One common trait among entrepreneurs is that we all want our businesses to be extraordinary, but when asked, very few can define exactly what that means. This lack of clarity is usually what’s in the way of creating the exceptional business, but more importantly, the exceptional lifestyle.
Most entrepreneurs want more customers, more sales, a larger business, or some other version of bigger, better, and faster. However, when pressed, few can explain exactly why they want those things.
My needs and desires around business have changed dramatically as I’ve accumulated experience and time has passed. Some of those discoveries were from successes, but nothing has made things more clear than a failing business. It’s during tough times that you learn most what works, doesn’t work, and more importantly, what you want out of life.
What defines an extraordinary business will be different for everyone and will likely evolve as your life changes. There is no right or wrong answer, but success and happiness will come from being clear, not only about the end goal, but also about your underlying motivations.
Today I’m offering a few questions for you to consider, and perhaps they will help you get just a bit clearer about your own priorities. Here are a few, and there are certainly more that I’d love to hear from you as well:
- Do you want more money or more freedom?
- Which is more valuable, your time or money?
- Do you want employees?
- Do you need employees to achieve the business you want?
- Do you want to be the doer in your business, or a manager of doers?
- Is the your business fame more important than net income?
- Which is more important, gross or net income?
- How do you measure your success; gross income, net income, # of employees, # of locations, # of customers, amount of free time, amount of freedom, lack of stress?
- Is your idea of business success consistent with that your family’s?
- If you no longer HAD to work for money, what would you do differently in your business?
These are tough questions because many of them are in direct conflict with each other. It’s possible to create a business and lifestyle that shares some balance of these priorities, but usually there’s sacrifice. The point is, be sure you’re consciously making that sacrifice, rather than it just happening by mistake.
Once you’ve answered these questions, ask yourself three times each day, “At this moment, am I doing something to bring me closer to an extraordinary business and lifestyle?”
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