Did you always dream of being your own boss? Of avoiding the corporate politics and day to day grind of ‘working for the man’? Or did you just fall into it, as part of a neglected ‘succession plan’ perhaps?
If you’ve never asked yourself the question, ‘why am I in business’, then its high time you did! Because the days of working our butts off from the age of 18 to the day that we retire are over. I know I sure don’t want to do that!
Our businesses often define us. They say running your own business is like having another child. Your friends ask how little Johnny is, and baby Millie, closely followed by ‘how’s business’? And business can keep us awake at night, just like having a teenager out at her first late night party can do the same.
Have you asked yourself why you’re in business lately?
Supporting Your Goals
Most people aren’t in business for the sake of being in business. Yes, many of us do derive meaning from delivering something of value through our work. But there’s many other aspects of life that our business should be able to support as well.
Done right, a business should support your life goals. That might be the flexibility to have more family time, or to travel, or to indulge that passion you’ve always had. Its about having the financial freedom, the freedom to make the life choices that you want to make.
Is your business supporting your goals? Is it helping you to live the dream?
Living The Dream
You know where your business is at. Its operating efficiently, its generating the cashflow you need, and its doing it without the worry of not knowing. That’s right, you know exactly where you’re at financially, and you know the direction that you’re heading in.
You’re working, sure. But that’s because you want to, or because at this stage you’re developing as both a business AND a person and building to something greater. But the business is not controlling you and stripping you of your time, your sleep and your life. Its helping you to do the things that bring meaning and value to your life.
To me, this is living the dream.
Defining Your Goals and Dreams
Its often said that if you don’t know your destination, then how will you know when you get there? In terms of goal setting, that’s absolutely right, that’s why we have a business strategy, targets and budgets.
But when it comes to your dreams, these should be part of an on-going journey. Sure you can define them, but that’s more so that you can build them into your day to day. Unlike goals, dreams shouldn’t be so specific, such as make a certain amount of money or be the best at what I do. Because you don’t want to be that tennis player that achieves a lifelong dream to be ranked World No 1, and then the following week is empty because ‘what’s next’?
So, I ask again, why are you in business? Is it helping you to live your dreams?