In this blog, I’m going to help you start to go deeper and discover how you can create a business that gives you MORE energy and MORE life!
How did you feel when you woke up this morning?
Did you leap out of bed with joy and excitement—fizzing with energy about your day?
Or, did you struggle to rise from your warm slumber because you’re tired after last night when your mind was spinning about all the things you have to do?
How many times did you hit the snooze button this morning? Be honest.
BE LIKE STEVE JOBS
When you think about your career and business do you get filled with energy … or does your energy drop?
Steve Jobs used to look in the mirror each and every day and ask himself one question:
“Is what I’m planning to do today making me happy?”
If the answer was no for too many days in a row he would see it as a signal to change something.
He was so in touch with the limited amount of time he had on this earth to create something masterful he didn’t want to waste time being unhappy by creating a brand that didn’t excite him, or wasn’t in line with what mattered most to him in the world—something that reflected his core values.
Apple is now worth over $800 billion AND their products bring joy to millions of people every single second.
You are no different.
I don’t mean you’re Steve Jobs, there was only one of him and there’s only one of you.
But, you, like him, are beautifully unique.
Out of all the billions of people in the world only you have your set of skills and life experiences. They are at your disposal to create what you desire.
And, like him, you have one life. You too can create a business that serves your life by giving you energy—not taking it away.
DO YOU HAVE A BUSINESS, A JOB, OR A HOBBY?
Does it feel like you’ve created a business that reflects the best of you that functions perfectly well (and makes money) with or without you?
Or, does it feel like you’ve got a job?
What I mean by that is do you, each and every day, feel like you ‘go to work’ vs. creating a business that inspires and excites you?
The best entrepreneurs don’t have jobs, they create businesses that reflect what matters most to them and the byproduct of this is the creation of jobs, and profit (if they provide value). Everyone wins.
If you’re doing something that excites you, something that’s fun but isn’t paying your bills, then chances are you have a hobby.
These are important distinctions for you to make.
Do you feel like you have a Business, a Job, or a Hobby?
It takes a LOT of energy to create a business. It impacts EVERY area of your life. Unless you’ve tried it, you’ll never know.
So, if you’re going to use your life source, your energy, your time (because your time = your life) and make the sacrifices that come with being an entrepreneur you might as well create a business that serves your life and gives you energy … not one that becomes bigger than your life and takes it away.
Does your business give you energy or take it away?
Why did you start your business in the first place? Was it because you were brilliant at something and thought you could do it better than your previous employers?
Maybe, you wanted a different lifestyle, freedom, and choice?
Or, was it driven by your thirst for success and money, and all the shiny things that come with being an entrepreneur?
All the success in the world can’t fill the hole of fulfillment. I’ve spoken to enough successful people to know this to be true.
Your current situation, whatever it is, doesn’t stop you from pausing, slowing down, and starting to transform the business you have into a product you love—one that serves your life.
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
You only have one life so you might as well spend it doing something that is going to give you a better life. A life of fulfillment AND success.
And, remember, your version of ‘a better life’ is very, very personal. Only you can decide what that is.
You might already be there. If you’ve found a calling and just love what you do.
Does it feel as if time stands still when you’re involved in business because it comes from a heartfelt place AND it makes enough profit to serve your ideal life? If this is the case for you, congratulations—this is wonderful!
It could be that your version of a better life is to have a business that allows you to see your children in the morning. Picking them up from their warm bed and bringing them downstairs for breakfast every day. And, being there when they come home from school to eat dinner as a family, play and bath them, read bedtime books—each and every day—if this is the case for you, bravo!
You may want to create something that allows you to spend 10 weeks every year surfing the world—marvellous!
The point is your business should be a healthy expression of you that gives you a positive return on your investment of time, energy, and love—giving you MORE life by serving it powerfully.
And, it’s ok to not know how to do this, you can get support in the form a coach, consultant, there will be people out there who do this for a living so don’t worry if there’s part of you that says “that sounds great, but how the hell am I going to do it?”.
If you dare yourself to dream and find the ‘why’ behind what you want to create the ‘how’ tends to fall into place.
So, where are you right now?
Do you know what kind of life you want to live?
Or, are you taking it day by day, striving for more profit because in three years time you’ll be able to sell the business and not work so hard, and ‘then’ be able to spend more time with your children.
Consider this. All the money in the world won’t buy back the three years of their life when they wanted to see more of you. And, deep down, you wanted to see more of them, too.
FROM EMPTY SUCCESS TO FULFILLMENT
I have a story for you to help illustrate what I mean.
Not so long ago I worked with a business owner who, from the outside looking in, had it sorted. Multi-million-pound revenues, strong profits, well positioned and respected in his industry. That was the shiny exterior.
Everything looked rosy.
On the inside … he was feeling overworked, disengaged and annoyed that his business wasn’t reaching it’s potential, it felt so heavy to him—even though they were making money.
And, he left the house before his children were awake and couldn’t take time out to take them to school. He was never back before they went to bed at night. He hated that and believed it couldn’t be changed—it was just the way it was …
Because he’d kept building and building without asking the deeper questions of how this business was serving his life. Yes, it gave him more freedom of choice to buy ‘stuff’ because he was making profits, however, that isn’t the be all and end all.
What did he do?
Through slowing down and asking better questions he got clear on his values. What it was that lit him up as a person, what he really cared about, what he stood up for and believed in.
Then, he crafted a powerful vision for his life and business that used these values as building blocks AND, most importantly, if the business hit his three-year vision, he could see how it would give him both financial success and fulfilment—making him feel really good—because he would have done it in such a way that felt aligned with what matters to him in life.
Then he got people on board with his vision, people that shared his values.
He could see how, from all angles, his new business would serve his life. Materially and emotionally.
He went from having a conventionally successful business to doing deep inner work to discover what mattered most in his life—using his new awareness to transform his business into a values-driven company going towards an inspiring vision.
Where is he now?
His business is flying. His personal life has improved beyond measure AND he gets to spend quality time with his children, morning and night.
I have another client who sells printers and ink cartridges. He’s not passionate about either. But, he LOVES creating happy customers and providing excellent customer service—it lights him up. This is one of the things that drives him that’s aligned with his personal values. He gets so inspired by providing amazing customer service—it gives him energy.
So, his version of creating a business that serves his life is to build a business that’s heralded for the level of customer service they provide in a marketplace where service is non-existent—how cool is that?
His business will stand out from the crowd AND make him feel great, so, when he looks in the mirror each morning he feels like he’s doing something that’s enhancing his existence, not sucking the life out of him. And, he’ll have very healthy profits as a byproduct because people feel authentic care.
Everyone is different—what’s your version?
WHERE TO START?
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to creating a business that serves your life, that’s ok. Here are some simple questions and exercises you can play with.
What did you love to do a little child, say between the age of 5-15?
What was it you loved doing that, when you did it, it would light you up and you’d lose all track of time?
Name two experiences in your life where you felt at your absolute best.
Describe what happened, the feelings you had and what values, behaviors and attitudes you showed in order to have these wonderful experiences.
What was it that was really present inside you when these moments happened? What place were you coming from as a person?
Now, start thinking how to combine the two exercises above with your business.
How can you overlap your passions you’ve always had with your values that are present when you’re at your best with the service or product your brand provides?
How could you create a company culture that represented this—the best of you?
Don’t worry if nothing comes up straight away, sit with the question over a coffee and see what emerges.
Here’s a great example of this from a very successful entrepreneur called Chip Conley.
When he was younger, Chip loved to play restaurants at home with all the kids and friends of his parents. He would serve them imaginary drinks, food, provide excellent service role playing as a child (I smile when I read this, my children do the same). Even from a young age, he had a passion for hospitality.
He eventually took this passion and started a boutique hotel chain when he was in his early 20’s and grew it to over 50 of the most well-respected hotels of their type. Then, when this journey was complete for him, he became the head of hospitality of Airbnb. He LOVED what he did and became very rich on the inside AND the outside. Because he was totally aligned with what made him happy.
This is what I call not only a passion but a calling—you’ll have your version of this, somewhere.
EASY TO SAY BUT HAVE YOU SEEN MY INBOX?
Even if it’s buried under mountains of paperwork, an overflowing inbox, cash flow challenges and constant questions from your team—it will be there.
If you raise your level of awareness and nurture that little voice inside that has always been present when you’re at your best and energised it will emerge. That little voice is often drowned out by the hurly-burly of everyday life as an entrepreneur.
It can feel quite odd if you’ve never sat back and thought about this perspective—and that’s ok, we don’t learn this at school or from parents.
And, don’t look for perfect, or what the status quo should be, or compete with peers and other entrepreneurs. Get clear on what you want from your life and then dive deeper into creation mode and start to dream about what kind of business you’d need to create in order to serve your life.
Maybe you unearth, through some of the questions I’ve posted on this blog, a calling that you can dovetail into your business.
Or, maybe you have a passion for surfing and a business selling widgets that’s not overly inspiring to you. What if you created a beautifully systematised business that excels in courageous customer service through which allows you to take four-day weekends for 12-weeks a year to go surfing without worrying about what’s happening with the business whilst your away? And, while you’re away surfing, your business still grows.
BUSINESS IS PERSONAL
It’s a very personal choice and, most importantly, feel into what’s right for you. You’ll know when you get there—you should reach a place of energy, excitement and a healthy fear (the one that says ‘I’m scared and have no idea how to get there, yet, but I’m up for the challenge because I can see how this is going to give me MORE life)—and that’s the point.
It starts by having a vision, a dream, of what you want your ideal life to look and feel like … once you have this, it will be much easier to craft a vision for your business that is in alignment with this. This level of alignment and intentional structure can provide huge freedom because if you know where you want to go, and why, the how to do it becomes much easier.
Then, and only then, will the number of times you leap out of bed with excitement about your coming day be far more than the times you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock.
You only have one life—what kind of business do you want to choose to create so you can make the most of your time, be happier, have more energy, do what lights you up and generally have a life you can be proud of?
What would you like to create next year?
A business … a job … or, a hobby?
In your game of life, you get to choose.
Time for you to choose life, before it’s too late.
Ps. I believe almost anyone can be a wealthy workaholic, but it takes a true leader to grow a successful business without sacrificing your most important relationships or health. I help people become that kind of business leader. If you’ve read this far I have a gift for you, my book called: How To Get Sh*t Done in a Busy World. I think you’ll enjoy it. Just pop in your email in the box that appears on this website and I’ll send you a copy personally.