Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget
A loving friend once told me that I have “champagne taste on a beer budget”. This comparison represented me perfectly, as I love champagne. Many of us find ourselves with high goals in life, and not always having the resources to back them up. It comes out in our personal lives as well as in our professional lives. In thinking through this topic, I’ve come up with some important advice to self.
Advice to Self:
I have certain taste. Most of us do. It’s part of what makes us unique and authentic. People often ask or expect that we show up in different ways than how we are wired. As much as I’ve tried to be someone else’s version of myself at different times in my life, I usually come back to center. There are defining elements that are part of my personal stamp and persona: stories in a conversation, beautiful and bright open spaces. The beach and the ocean water are part of my core. Every now and then to keep going, I need to get back to what connects me to that. Sometimes it comes out as champagne taste, but it’s priceless to me finding center. Call it your stamp of authenticity. Find a way to have your stamp or style, without breaking the bank or putting your finances in danger. In other words, invest in that one thing that has true meaning, rather than spreading your resources around to things that won’t matter in a year.
In our professional lives, it’s important to be authentic too. Be true to who you are in life and in work. Don’t become another version of yourself just to match others expectations.
Focus on what you have now
Another loving friend once told me, “The grass is greener where you water it”. Sometimes when we have champagne taste, we long for what we don’t have instead of enjoying what we do have. It’s important to find that balance between focusing on where we want to be and capitalizing on what we currently have. What things are going really well for you? How can you reinvent yourself with what you have now? How can you leverage your current skills until you can afford to build more?
At work, we can get so caught up in strategic planning, business development and what’s next that we fail to wrap up the current initiatives. While advocating for additions to your budget or asking your boss for something new, make sure that you are taking care of what you have. Create the narrative of your past accomplishments and where you have added value through the past year, in order to develop buy-in for your fantastic new ideas.
Facts instead of fantasy
People who see the glass half full may have a tendency to set lofty goals or make things happen whimsically. The practice of putting ideas on paper, and then aligning research and milestones to goals has helped me be more realistic with what I am trying to accomplish. This may mean a 30-60-90 day plan; an executive summary with clear markers; or just blocking research time before you socialize your idea.
Our habits are great indicators of future success. Is there a dream, vision or want that we chase that keeps leading us down the wrong avenue? Success always leaves clues. Take the time to do an ounce of research with a sprinkle of fact-finding, and then feel free to dream away. Cheers!