a. What lights your fire?
b. What do you want to accomplish in the next five years?
c. Who do you want to work with and why?
d. What do you not want to do?
You know the scorpion story?
The scorpion is incapable of doing what’s in its best interest. But you’re not! As a business owner, the trade off for your commitment and effort expended is the freedom to make your business serve you, instead of the other way around.
So many people say they dream about owning a business. I wonder what they really fantasize about. Having more time? Making more money? Not having a boss is often at the top of the list. People imagine the freedom in calling their own shots, in not having someone else tell them what to do.
All those are great reasons to run your own business. But every privilege business offers comes through hard work and perseverance. It’s easy to look around and think it comes easily to everyone else – but we rarely know or get to see the back story and the challenges that made them who they are.
Ask any successful entrepreneur – maybe after business hours, maybe over drinks – what the first 2-3 years of their business looked like. Hustle. Decision making. Finding your place in the market. Building a client system. Developing processes. It takes time. Not just to create, but to have enough experience to know what you need, and want.
Staying the course is what makes you successful. Being willing to be bad at something in order to get good. Being open and curious instead of certain and dug in.
There’s no shortcut around any of it either. Sure, there are some easier ways of doing things. Learning from other people’s experience helps. Having great support around you makes a huge difference and can help you avoid minefields. But we all pay the price of building and finding our place. If you know that going in, it’s much easier to take the learning curve.
With all that in mind, and knowing you have a good chance of making it if you have solid core skills and a willingness to learn what you don’t yet know – it’s worth thinking about what you really want.
It’s easy to try and mold yourself into a market shaped provider, bending and morphing to what you think clients want. And, that’s fine when you’re getting started. Of course you don’t expect to get everything you want right away (or you might, but I’m here to tell you that’s rare), but if you decide what you want from the outset, you have a standard and a goal to work toward. You’re less likely to get lost in thinking the client determines your future. Nope.