Why I believe in living a life less ordinary
UPDATED 6TH SEPTEMBER 2023
What does it mean to live a life less ordinary? And why am I so obsessed with this concept, especially in business? Sometimes, we all just need a little inspiration to put the fire back in our bellies — and ultimately take us exactly where we need to go.
Is it right to take risks in business?
I’ve always been drawn to excitement, and to ‘different’ because it just fundamentally makes me happier. I don’t know why that is, because I know that modern convention would have us believe that what other people do is always better and thus we follow a crowd, we try to fit in; a feeling that ‘the grass is always greener’ and all these other sayings that we've been brought up with.
But actually, fundamentally, if the chances of you being born are one in 400 trillion, then surely your existence should mimic that miracle? We should push ourselves, continuously, to make sure that our lives (and businesses) are not ordinary, but extraordinary? And if you add in that incredible fact that you are even in existence, to the amount of time you have on this planet (and after to listening to Mo Gawdat, I now have a very deep appreciation that not one minute of your day is certain, as in, tomorrow might never come, and this is utterly out of your control), it is almost a waste of life to not juice it for everything it can offer. So yes, I do believe in taking risks.
Why should female founders especially keep pushing their businesses forward?
Now, of course, the above goes for all human beings, but I am particularly passionate about championing women to live a life less ordinary and to always be brave enough to tread the path least followed. Why? Well, as we know, the woman really does influence the household and those around her. ‘She’ is the heartbeat of her circle, and so through osmosis she also impacts the wider community. It means ‘she’ can strongly guide those within her orbit, and instil and inspire purpose and values in others. If the heartbeat of the household is living a life less ordinary — and the person running the business is too — then by nature, she is inspiring those around her to do the same. She is affecting culture. She is creating the kind of change we need to see in the world.
What does ‘living less ordinary’ actually mean?
‘Living less ordinary’ really means ‘purposefully choosing to live life in a way that makes you happy’, which will often mean living or working, in part, outside the ‘norms’.
So how does this show up in day-to-day practice? Well, it can be anything from what people believe in or spend their time doing, to how we treat one another or what we choose to spend our money on. It’s also about the way we run our businesses. It’s about using our imaginations, creatively expressing ourselves and thinking freely without simply doing what is expected of us or emulating others. It’s about acting, not just reacting to what’s out there, and how exciting is that? Especially when it comes to business.
The benefits of living a life less ordinary
I feel when we live in this way, it is almost…
- A caring act
- A feminist act
- An environment protection act
- And a mental health support mechanism
We push our default thinking and bring wonder to our families. It means we can bring up the next generation in a way that helps them not become a cookie cutter version of themselves in a world guaranteed to look so different to the one that we were raised in.
Plus don’t we already give out so much more than our fair share to everybody? How about all the invisible labour that us women are shackled with, that will never really change in our lifetime, no matter how hard we move the dial? There are some basic realities for the women who are reading this article that are fact.
Giving yourself a gold star — as well as permission to fly
Just like no one gives you a gold star for the extra hours of invisible labour you are doing (FYI a recent study said this is 60% more a week on average for women than men)¹ — from the disproportionate childcare, to making sure an in-law has a birthday card or that there is milk in the fridge² — it's time to give yourself the gold star. It's time we realise that until we are championing an alternative way of living, a way that puts creativity in its broadest sense (creative thinking, creative living, creative consuming, creative jobs) at the very heart of our lives — then we aren't truly moving the dial for the women following us, or truly making our own selves happy either. And if each minute is precious, if each second counts, then surely, living a life less ordinary is the only way to live, and to do so happily?
Living a life less ordinary: key takeaways…
There are three main points to remember.
1. Remember our time here is fleeting
Make the most of every opportunity to shine in your own way.
2. Don’t be afraid to take risks
Whether it’s in life or in business, the greater the risk, the greater the reward.
3. Know that by living a life less ordinary, you will help inspire others
And there are very few things in life more rewarding than that.