Let’s be honest: Building a business that doesn’t depend on you isn’t easy. It’s going to take lots of time, attention, and know-how. You’re going to be drawn into fighting fires you wish weren’t happening; you’re going to worry about having the right resources to create the right results; you’re going to have to make things happen that you don’t really know how to do. At times, you’re going to feel let down by the very people you depend on to free you.
If you’re fortunate enough to have taken your company on a journey through all of its highs and lows for 5, 10, even 20 years or more, chances are you’ve had those moments when you wished your business weren’t so damn dependent on you. No matter what you’ve achieved, most business owners know in their heart that if they walked away—whether for six months or two weeks—they probably wouldn’t have a business when they got back.
Our natural world is a great example of systems at work—solar systems, ecosystems, weather systems, bodily systems, and so forth. As humans, we naturally look for patterns to solve problems and make extraordinary advancements. We search for ways to turn chaos into order and to discover efficient and repeatable ways of doing this to preserve our resources and energy. It is no different being an owner of a business. You want productivity, control, and predictability.
If you’ve ever had the thought that you weren’t a good leader or didn’t know how to be one, you’re not alone.
Business owners rarely go into business for themselves in order to become the leader of a company. In truth, most are looking to secure a “job” where they can provide their product or service free of a boss. This orientation—the Technician’s mentality—inevitably creates a business built around their own ability to produce results. It’s the orientation of the vast majority of owner-operated businesses, and it has obvious limitations. You alone can only get so much done. You can only stretch so far. You can only produce the results that you can produce.
As a business owner, attracting customers is so central and occupies so much of your focus that it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that not all customers are created equal.
Not knowing who your best customer is results in countless and costly efforts to attract a customer who isn’t actually your ideal. You suffer endless frustrations, false starts, wasted time and money, and sometimes even total failure, all to pursue an audience that never was that “into you” to begin with. More importantly, if you really examined that audience, would you be that into them?
When I started as a business coach, my life did not look like it does today. I lived in the city, in a house that was in the middle of a subdivision. I worked for someone else and had never considered myself an entrepreneur. My default vision at the time was that I would continue to build a career for myself inside a good company—one that cared and took care of its employees—until I retired in my dream house, watching grandbabies run about.
Don’t get me wrong; I did dream about what it might be like to be an entrepreneur, just as I saw my father do his entire life. But it was just that—a dream, and not the reality I thought would support me for the rest of my life.
As a business owner, you’re the leader. You need to decide what your business will do, how it must do it, and where it will go next. But what happens when you lose sight of your goal?
Creating a vision for your business reminds you of the destination.When you try to move forward without it, you’re left jumping blindly from one item to the next—unsure of where your focus should be or where the business is heading. But creating a vision can feel daunting. It’s hard work, and there are so many pieces to consider. You may have a picture in your mind, but not know how to get it down on paper. Or you may not have a picture at all.
At EMyth, we take the approach that owning a business is a vehicle to give you more life. It’s a place to grow and to discover who you are and the way you want to express yourself in the world. It’s a place for creativity and innovation that can bring you closer to your own strengths, your own purpose, your own heart, and help you meet your financial goals.
In The Beginning
If you’re like many of our clients, you had a picture in your mind when you started your business of what you wanted to do. You could clearly see how your first office or store would look. You imagined your customers and employees. You saw yourself in the center of it all. You understood that it would be hard work, but what you dreamed for your future would be worth the sweat equity you’d put in for the first year or so.
Or so you told yourself.
If ever you’ve longed to find out why you’re here—your purpose, your big mission—this blog is for you!
This blog is it. Your silver bullet. The answer you’ve been seeking for years. Read on to discover the 5 steps you need to take to find the answers to your deepest questions, all in 30 minutes and while surfing Facebook and LinkedIn. Without this blog, you’ll be doomed to a hollow life. We all know that if you don’t have a “why”—a purpose or a mission to save the world—you’re in the sad minority. Without a why, your whole life will be a failure, a stumbling mess falling from one idea to the next without ever achieving enlightenment. It’s like driving your car down the highway of life with an empty gas tank, slowly limping toward retirement and your final destination...