Posted on June 21 in Entrepreneurship

Reaching Your Top: whether an entrepreneur or employee, “reaching the top” means different things to different folks

Recently I was at the launch meeting of what I believe will become a movement here in Atlanta and beyond.

The conversation started as a planning meeting for a woman-centric conference to teach financial literacy and wealth building for women. However, the more we discussed our plans, the broader our ideas became about what the conference should include.

One team member added “wealth building” — which isn’t necessarily financial or investment education, but creating multiple streams of income.

Another woman added personal safety and physical empowerment; another, meditation, because she rightly said, “women never give themselves time to pause”—and what are we missing because of that?

My contribution was to ask how we continue and reinforce lessons learned at the conference so new approaches are fully adopted once women get back into their daily lives, where routine can override fresh thinking.

One thing became clear as we discussed what needed to go into this program: all five people in the room had five very different ideas of what “being your best,” or “living your best life,” or reaching YOUR idea of what “the top,” means. And this question applies to anyone, of any gender. This infographic by, based on the 2013 Philips Work/Life Survey, clearly shows how much we craved meaning in our work lives four years ago–do you think the survey would show more or less desire in 2017?

Here are five tips to figuring out what YOUR top is:

  1. What are you driven by? Is it money? Service? Adventure? Do you demand a flexible schedule?
  2. If you’re driven by financial or titular achievement, how are you adding to your skills or meeting people to get you there?
  3. More importantly, are you chasing that dream because YOU want it? Or is it “what you’re supposed to do” or something carried over from your parents’ or another’s expectations? At some point, you need to work and achieve something because it’s what YOU want and love.
  4. If you’re driven by service, how are you adding to your service resume and what skills are you gaining while you serve so you’re sure you’re reaching your top? Are you filling a need or are there already established organizations where you can work or volunteer your time?
  5. Are there other, similar streams of work that would fit so you can share what you’re doing with others who would love it just as much? How can you create a succession plan or ‘playbook’ so others can, if they wish, do what you know how to do elsewhere, keeping your dream alive, perhaps beyond your lifetime?

When and how you reach YOUR top is a matter of prioritizing YOU and the things important to you; finding the role that fits you where you can feel “well applied;” and the willingness to learn as you earn so you reach your very best top financially, spiritually, healthfully, and emotionally.

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