When did it turn to this?
When did gaining Instagram followers, being invited to fancy events and making 6 figures a year become more important than doing the work, inspiring people, following your purpose?
I was so fired up when I first came to London. I knew this was the right place to make the connections I needed to take my business to the next level and get my foot in the door of the publishing business.
Who cared if I were broken, alone and had no idea what I was doing? I was living the dream. Doing the work I was meant to do.
Until I took a wrong turn. Or two. Or three.
I’m not even sure how it happened. I was going out and meeting people, networking and spreading my word about my business but it always came to nothing. Everyone loved my work but… “you just don’t have enough followers on social media, honey.”
I started spending hours on Instagram trying to grow, wondering if those cheaters who bought fake followers had the right idea after all.
I didn’t get that many new followers. But I almost got depression, that old friend that’s been with me on and off for most of my life.
I thought I had left it behind it in Italy, but being bombarded with images of women prettier than me, making more money than me, wearing more expensive clothes than me, going on more holidays than me just made me feel like a loser.
Deep down I knew the images were fakes but I still felt bad about myself. Everyone seemed to have what I desperately wanted and it came so easy to them.
And so it started. I began to chase the followers, the fame, the money.
If only I gained more followers, I could get that gig. If only I were more famous, I could hang out with the cool influencers crowd. If only I made more money, I could buy all the trappings of success that told the world I had made it.
Made it. But… according to whom?
Followers, fame and money had never been my definition of success. Following your dreams, doing the work you were sent on this earth to do and living life on my own terms is. And I wasn’t doing any of that.
When had I decided that the designer bags, the thousands of followers and the exotic holidays – all the trappings of success – had become more important than the work itself?
The work that I was now neglecting to chase something I had never wanted in the first place.
All I ever truly wanted was to write. Inspire people. Do my bit to make this world a better place.
Sure, if my work brings me money and Gianvito Rossi shoes, I won’t complain. But I don’t want all that stuff if it means I can’t focus on my work.
Here’s the deal: the work must come first.
If you focus on your work, you’ll eventually have a successful business, make a lot of money and be known in your industry. But if you focus on getting money and fame, the work won’t be good and you won’t go anywhere.
The work, the art, it must always come first.
When I began to put the work first, everything changed.
My tribe started growing. I became known in my niche. And I had started making more money than I had seen before in my life.
I became a better daughter. A better girlfriend. A better friend.
I became lighter. Happier. Life became easier now I was in alignment with my passion and purpose.
Most importantly, I get to do the work I always dreamt of doing.
So next time you feel like a failure, ask yourself: “Whose dream am I chasing?”
Get clear on what YOUR dream is. Ditch the distractions. Focus relentlessly, day in and day out, on bringing your work to life. The money, fame or whatever it is you dream about will follow.
It was never a choice between doing your soul work or making money. It was ever about doing the work you’re meant to do.
That’s the secret to real success.