I recently had the opportunity to chat with April Renee on the OnFire B2B podcast. 6 questions in 9 minutes, where I shared how to build a business that supports your vision for your life.
What advice would you share with other companies working in the B2B industry?
Build a business that supports your vision for your life. So often I work with clients that are frustrated, burned out, and unhappy. They are working so hard and often crazy hours, but just aren’t seeing the profits or growth they imagined. You know this story…working 50, 60, 70 hours a week. When you are home with your family or friends you are still thinking about all the things you “should” do and aren’t really present. You have days (maybe more than you admit) where you are struggling, unhappy, and feel like you are just failing at everything.
You are not alone, but it doesn’t have to be this way. One of the key elements I teach my clients is that you need your business and your life to work together. They should be supporting one another, not feeling like a constant trade-off where you always feel guilty. So how do you do this? Here are a couple of key steps.
1) Know your purpose – take the time to define what is important to you and what you want to stand for. What the is the legacy you want to leave (personally)? Why does your business exist? These two things should be similar. You need your business to support the legacy you want to leave the world. When you are working towards your higher purpose, you will inspire yourself and others and feel more fulfilled.
2) Know what you need – it is SO easy to focus on what your business or your family or your community obligations need from you. But what do YOU really need to feel recharged, whole, and happy? When you refill your energy, when you are doing things that make you happy it allows you to show up in a better way. Your attitude is more positive, you have more compassion, you have more capacity. These things have a substantial impact on the results you get and relationships you build.
3) Be adaptable – you absolutely need plans and strategies and goals. But when things change or surprises happen, how do you show up? You need to build your resiliency muscle. This allows you to be open to change. To take the surprises (and we had our fair share of them this year) and see them as challenges to overcome and exciting new opportunities ahead rather than barriers. Be open and say yes to the things that scare you or you aren’t sure if you can do.
4) Embrace process & structure – if you’re like me that probably made you cringe. So many business leaders with a strong entrepreneurial spirit want to operate with a sense of freedom, wonder, and excitement for the next big thing. The truth is that process and structure are what give you the freedom. The more you can create process around the things you have to do everyday the fewer decisions you have to make. This allows other people to support you (because now they can do the work within the guidelines you have established) and it frees up mind space allowing you more capacity to dream and create.
5) Know when to ask for help – hard truth…you can’t do it all alone. You can’t build your business and have the time & energy to show up for the rest of your life unless you let other people help you along the way. That could mean asking for input or advice, it could mean taking a class or improving your skills, it could mean outsourcing things outside of your Areas of Awesome, it could mean it’s time to hire a team to support you, it could mean hiring a coach or mentor to support you as you grow and morph. The key here is being really honest about when you need help and then not being afraid to ask for it.
Finally, I want to leave you with one last thought. Make sure you find ways to celebrate along the way. Business ownership is hard you need to celebrate the successes (big and small) to keep you motivated. Recognize the people who have sacrificed with you (including your family). There is no point to working so hard and achieving massive business success if you can’t also experience the things that give you joy along the way. Don’t forget to celebrate. It will make the journey so much sweeter.
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