In his inspirational and though-provoking book “Start with Why, How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action,” Simon Sinek talks about the importance of building your life and your business from the inside out. If you haven’t read it, or seen any of his TED talks, I suggest that you take the time to do so.
Why? Well, understanding and really digesting his concepts could just be the tipping point for you to build the business of your dreams. The alternative? To fall prey to the statistic that 90% or so businesses don’t make it past the first three years.
Now, don’t let that scare you because there are lots of reasons why a business doesn’t reach the level of success that it wants and not all of them concern money or the economy.
My goal here is to set you up with a strong foundation and point you forward onto the path of success. Like all journeys, the beginning is full of excitement and nervous energy that keeps you motivated and optimistic.
But, there will be times during your travels that you get tired or confused and may feel a little lost. In fact, you may even struggle to the point that you want to just give up, go home, abandon your destination and settle back into what feels familiar and “safe”.
When that happens please understand that it’s completely normal!
Every single business owner, whether they admit it or not, has moments of doubt and frustration. They can get burnt out and be tempted to quit! And, that can even happen when to the outside world and according to their bank accounts, they are really successful.
How is that possible?
Those moments of doubt and frustration happen when a business owner gets out of balance and loses track of why they started their business in the first place. How often have you heard about entrepreneurs that start a business so they can have more freedom and more time to spend with the people they love, only to end up spending less time with those people. As a result, they experience a lower quality of health and life because they believe they need to “work harder” to make more money so that “someday” they will have more time to do what they really want.
This is the exact opposite of what they were going for! So the trick is to stay in balance.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you spend equal amounts of time on all parts of your life: Relationships, Spirituality, Career, Exercise, and Nutrition in order to stay balanced.
Instead, it means you experience an equal level of fulfillment and happiness in each area of your life. Think of each area as a spoke in a wheel. If one or two areas are not as strong as the others, then eventually the wheel is going to collapse. That wheel is your life!
At the core of that wheel is Why you are doing what you are doing. Every decision you make about where you spend your time and energy and every action you take in all the areas of your life should be in alignment with the core of your wheel. When it’s not, the result is a lack of integrity which in turn leads to failure and dissatisfaction in some area of your life.
Integrity exists when what you do is aligned with what you believe.
For example. If you value family, yet you work 80 hours a week which leaves little time to spend with your family, then you are out of integrity. If you want to be healthy yet you don’t eat as healthy as you should or exercise regularly, which results in the very real possibility of premature death or a low quality of life…then you are out of integrity.
In your gut, you won’t be as happy and fulfilled as you want to be because you are doing things that shorten the amount of time that you’re spending with people that you say you want to spend time with.
I know, this all sounds very negative but it’s not intended to be! What I’m here to tell you is that there is a different and better way to “do” this life thing. You can, starting today, build the kind of life that will get to so excited that (and I’m paraphrasing Dr. Seuss here), you won’t want to go to sleep because your reality is better than any dream that you could possibly have.
Does that excite you? I hope so!
Click Here to get a simple “Gut Check” Worksheet where I’m going to ask you some questions.
There is no right or wrong answer…there is only your answer. And, some of those things may evolve over time. The intention here is to get you thinking about who you are, where you are right now on this journey we call life, and ultimately where you want to be. At the core of all of this are your core beliefs and core motivations…your WHY.
Know When to Say NO and When to Walk Away
This is important because as you build your business, there will be days that will be harder than others. Maybe harder than you have ever worked in your life! You will put in extra energy, and a little extra time, and you will get tired. However, knowing what you value and why you are doing all of this will allow it to become very easy for you to know when to say yes, when to say no, and where to put your time and energy.
One thing I always ask myself and my clients is this: Is what you’re doing right now putting you closer to, or farther away, from your goals? If that decision is moving you farther away from your ‘why’, you’re ultimate goal, then you will be able to identify it and easily walk away from it without any hesitation or feelings of guilt.
For example: I once worked with a company that expected all its employees to put in extra hours, no matter what. In their eyes, how much time someone logged into the clock was the only measurement of productivity that counted. It didn’t matter if you were able to complete everything you needed to do in 8 hours or less because you were focused and efficient…if you took a lunch break out of the office, or left on time, you were viewed as not being a team player.
Does that sound familiar?
Well, it didn’t take long for me to realize the expectations of this company were completely out of alignment with my own values and I quit. Even though at that time I didn’t know how I was going to replace the very good income I was receiving, it didn’t matter to me and I never had an ounce of guilt for the lost income. (which, by the way, ended up in my creating a new business that earned much more than the lost wages of my company job).
Now, I’m not telling you to rush out and quit your job. That’s a totally personal decision, and only you know when the time will be right, if at all. What I am saying is that when you are very clear about your core values, goals, and internal inspiration for why you do what you do…it will become very easy for you to make good decisions.
That builds trust, self-confidence, and ultimately, success and a life on your terms.
Are you ready?!?
Please take the time to consider each question, and answer it as thoughtfully and truthfully as possible. Feel free to come back to this exercise in 3 months, 6 months, and each year as a sort of “refresher,”an update to track your progress, or a way to get re-motivated to keep on going.
Member-only Content Marketing and Writing Tips Direct to your Inbox!
Join our mailing list to receive the latest marketing and writing tips from our us.