Anna had a passion for books and food. She combined these and set up a café by a beach in Goa. It was a unique and cozy place where patrons could order food and spend time reading books from her collection. It was a favourite with locals and tourists alike. The entire place was personally decorated by her and reflected her personality.
During lean hours, Anna could always be seen immersed in a book in her favourite corner of the café. Running the café gave her a sense of contentment and achievement at the same time. She could do what she loved the most and it provided for a comfortable life.
As the word got around, some people started seeing potential in the business model. A bunch of consultants approached her with expansion proposals and some bankers dropped in to offer lucrative funding offers. Each one packaged a super growth story in their sales pitch. Anna’s peaceful life was disrupted with having to figure the best options to grow her café business. As she met more and more people, she was filled with self-doubt and apprehension. Suddenly she started feeling she was not doing enough, she was not successful enough, if she didn’t multiply her café business into a chain she would be a failure. The frenzy of meeting consultants, investors, potential partners, etc consumed her.
After one such hectic day, she longed to sit in her favourite corner. As she sipped her coffee and took some time to reflect, she realised that she was now trying to achieve someone else’s dream. The growth story, the multiplied turnover was all great – but it was not what she set out to accomplish when she started her cafe.
How would you finish this story?
Should Anna ride the great growth story and strive to expand her business?
At what stage will she then find the same sense of contentment that she enjoyed earlier?
Is it ok to not want super growth?
Your opinion is a reflection of your world-view and definition of happiness. There is no right or wrong answer – as long as it fulfils your sense of purpose and gives you a reason to jump out of bed each morning!
Life is about finding your Ikigai.