Saturday, October 16, 2010

Got the World on a String or Its Weight on Your Shoulders?

Small business owners are often faced with challenges of priority that can tie a knot no stomach should ever experience. They believe they’re completely responsible to their business when in fact the reverse is true: their business owes them everything. They believe their most important role is in perfecting their product when, in fact, their true product, their enterprise, often begs for attention. They believe that unless they’re engaged in ‘doing’ they’re not truly working. And yet, if they’re not engaged in ‘thinking’, ‘dreaming’ and ‘envisioning’ they’re ignoring their most important task: planning the development and health of their business. They believe they need to attend to daily tasks when, in fact, they must attend to all the tomorrows of their enterprise. They think it’ll take less time to just ‘do it myself’ rather than train an employee. In fact, by ‘doing it myself’ they’re prevented from doing the work only they can do while handling tasks a $10/hour employee could do. They go into business to have more time and freedom and then become slaves to a needy master: their business.

Is the way it’s supposed to be?

Not in my play book. Owning a business is a vehicle, one of many, to help achieve the bigger vision for your life. Yet somehow, that vision can become subverted along the way and the owner – maybe you – loses the many sources of joy and accomplishment that could be derived from all the other elements of your life. Instead of enjoying the rewards of business ownership, life becomes a brief escape from enslavement to the enterprise to which you now feel wholly responsible. Can this change? Yes!

Here’s how:

Step 1: recognize that your life is far bigger, richer, varied and flexible than your business.

Step 2: learn how to shape the business to be consistent with and responsive to the bigger priorities, values and goals you have for the rest of your life.

Want a major wake-up call to see how far from your life priorities your business has taken you? Just shoot me an email – – with “how far off track am I” and I’ll send you a tool to let you figure it out and decide what you’ll do about it.