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Edition 369 – What’s It All For

I would contest that more than 80% of small and family business owners have it all wrong! They’re on the wrong path and, in the process, they’re slogging themselves to death. It’s not because of what they’re doing, it’s because of the “why”? Let me explain.

It’s my fundamental belief the business should support the family, which in turn, should support the individual. Here’s how I describe it when I work with my clients:

For the most part, very few business owners stop to think what they want to achieve:

  1. Personally.
  2. Professionally.
  3. Financially.
  4. Philanthropically.
  5. As your purpose.
  6. From a lifestyle perspective.

Instead, most business owners start a business, then proceed to build it with the focus purely on “bigger is better”.

If I have more revenue, I’ll be able to have more staff.
If I have more staff, I’ll be able to have bigger clients.
If I have bigger clients, I’ll be able to take on bigger projects.
If I have bigger projects, I’ll generate more profit.
If I generate more profit, I’ll be able to afford a bigger car/boat/home/lifestyle.

Except, is that what you really want? Is that what your family really wants? Do your family want the bigger house, or do they just want you to be around more often so you’re more present in their lives? Wouldn’t they want to see more of you, rather than enjoy the fruits of your labours when you’re not there?

I’ve seen businesses grow from $1m to $2m to $4m to $8m in revenue, yet the owners of the business are no happier at $8m than they were at $1m. In actual fact, most of them are a lot unhappier, even though they’ve rewarded themselves with trinkets.

Instead, why not invert it? Why not ask yourself:

  1. What do I want and need out of life?
  2. What does our family want and need out of life?
  3. How can our business best serve our family and me to generate what we want and need out of life?

I challenge you take at least one day, but preferably a week, to step away from the everyday of life in your business, unclutter your head and ask yourself these questions. You may well find the path you’re on is actually not the path you want to be on and, consequently, the business you’re building is actually achieving none of your true objectives in life but instead, slowly eating away at you.

This Week’s Tip

“Me – Family – Family Business – in that order!”