Over the last few months I attended three incredible local business awards ceremonies/galas and couldn't help but walk away feeling really inspired. I was inspired by the great things these businesses were doing; inspired by the incredible leaders creating the success of these businesses.
As I heard each of not only the winners' stories, but all of the nominees, I felt that bubbling up of ideas in my mind—all the things I could be doing so that in the years to come the Biz Studio would be up on stage receiving some of these awards.
I was dreaming of the events I could hold and that turned into the space I could lease. The Biz Studio would have a bricks and mortar location with live workshops and mastermind groups multiple times every month. I could start doing some of my coaching in-person, in an office, and have a space built intentionally for VIP strategy days!
I could rent out the space to some of the businesses I work with so they could run workshops and groups of their own, I could have a team of coaches working with me to run group coaching programs for all kinds of niches, and at different times of the day and week to accommodate people at whatever point in their business journey they might be.
I started thinking about the outreach I needed to do to grow my audience to the size needed to bring in the revenue to sustain this new space: more networking, more workshops, more travelling around Quebec and Ontario to get in front of the people who are my ideal clients.
I was getting really excited and I KNEW I could do it if I put my mind to it!
And then I realized I needed to pause and come back to centre for a moment... back to "what I really want my life to look like;" and I know what I want my life to look like because I've done a lot of thinking and work on that. In fact, it's what I get all my clients to work on too.
What I want my life to look like
Here is what I know about what I want my life to look like for the next three to five years:
- I want to be available for my kids before and after school most of the time, so my regular work hours are 8:30 am - 3:30 pm.
- I want to be available for my kids during the Christmas holidays, March break and at least half of the summer break, which is a minimum of eight weeks.
- I want to be able to be away at least two other weeks of the year, for holidays with my husband and/or for trainings, conferences and retreats.
- While making money is important and I have clear revenue goals, the time with my family trumps making more money at this point in my life.
So, while my big plans to grow the Biz Studio actually do sound amazing and exciting, and I believe I have the capacity to make them happen, having a physical location and the financial commitments required to not only lease a location, but design, decorate and operate one does not make sense with the life that I want to have.
Just because I can do something and like the idea of something does not mean it's something I need to move forward with.
It's why I always tell my clients to think about what they really want their lives to look like before they make other choices in their businesses.
What do you want your life to look like?
What hours do you want to work? (For some, they more specifically need to outline what hours they do NOT want to work.)
How many weeks off do you need/want a year?
What are the things you need to pay for and what is the minimum your business needs to earn (for some the hard numbers are very different then for others depending on many factors, including whether there is a partner who covers some or all of the basic costs of living)?
What are the things you want in your life? Are they worth working more for? This includes: hobbies, house cleaning services, vacations, renovations, cottages, activities for kids, etc.
How important are all of these things?
If you made ____ more money, would that make working longer hours and having less time off acceptable?
We all have different needs, requirements and wishes. Some of us want to work 80 hours a week because we really love it, and some of us don't want to work more than 15-20 hours a week. Some of us want to build an empire and some of us want to make a bit of money doing something we enjoy.
We all get to pick our own paths and our own definitions of success, but until we get those ideas out of our heads and concretely down on paper (or screen) it's hard to feel like it's real.
I had to take that concrete picture out and hold it up next to the dreams of the new and bigger Biz Studio and decide if they fit together, and if they didn't, which one was my bigger priority. It could have been that the decision to make the business bigger right now did feel right - that putting the kids into more daycare and not being available as much was ok in exchange for the big dreams I wanted to achieve. It turns out though, that right now, I'm not ready for that kind of growth. The life plan trumped the new dream - and that's OK.
Instead, I am focusing on the kind of growth that DOES fit in with the life I want to have, and new plans that work with that life are falling in to place. Having the life plan to hold up and look at as I made these decisions made sure I didn't accidentally go off track without realizing it.
It's time to get your life plan out of your head
If you haven't spent the time to really think about what you want your life to look like, I challenge you to do that now. I've created a worksheet with questions that will get your ideas flowing and you can grab that here.
In order to have a successful business you need to have a plan—we can't forget to do the same for the personal side of our lives. Invest the time in creating that picture of the life you really want and every time a new idea or opportunity pops up, hold it up next to the life plan and decide which one becomes the new priority. This plan isn't set in stone, you may always decide the new plan trumps the old one, but now you will have a great starting place to make those decisions from.