I believe that deciding to become a business owner is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Even if it fails, you’re about to learn some of the biggest lessons of your life. And if it succeeds, well, you’re a successful business owner, architect of your own life and job in a way that I think is pretty magical. When you decide to take on all of the responsibility and work for yourself, you’re moving ahead in an arena where you’ll be asking a lot of yourself, and the payoffs will be as big as you make them.I believe that becoming a business owner is one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make. Click To Tweet
However, I will send warnings your way. Unguided, this decision can lead to burnout, health issues, ruined relationships, and dreams unfulfilled. Without guidance there’s no telling where you’ll end up. But if you set the tone early for what you’re here to accomplish – and revisit those intentions often, then you’ll steadily walk that path leading right to where you want to end up.
Below I am posing four questions to help set that tone for you in your decision to start (or grow) your business. These questions will help you set four goals that will guide your movements as you go along. Let’s have at it:
Open up your favorite notebook or a digital Evernote notebook, get ready to answer some questions, and set some goals for yourself and your business.
HOW DO YOU WANT TO FEEL?
When you’re deciding to give this a go, as well as at regular intervals in your business, you need to settle into a contemplative state and ask yourself a simple question, “How do I want to feel?”
When I started my business I wanted to feel in control of my life, setting my own destiny and working on my own terms. When I was about three years in I wanted security, financially and in the direction of my business. At the moment I want to feel balance, in the energy I give my life and work, and in where I put my focus in my business.
You need to dig into this mindset so you know what you can put a name on what you’re working towards.
To-do for you: Settle into a moment of silence and ask yourself, “How do I want to feel?” What’s the first word that pops into your head? That one always holds a good bit of insight. What word to you settle on?
HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU WANT TO MAKE?
Knowing your numbers is what will make you a boss business owner. And if numbers scare you, get over it, homie – you’re a business owner. Numbers are important to what you do.
If you haven’t yet sat down to figure out how much money you need to survive, then you need to figure that up. If you need help diving into your money, check out this post on how to set a budget. It guides you through the steps to figuring out how much money you need to live.
Now, figure out what that means in terms of how much money you want to make, because chances are – unless you have another earner in your family – you’ll need how much to make to be at least how much you need. Add on for things like savings, retirement, etc, and you know how much money you need to make.
If you want to get advanced, you can break that total number into how many clients or daily sales you need to bring in to make that happen, and friend, you have the beginnings of an income plan in your hands. Like a boss.
To-do for you: Figure out how much money you need/want to make, and write that number down. That’s your income goal.
HOW MANY HOURS DO YOU WANT TO WORK?
This is the one that, if gone unchecked, will wreck you and your business. All too often we hear of the business owner who got seriously bad burned-out, losing steam on an idea that could have been a rockstar if it had just had a bit more put into it. Or the one who’s hustle caused health problems, or who’s work ruined their relationships.
That. is not. boss.
If you can set out in the beginning with a clear goal and idea in mind for how many hours you want to spend on this business, you begin with a destination in mind. When you begin – sure – you may pull a fair share of all-nighters, or sneak in a couple of Sunday evenings. But, if you have that goal in sight, you are working towards the nice cushion of what you want your life to look and feel like. It becomes within reach, and someday your reality.
For me, 25 hours per week is my goal these days. On rare occasion I make it, but 30-35 hours per week is my general reality. Note: it’s taken me 6 years of working for myself to make it here, and in the grand scheme of the world, even my worst week is many people’s dream, but that, guys, is the big, fab perk to working for yourself. You get to define what your life looks like. So begin defining that now.
To-do for you: Write down the number of hours you want to be working per day, week, or month. Stick a goal date by it. Close your eyes and imagine that dream work week. Feel how good it feels. Now go get it.
Pro-tip: Need help wrestling in your work hours and holding yourself accountable? Check out my post on tracking your time; it might change your life.
WHERE WILL YOU SEEK HELP FIRST?
When it comes to starting, running, growing a business, it takes a village. No matter how stand-alone you are, how solo of a solopreneur you believe yourself to be, you need help.No matter how stand-alone you are, how solo of a solopreneur you believe yourself to be, you need help. Click To Tweet
Maybe it’s help from your spouse, to understand and support your decision to do this thing. Maybe it’s a designer who will help you look like a boss. Maybe it’s an assistant to help you carry out all of your tasks. Maybe it’s a daycare to help you with caring for your child.
Whatever it is, you’re going to need a bit of help, at least some support, and an attitude and action-plan to get you there.
To-do for you: Decide where you need the help first, and write it down!
Once you’ve finalized answers for those four questions, you have your framework for your movements ahead. You have goals for your mindset, your money, your work-life, and your growth. You know what you’re aiming for, and now you can start taking action to move in that direction.
IF YOU LIKED THIS POST, BE SURE TO CHECK OUT:
- The Difference Between Freelancer and Business Owner, a minisode where we outline what makes the difference, to us.
- Need to hire that first employee or contractor? Check out minisode on when and how to hire.
- Time management got you feeling less-than-managed? This minisode will help you manage your time like a boss.
- If you’re wondering how big you should dream, maybe step back and think about the value of staying small.