What happens when you achieve what you set out to do? In this week’s episode, Anna reflects on the anti-climax of success and the sense of disappointment that can come with achieving that important milestone.
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
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Anti-climax of success
Hello there, and welcome back to what will hopefully be an interesting episode for you. It’s something that popped into my mind spontaneously. And I think it was an important insight that really taps into the bigger topic of redefining success and everything we talked about on this podcast. So I’m actually recording this just before Christmas, to set the scene for you. I’ve just published my book, outside the nine to five, if you’ve been listened to the podcast, you will have followed along with the mini series this month. So I published the paperback I’ve now by now, when you listen to this, launch the Kindle. And this is something that to be honest, I’ve wanted to do for years, because I published my book leaving the corporate nine to five back in 2018.
And this book outside the nine to five has kind of been there certainly in my head, in my mind for many years. Naively, I think I had the ambition to publish a book every year back in the day, but perhaps I can impart at least blame having children moving house pandemics, and all sorts of other things happening. And of course, everything else that is a priority in business and in life. But this really is the consolidation of, if not everything, then the most important things that I’ve learned in my own experience, since I quit my job, which now is, you know, actually coming up to 10 years ago, so 2023, when you’re listening to this, I quit my job in 2013. And the coaching business has been since sort of 2015 2016. So even that has been there for quite some time. And I’ve organically developed what I now call what you now know as the five pillars. So I’m sharing all this preamble to set the scene again, if you again, have been listening, perhaps you got my email saying that I hadn’t been very well in December. In fact, I’m going to pause the recording now. So I can cough, very poignantly. They’re going back. So I’ve not been very well the last few weeks. And it’s really nothing serious. I don’t mean to, you know, to feel sorry for myself. So apologies for even mentioning it. But just to, of course, say that I had to prioritize myself, I just didn’t have the energy, the voice, the visual appearance, and so on, that I would have needed to do a big launch shebang.
So I got lots of ideas from people as to what I could do. And I could do, I can gamify. And I can do this live and all these things. And I want to daily live and I just very sensibly chose not to do that. I was toying with doing a pre order of the paper book for January. But Amazon doesn’t do pre orders for paperback. And I really wanted to launch the paperback first. I then thought, Well, okay, I could just wait to launch until January. But for my personal satisfaction, I was very set, perhaps stubbornly. So on getting the book out in 2022. I really started it at the beginning of the year, and I wanted to finish I had finished, it was all ready to go. And so I finally landed on doing what I call a soft launch. So I pushed it live, I put it live for 599 and UK currency sort of half price it’s going to in fact, now it will have gone up to 999. I then communicated it very much behind the scenes.
So of course contacting my waiting list of superfans who very kindly signed up to that waiting list some time again, to only my community, to my Facebook group to to friends, and family, and so on. By now, of course, I will have done a bit more of a shebang, as I keep calling it. So that’s what I landed on. Now, all of that preamble to set the scene for, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, I finally published this book, you know, let’s say, three, four years after I kind of had the idea of wanting to publish it, it took me a year to write it is a huge achievement, let’s put it out there to write a book, it’s whatever, 250 pages worth of original writing from me, it’s years worth of wisdom. If I can be so bold, consolidated into this book, it’s been a complete labor of love. It is massive. And I should be, you know, on cloud nine, I should be celebrating champagne or around parties. In fact, of course, again, I should have using the word should a launch party and so on. And I hope I will have done that by the time isn’t this however, all this to say that I’m feeling. And I’m being a bit vulnerable and sharing this I’m feeling a little bit deflated. Because you work towards this goal for so long. And it’s so meaningful to you. And it’s such a big achievement. And everyone says, Wow, you’re writing a book that’s so great. And you know, let us know when it’s out and so on. And then what happens?
Well, of course, inevitably, there were some issues, there was a mistake in one of the graphics that I’d missed. And that was sort of a panicky turn around with my poor graphic designer who was just about to go on holiday, but very kindly managed to squeeze me in. There are always delays on Amazon, as those of you who have published books will know. It can take you know, they say up to I think it’s up to a week or something but certainly 2448 72 hours, whatever it is, they say generally to propagate the changes. And so if I had done a massive launch, by the way, it would not have been synchronized with lunch because it took several days to get that right. In fact, even now as I speak, some of my clients are wanting to buy it or saying oh, it says out of stock, which is very odd because it’s print on demand. So it really shouldn’t be out of stock. Kava. So, you know, the process has been a little bit Oh, stop and start, I’m not doing a big activity for it. I’m not even really doing sort of a personal celebration of it, because I’m still not so well. And it’s Christmas. And there’s other stuff going on. And I suppose there’s a bit of a sort of, I don’t want to do a song and dance about it with my friends, and so on, because it feels a bit arrogant to suppose again, being a bit vulnerable here sharing that, that feeling. So I’m feeling that anticlimax. And I joke about it, but it’s really quite poignant.
And I think it’s an important thing to recognize that you might be wishing of dreaming of longing for this thing. Maybe even working towards it. But whether you’re working towards it or not, it’s so important to ask yourself, what, how and why is this so important to you?
You know, how does it actually serve you personally professionally? How are you going to feel when you finish it? How does this then change your life essentially, for the better? And, you know, is it something you actually want to dedicate that time to now by the way, I should say, I’m not regretting this in any way, I’m so proud of myself, it’s 100% the right thing for me as a want to be right, and I’d like to second call myself an author. Now, I actually have several books on my Amazon platform. But certainly these two books I’m very proud of leaving the corporate nine to five and outside of the nine to five, and I plan to write more as well. So that’s a huge achievement for me. And yet, you know, you just don’t quite get the, I don’t know what you expect, I suppose it’s a bit like actually hitting your goal weight. So, you know, for years, I haven’t been back to, you know, whatever my weight was in my 20s, I guess most of us aren’t, I had babies, and I had to sort of let my weight creep up, I was eating quite a lot. And you know, quite healthily, but just too much and not really consistently exercising or doing exercises wasn’t making a difference. And the last couple of years, I’ve worked with nutritionists and personal trainer, I finally hit actually, three times lower, not three times lower, but three times I lowered my weight target because I kept hitting it, and then say, What does anyone else care?
Yes, a few people will say, You look slim, you look good, or whatever, which is, to some extent, a bit insulting as well, of course, because there’s an implication that you didn’t before, I feel great energy wise, and I’m glad I’ve done it. But it’s not like there’s a massive party, and you suddenly your life changes for the better. Yes, clothes fit a bit better, you feel a bit more confident. But you know, there’s still flabby bits, there’s still, you know, you still eat probably too much over Christmas, or whatever. And then you need to again, you know, tighten the belt, whatever. So, so it’s interesting that whatever that target writing a book, quitting my job, in fact, it wasn’t exactly a target. But I felt amazing. I came back from my sabbatical. And everyone said, Oh, my gosh, you must be so sad to be back. I said, Nope, because I’ve quit my job. And it felt amazing. But of course, then once you’ve left the office, everyone else is continuing to work, and then their jobs in their office and any money and you’re kind of like, what do I do now? So I had some amazing few weeks and months traveling, and so on. But ultimately, there’s sort of drudgery of the mundane, day to day comes back, and then you you are left with, right, so I’ve just given up my income. And what do I do now.
So I wanted to share sort of three insights, I guess, based on this anticlimax of achieving your goals. Now, the first one is, you have to be careful when you choose a goal you’re working towards. So of course, this is the whole and we’ve talked about this now in conjunction with the new year and so on questioning, you know, if you’re kind of just arbitrarily or very quickly, setting yourself new year’s resolutions, whatever goals, because you’ve always had them every year, you just kind of yeah, this is my goal this year is going to be the one or whatever it is trying to take some time take a step back, is that really a goal, the fact that you haven’t been, you know, working towards it, let alone achieving it the last few years probably tells you something, either that something else is more important that you don’t actually want it or you know, you don’t know how to do it, or it’s not a priority right now, you know, there are some likely reasons why you haven’t moved towards that, right. So really take the time to understand if that is your goal. And not something that you just feel you should do, or that you kind of have, in some way imagined is going to get you where you want to be, you know, we I wrote an article last year actually, that was, you know, when it’s something about when it’s not the job, that’s the issue, because I talk, of course about escaping the nine to five, and there are lots of things that are wrong with the so called nine to five and that whole rigid structure and the corporate and so on.
And the amazing news is that some of those things are beginning to critically kind of evolve. And certainly some businesses are much better at embracing flexibility and so on.
But we also shouldn’t demonize that right and quitting that job isn’t going to miraculously solve all your problems because you still have to work hard in your business. You need to know what you’re doing business model all these things that in fact, the book talks about of course, but also if you bring with you the same mindset the same over achiever, busy is important you know the sort of status symbol of being stressed and exhausted all the time, those same working habits, then you’ll be back exactly where you were possibly earning less money or even more stress because now you’ve got your own business. So it’s so important when you’re choosing a goal, that you’re choosing the right goal. Now, assuming you have a goal that yes, you think is going to be meaningful, or you know yet but is, you know, yes, I want to publish a book. Yes, I want to start a business. Yes, I want to grow to this income, whatever. Again, double click on that. The second thing is make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons. So even if you’re like, Yeah, this is 100%. What I want to do, you know, in fact, I’ve been listening to Brene browns or Gosh, I’m not sure which one it is now. I think the vulnerability series on Audible, I’ve read so many of her books, so apologies for the power of vulnerability. She talks about working towards that promotion, and be excited about how you’re going to tell people Oh, yes, what, yeah, I’m VP now. And, you know, celebrating that, and obviously, probably more income, and that’s gonna be excited about that bigger desk, or office or whatever. And then she very cynically, fast forward to divorce and not seeing your kids and stress and so on. Right, the reality of that promotion once you’ve got it.
In fact, I have. I have people, of course, I know. But so someone in particular, I’m thinking who’s done incredibly well finally got the promotion they were working towards, and that just brings more stress and the next level of promotion that you’re working towards, right. So something that society sees as an incredible achievement, something you should also be striving for. And you even think, yep, once I’ve got that, then I can relax. No, no, no, I’m afraid not. Because you’ll just be working towards the next thing. So make sure once you’ve chosen the goal, that you’re doing it for the right reasons, not for the external accolades, not just because yeah, it’s the next step that you should be following on the ladder or whatever. You know, that other people say, Oh, my gosh, that’s amazing, what an incredible opportunity, really find that intrinsic motivation, you need to feel it’s the right thing for you.
So to be honest, going back to my book, which is, of course, what triggered this, I wouldn’t have managed to write that book if I hadn’t been intrinsically motivated. Because that’s been shown throughout the year, I’ve been blocking time on Thursdays initially to create my course, outside of Business Academy, and then eventually turning that into really a book and editing that and so on. That’s a huge commitment one out of three days a week, basically, that I have to work, you know, showing up taking myself off to cafes, nobody else cares if I do it. I mean, a couple of clients very kindly asked about it, but really, it’s for me, right? And the reason why I did it, I mean, many reasons. A, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, I love to write be, I had this idea for the book, which is okay, now you’ve had, you know, been inspired to quit a job, how do you actually go about it right, there was that missing next step, after leaving the corporate nine to five, see, it has a really specific role in my ecosystem. So it’s feeding into my Business Academy course, it’s really sort of the book accompaniment companion, whatever you want to call it to the academy. It’s, you know, it’s a business card. It’s, it’s, it’s really the pinnacle, that’s a bit of a bit of an over exaggeration. summary is a bit of an under exaggeration, representation, that say, of what I’ve learned what I’ve developed my thinking, I’ve got, I think, 31 fingers in there, thanks to my amazing graphic designer who’s fancified those for me, but all my thinking, my little model.
So of course, my five pillars, my five L’s that I’ve been sharing, but also three eyes, three peas, and all sorts of things that you’ll learn about if you do read the book. But, you know, it’s, there is a specific reason why I’ve written this for my own bigger identity as a writer, because I had the idea because I have the knowledge and experience because my clients and prospects need it, because it fits into a specific step in the purchasing funnel, if you want to call it that, you know, it’s kind of a point of market entry that you can buy right now for 10 pounds, I guess, or Kindle is cheaper. And either you just buy that and you’re fine. Or that then triggers you to take the next step, which is joining the course or work with me as your coach, you know, ongoing during the accelerator, etc, etc. So all that to say that I’m intrinsically motivated, I was intrinsically motivated, because I wanted to write, in general, I wanted to write this book. And this book has a specific role to play. So I didn’t try in the end to hack the kind of Amazon algorithm, there’s all sorts of things you can get people to write your reviews for you on the first day, which I think is a bit disingenuous, you know, have a launch team, send your draft book to them in PDF before, et cetera, Cetera, I didn’t do that. Maybe I’m lazy. Maybe I’m authentic and ethical, I don’t know. But I didn’t try to do that. I’m rather looking at it as an ongoing. The hard slog is a bit of a negative way, but certainly a slow burn, let’s call it and something that will serve my prospects and clients in the long term. So number one, be careful when you choose a goal number two, really understand why you’re doing it and do it for the intrinsic motivation, not for the external accolades.
And number three, and I’m speaking to myself as much as to you as ever find ways to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, because like, I’m so grateful to everyone who said congratulations, fire emojis, clap, clap, clap. That’s incredible. I could never do that, etc. I am so so grateful and I’m not meaning to diminish those things. But you know, a few sorts of claps on Instagram or people telling You well done, Anna, is unfortunately, not quite there. I don’t know what we expect if we expect a whole auditorium of applause. And there was a discussion going on on Twitter and Instagram a few weeks ago where some poor author had been at one of these book signing things. And pretty much nobody turned up. And I’ve seen those before. I mean, I saw someone outside a bookshop and people just walking past and I felt so bad for him, especially sort of as an author myself, and but all these famous authors were sharing that that was the same thing that happened to them many times in the past, right, people come up to you and ask you for coffee, or they think that you’re someone else, you know, so I think we can’t rely on that external applause and celebration, and all those accolades, and so on. That’s the whole point about success. And it’s what we talked about, it’s what all my guests on the podcast talk about when we talk about redefining success. So you need to find ways to acknowledge yourself, celebrate your achievements, whether it’s, you know, the goatee might be to buy something, get some a massage, or something, you know, by all means, in this case, you know, have some kind of launch event or space for me to really acknowledge it. But well, maybe it’s some equipment that you buy for your business, for example, find a way to do that, and it doesn’t have to be buying something, if you’re more creative than I am, that’s even better.
You know, take some time off or, or whatever it is for you.
That is so important. Don’t wait for it’s great if you get it, but don’t wait for the applause or the adulation from your fans. And so and because it might not come and even if it does, it might feel, in fact, probably will feel never enough, right? So they go bit of a bit of a sad episode. In a way it’s the anti climax of getting everything you ever wished for. But it’s just the reality that you know, you work towards something, it’s meaningful, but then what well, you know, you’re going to climb the next mountain I’m going to write another book, I’m going to focus on another aspect of my business that’s just life and that’s it gives you meaning having these goals, meaningful goals gives you meaning as you walk towards them, work towards them, walk towards them, run towards them. So that’s really important. It’s not to say shouldn’t have goals, but just make sure that you know, you have those goals, the right goals for the right reasons, and then you celebrate acknowledge Hurray, before you then rush on to the next thing right to choose the next right goal. So I’d love to hear your insights on this one. I think it’s an important one I’d like to know. I’d like to think I’m not alone in this. So do reassure me so do message me on social or you can email me at podcast at wants to buy cider calm as well. But thank you for listening. And I’ll see you back here next week. Bye for now.
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