As a business owner, your life and your business are often so entangled, it’s hard to separate one from the other. When we start a business, we write down our business, marketing and financial goals. We map out a direction and then work hard to get there. But does your business support your life goals too? Considering the type of business you want isn’t just a question for startups; it’s a question you should ask yourself regularly, especially as you approach junctions of change.
I’m at such a junction right now
My business—Copywrite Matters—has been growing steadily for over five years. I’ve been ranked on Google’s page one for many of those years, and I’m fortunate that I’ve almost always had a wait list for my copywriting services. When I founded Copywrite Matters, my goal was to create a family friendly work environment that would also satisfy my career ambitions. In that first year, I just wanted my business to survive. As my business grew, so did my ambition, and I began to build a team of excellent writers and support staff. While many of my fellow copywriters are happy to be solo-resources, with all the benefits this offers, I wanted to grow. I relished the advice I received from Suzi and other members at the ABN roundtables that helped me tap into tools and skills that would support my trajectory toward success. Without noticing, I zoomed past my goal of having a family friendly business. I realised it wasn’t family friendly when I actually started a family and it felt as though all I did was work. And when I wasn’t working, I was thinking about work. This realisation forced me to re-evaluate my goals, and during this process, someone in my network asked me this:
Do you want an entrepreneurial business or a lifestyle business?
He went on to explain that entrepreneurs generally aim to create a legacy that is bigger than their names. They make plans to grow, get investors, sell the business and retire to an island—or start a new venture. Entrepreneurs want to change the world, and they are always hungry. It’s not that a lifestyle business doesn’t grow, but the main requirement of such a business is that it allows you to live how you want to live now while running the company. A lifestyle business is generally less stressful and more flexible, all the while enabling you to maintain the control you have as a business owner. There is no wrong type of business. They simply have different priorities. Whichever business type you choose, it should fulfil you and make you happy.
Right now, I’m switching tracks
I was one, but now, I want to be the other. I have the opportunity to explore a new country with a fast-growing toddler. I am adapting my business so that I can do it with less pressure on my time. I am not sacrificing my ambitious nature either. I am simply applying it to a new goal of sharing my knowledge and experience to help more people nail their copywriting. I am becoming a teacher and mentor to copywriters.
Keep asking yourself
Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your life, but it’s important not to create a work habit that doesn’t make time for your life. Balance in everything is important. As you set your business, marketing and financial goals, add in some personal goals. Ask yourself what you want out of your life in five years and over the following five years. Will your business make it happen?