"What do you want in life?"
That may be something you would expect a Life Coach or perhaps therapist to ask rather than a Business Coach, so why would I ask someone to be clear on what they want in life?
The simple answer is to make sure they don't end up running a business for several years and not enjoy it, not have the business serve their life instead of them slaving away for the business (or clients as the case may be) wishing they could spend more time doing something else. And that something else might be 'as well as' or it could be 'instead of'.
This is, in essence, a continuation from my previous Blog about Business Values ... If we don't know where we are going then how do we know we have got there. However this is more personal than business, we need to be clear on who we are as a person, what we enjoy, what we need and what we want (all slightly different things but important none the less) so as to know what we then want out of business.
It is one of the first things I ask clients to work through, a worksheet to get to the depths of what they want as an individual, as well as what they 'need'.
Very few of us are taught by normal channels how to be reflective on who we are. It took me a long time to figure out who I was and what I really needed, never mind what I really wanted.
But it allowed me to realise what truly made me happy and not what society seemed to be telling me was a measurement of success.
I had a client that had been trying unsuccessfully to create her business Vision and Values for a good few weeks and we just didn't seem to be able to nail them down. Eventually I asked her to go back to her Personal Passion and Purpose worksheet so that we could review how she felt about some of her reflective work.
Turns out that she had put in there what she thought I would want to see as a Business Coach. She thought her goals were too small to warrant a Coach, and thought we could get into the business processes regardless of her personal goals.
But whenever we tried to put down the values that fed into her business processes we couldn't because she wasn't being honest with what she wanted in her life... from the business.
It was a fundamental misunderstanding that success should be measured in just one way.
To enjoy our life most of us need fulfilling work, work that in some way feels like it is contributing to something bigger.
If we are not honest with ourselves about how big or how small our ambitions are, how load or how quietly we love to live, then we will not be able to build a business that is congruent with our true nature.
That alone will pile on the stress.
So back to the question "What do you want out of life?"
Sometimes a difficult one to answer, so I often suggest starting with what you don't want in your life, explore why and work backwards.
However you do it, it is worth stopping, carving out some time and figure out a way to get very honest about what you want so that the time you spend building your business is not wasted on creating something that does not fit you well.
As for the original question of "Should Business be an extension of yourself?", not in as much as it is an appendage that you carry it around 24/7 like a 5th limb that gets in the way of you trying to do normal family stuff (I now have a mental picture of trying on clothes with 5 limbs)
But "Yes" in as much as as it should be congruent with you and your personal values, it should become a place you enjoy working and as a result it attracts like minded people as clients and employees that just enhance the experience. And you can't do that until you can articulate what you want in life.
If you would like some hints on how to start discovering what you want out of life, what your Passion and your Purpose is, drop us a line through the contact form below and we can send you our free worksheet.