearly more (even where I live in Denver has gotten pretty expensive).
Would it be unfair to say that there is some number, between $75,000 and $150,000, that more than covers our needs? That anything beyond that is not making us any happier?
Look, in full disclosure, I like nice stuff. I love nice clothes, nice shoes, and driving a new car every two years. I love traveling. I love staying in nice hotels. I love taking my kids skiing, and taking them on trips. All of those things cost money. But at some point, what is making me happier? Another $1,000 for the newest smartphone? Another brand name pair of jeans? Another pair of fancy sneakers? Probably not.
If I am being honest, as much as I like nice things, I have the most joy and fulfillment when I am spending time with the awesome people in my life. For the past 15 years it has been with my children and my family (parents, siblings, cousins). Hands down. There isn’t even a close second.
Which brings me back to the question, how much is enough? What is the rush, what is the pull for more? More results, more money, more, more, more. There will always be more. We can always sell more homes. We can always make more money. When is enough . . . enough?
The answer could be when you realize that you have everything you need – right now. If you stopped and looked, you might see it. Instead, what many of us do is focus on all the things we don’t have – or at least don’t have yet. So we often end up making our business and our life about going out to get more of the things we don’t have. It becomes a constant chase.
Instead of chasing, I had a process and a routine. Sometime during the 15+ years I spent knocking on doors 150 days/year, I realized that the general pull of this business is the chase of ‘more.’ More leads, more appointments, more deals. Agents working 24/7, not taking time off, being frenetic and all the other things that come from always being on-duty.
For me, figuring out the main driver of my business, committing to it, scheduling it, and then doing it consistently, left me with a life of ‘enough.’ By the way, just because I can be okay with what I have doesn’t mean I stop striving!
I built consistency in my daily actions, which gave me a consistent and stable business. I didn’t need to chase and hunt down leads. I simply had to do my most important action: knock on doors.
While I am not suggesting that you knock on doors, I am inviting you to look at how you operate in your business. If it is always a fire drill, if your days are often chaotic and un-scheduled, if you feel you need to do every deal and chase down more… well, then make sure you listen to this podcast episode! And/or check out more in my book, Doors Open When You Knock: A Realtor’s Handbook for Boundless Opportunity & Freedom.