How you’re falling prey to a 6-figure-business-syndrome by Kat Kuczynska
The rise in entrepreneurship in the modern world is nothing short of a miracle.
If you have Internet access and an idea other people want to a piece of, you can make money in a way that our grandparents or even our parents couldn’t even fathom. It was so far beyond any of their realities that it didn’t even feature in their dreams. That’s worth thinking about when we’re cursing to ourselves and snapping at our partners because our Wi-Fi is running slow, and we can’t upload the latest blog onto our websites or some other annoying tech issue that’s screwing up with our ideal day behind the laptop.
It’s no wonder you waved goodbye to your annoying boss and mundane 9-5 job and started your online business. You started this adventure fuelled by the dreams of changing the world for the better and improving your life, your family members’ lives, and the wellbeing of your bank account. Within weeks of arriving fresh-faced, smiling, and full of hope into the online world, you inevitably realise that this online business is actually going to require a lot of effort and that it’s not going to be as easy as your rosy vision might have led you to believe.
Your offer you worked so hard on got a ‘Meh’ reception and hardly any sales, the blog you wrote and thought was genius got one like, and that Go Live button might just be Lucifer incarnated because you’re not going to go anywhere near it. Running your business brings you face to face with failures of different magnitudes so inevitably, the doubts start to creep in. Especially since you can see every day other businesses seemingly smashing it and bragging about their incomes.
This is where you meet what I call the 6-figure-business-syndrome – and this beast definitely dampens down your initially high-spirited self.
We suck at getting dragged into the shiny 6-figure-business-syndrome. Or 7 or maybe even 8-figure. Let’s stick to 6-figures for the ease of it. What is a 6-figure-business-syndrome?
-It’s the automatic assumption that reaching it would finally kick in your internal thermostat of success.
-It’s the immediate ping of guilt – or maybe even shame – if you haven’t got there yet.
-It’s the mental lifting of any business owner achieving it onto a pedestal.
I would bet the Earth’s last ever slice of tiramisu that the above either still happens or used to happen to you. And I love tiramisu more than any Italian you might know, so this is just how confident I am about this. Social media has this both incredibly powerful and terrifying thing about it – you think you must be the only person on the planet weird enough to eat the jam and butter toast upside down so that all the flavour goes straight for the taste buds instead of hanging around in the culinary wasteland that is the roof of your mouth.
With a quick online search, you can find a community of jam and butter toast weirdos just like you! This is a two-sided coin though – just as it’s easy to find people you have something in common with, it’s also as easy to spot hundreds of seemingly ridiculously successful entrepreneurs and spend the rest of your day comparing yourself to what you think they achieved.
Have you noticed the explosion of entrepreneurs making 6-figure years in recent years? It creeps up in sales pages, social media posts, and podcast interviews… it’s everywhere. But do you know what is missing from 99.97% of these claims?
6-figure what… Revenue? Turnover? Profit? Money in the bank? Or maybe credit card limits? When we’re talking numbers, details make all the difference. And nobody talks about the details, so let me start off this much-needed and missing conversation.
In my property businesses, I reached 6-figure revenue in the first year of running them. Go me…The details missing from this Instagramable success story are as follows:
– My profit was a sad, desolate column on a spreadsheet with tumbleweeds blowing through and spider webs hanging of it
-The only money I got back from these businesses in that year was a partial repayment of the director’s loans
-I frequently worked 10-12 hour days, because I was a busy entrepreneur and “too cool to have a life”
I only started paying myself a salary the year after, and it wasn’t even a salary worth bragging about. Technically, I was in this rare entrepreneurial crème de la crème gang, yet I was cruising towards inevitable burnout, disillusion, and misery. None of it felt like success. Even when I reached that elusive 6-figure threshold – NOTHING had changed. I still had the same love handles spilling out of my jeans, the same internal gremlins and their incessant taunting, and my mum was still occasionally asking me when I was going to get a “proper job.”
Today, that business is an asset which allows me to live a life that I control and adore, so it was all worth it. But I do wonder if I could have achieved it without all the hustle and sacrifice. The reason I’m telling you this is so you can see how easy it would be to hide all these inconvenient little details and just focus on the shiny 6-figures, on how awesome I apparently was. Yet, wherever you look, the entrepreneurial financial results have become the main marketing tool flooding the Internet – perhaps unsurprisingly, the cost of achieving it is buried under the glitz.
This is not to bash people who you look up to and who use 6-figures in their marketing. It’s something they’ve seen somewhere and adopted for themselves and then it was seen by someone else and on and on until the whole entrepreneurial scene burst at the seams with “I’ve made 6-figures in 9 months whilst working 2 hours a day” posts. You might have even bought a course or decided to work with someone because of these claims. And heck, who doesn’t want a 6, 7, or 8-figure business? Who doesn’t want assurance that we’re on the right track and that quitting our corporate career was a good move?
I get it. We’ve all been there.
This is a mere reminder that there’s an equivalent of 6 seasons of Game of Thrones drama that unfolded behind these figures and without seeing every episode, it’s nearly impossible to judge whether what this person achieved is something you should also aspire to. I also must point out that some businesses are by nature “high turnover” – meaning they look like they make a lot on the outside. They bring tonnes of money in sales, but their costs are way higher than an average business and they often report losses, or their actual profit is just not that high. There’re so many stories of business owners building these companies that eat away their time, will to live, and any money they and their family have ever made!
Yet, we compare ourselves incessantly to others. If you’re brutally honest with yourself, how often do you let money be the thermostat of your success? It would be hard for me to ever catch you saying you started your business to make 6-figures. I imagine you would say you started because you had a passion for knitting, interior design, or animal photography and you wanted to create a lifestyle that you dream of.
Why not make that lifestyle a thermostat of your success? Why not make the lives you impact a thermostat of your success? You might think that I’m against focussing on money, but you would be wrong. I’m all about the money. But only as a steppingstone to what I want, which is freedom.
Let me explain. Your laser focus on money and figures is almost like going on holiday to Venice but obsessing over getting on the plane that will take you there. You only want to get on that plane as far as it’s taking you to Venice to enjoy the stunning architecture, the delicious food, wine, and copious amounts of gelato you’re planning to devour. Money is important, but only as a steppingstone to the life that you want on the other end.
So, the next question is: do you know what that life looks like? And more importantly, do you know what your dream lifestyle will cost?
Whether it’s private school for your kids, regular holidays to exotic countries to top up that all-important vitamin D production, or weekly spa visits, they all have a price tag, and I can promise you that the cumulative price tag on what you truly want for you and your family is not necessarily going to be paid for by having this illusive 6-figure business. Once you make money, saving isn’t going to give you the freedom you’re doing all of this for. Most of what you want can be sponsored by investing in smart assets: some property investments, stocks & shares, and even your own business. These can all make 3, 4, or even 5-figure income landing in your bank account every month without much effort on your part. Investing in smart assets means putting your money or your time into this venture at the beginning and reaping the benefits after. If you want to build stacks of cash in your bank account, go chase after that 6 or 7-figure business, but if you want to create true freedom in your life, assets are your only sustainable way of becoming – and staying free – forever.
Go and get them. I’m rooting for you.
About The Author
Business & Money Strategist & Founder of Lazy Profit Lab
Kat helps multi-passionate & ambitious female entrepreneurs build unshakable business, unscrewable wealth and unf*ckablewith mind to create more freedom, time and impact in their world. She brings over 10 years of experience investing in property, stock markets and running multiple property businesses together with a powerful combination of RTT, coaching and energy work, as well as implementing proven and time tested effective business & money strategies. It’s all there to give her clients the freedom to live, work and make memories with their families on their own terms whilst building a lasting business and a legacy for generations to come.