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Is Contentment for Everyone?

I don’t know that I’ll ever be content.

And that’s ok.

The past several months I’ve struggled to REALLY start the journey of Kelly Bay, Inc as a coaching and consulting practice. What should have been a natural and easy progression of doing what I love and putting my passion out into the world to serve others just… wasn’t.

I’ve spent the past month doing some deep inner work {thanks Coach Lex!} and among the negative self-talk and fear I uncovered a simple question: “Why can’t I just be content?”

That question became the root of why I was stuck. Why can’t I just be content in my career? I have a thriving massage therapy practice with clients that I adore. I work alongside an amazing team in a bustling chiropractic clinic. I set my own hours and have So. Much. Freedom. I enjoy a work life balance that most people only dream of and I know just how lucky I am.

To want more, or to want anything else quite honestly felt a bit…selfish.

And yet...

I’m an alumni of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program. Last October, I was asked to lead the alumni meeting and presented Sell Your Story, a course I created to help small business owners connect with their audiences in a deep and meaningful way. This connection builds brand recognition, customer loyalty, and ultimately increases profitability. The course has been sitting on my computer for over a year. I planned the presentation as a one off, something I would smash between massage sessions and set aside to maybe do something with someday.

And yet...

I signed off of that meeting with an energy and exhilaration I haven’t felt since closing my first business during COVID. Scratch that. An energy and exhilaration that I haven’t ALLOWED myself to feel since closing my first business during COVID.

I survived that closure, climbed out of the financial hole it left, and returned to entrepreneurship after taking a position in state government that nearly destroyed me mentally and emotionally. I survived a FREAKING pandemic + mental / emotional breakdown and came through to the other side better than ever. I should be content with that. More than content. I should be endlessly grateful and never ask for another thing again in this life.

And yet...

As I prepared to leave the house that morning to head to my massage studio, the answer came to me. I can’t be content because I have so much more to create, so many more ideas to bring to life. I can’t be content because bringing these ideas from concept to reality, and helping others do the same, lights my very soul on fire.

We live in a 100+ year old house.

In the past several months I designed a full bathroom remodel, painted all of the exterior trim, refinished the hardwood floors in my home office, and painted the entire interior. Every time I think I’m “done” I look around and see another design opportunity and get so damn excited about the possibilities that I can barely sleep at night.

It was a beautiful house when we purchased it 13 years ago. But it’s becoming an absolutely stunning home with each new project. I don’t feel selfish for dreaming up another home improvement project, envisioning what each space will look like once completed, and diving in to do the work. Every completed space brings me great joy and every unfinished space is an invitation to imagine, dream, and inspire creativity.

As I reflect on my career, what it’s been, what it is, and what it can be, every completed stage brings me great joy, and every future possibility is an invitation to imagine, dream, and inspire creativity. Sell Your Story, the one off presentation that started this intense self reflection, will soon be an online course that will benefit thousands of entrepreneurs. It’s just the start of a full curriculum to help others realize their own small business dreams.

I don’t think I’ll ever be content, at home or in my career.

At least not in the sense that it feels like a good point to stop, to settle in and call it good. But I CAN find contentment in that self knowledge, the realization that my soul craves constant motion. And far from being selfish, having the courage to forge that path, share it with others, and encourage them to seek their own truth is the most selfless thing I can do.

Kelly Bay is a speaker, author, coach and serial entrepreneur. She resides in rural Iowa with her husband and three kids. In her spare time, Bay enjoys not cleaning her house and showing unwilling participants photos of her two dogs.

You can find her first book here:

<---- Some call it chaos, I call it progress.

Home Office Redux, design credit: Bleu Owl Designs.

Also, that time my dog ate a stolen bottle of ketchup on my new rug and left her golden retriever brother to clean it up. Asshat. Good things she's cute.

Coming in March! Sell Your Story, a workshop designed to harness the selling power of your small business story. Click blow to join the waitlist today!

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