Nobody starts their business with the thought of:
“ I am going to spend the best years of my life, managing employees, creating business plans, attending meetings, making phone calls, managing finances, stressing about growth, and raising capital. I am going to do all this work to make customers happy at the expense of my own happiness, just to make some money.”
That wasn’t my dream as a child. As a fourth grader learning how to draw 3D objects in art class, I was drawing buildings with a marquee of Wise Enterprises Inc in a make shift office under my grandfathers drafting table. Nobody tells us the tremendous sacrifices in store for us on the journey of entrepreneurship. Owning a business is not just a 40-60 hour a week activity, it is a 24/7 full scale occupation of your mind that unfortunately causes us to miss some of the best moments of our life.
Business owners are often missing out on the things that matter most in their personal life. We struggle to find the time for a fraction of the things we want or need to do. The concept of work life balance seems an impossible goal, and even when forced it fails to satisfy. The sacrifices of business ownership often hit where it matters most:
- Loving relationships
- Quality time with family
- Social engagements with friends
- Holidays and Vacations
- Personal health and well-being
The biggest risk business owners face is deferring their desired lifestyle to a future point in time that may never come.
When we define success solely in business terms like sales, growth and profit, we set ourselves up for ultimate failure. The fact is entrepreneurs should put the same hard work, creativity, and innovation into our personal life and not just our business. They need to design a holistic model for their life, not in the divisive isolation of business and personal compartments we have become accustomed. The goal is to design the life you want, and have your business fund it. The first work I do with entrepreneur clients is not focused on their business model, it is identifying what is missing from their personal life and how solving their business challenges can achieve it for them. It seems simple, but the same F-words come up as obstacles every time: Fear, Finances, and Focus.
Is this you? Ask yourself the hard questions..
- Have you missed a special moment with your kids while taking a work call?
- How many times have you worked while on vacation?
- What hobbies do you enjoy with friends outside of your business environment?
- Are you able to contribute enough time to your Church, Community, or those in need?