Aligning personal goals to build the business and life you want and deserve

Do you know a John? Or, is John you?

John is the owner of a small business. It is not important what industry. But as the owner of the business, John has been deeply involved in the day-to-day running of his business.

One day John wakes up, the question many business owners face suddenly hits him like a ton of bricks…

‘How do I get off the merry-go-round? I have been doing and doing and doing

for more than 20 years. I feel like I am chained to my business.’

Or, it could be…

‘How do I get my life back? I have been working 70 hours a week for years, and I am not seeing the return for all my efforts.’

If I were to challenge John to think beyond the day to day running of the business, I would ask him...

‘What kind of life do you want to live?’

‘What is your ideal life – income and freedom? For you and your family?

Why are these questions important?

Tying business success to a business owner’s personal goals gives purpose to their efforts and passion they invest in the business. But all too often the dream of being your own boss comes by way of taking risks, working long hours and making sacrifices.

In their pursuit of business success, many business owners simply do not look up – they continue going around in circles on the merry-go-round, burying their heads in work for too long, forgetting to see how their role needs to evolve. They neglect executing strategically in order to unchain themselves from the tactical roles consuming their time. Most importantly they neglect themselves and the people close to them.

There is another way. Here are nine personal goals every business owner should explore to build the business and life they want and deserve:

1. Leadership and values

Rather than using a textbook definition, ask yourself: What kind of leader do I hope to be based on my values? What kind of leadership do I want to bring to the workplace based on my experiences, upbringing and beliefs?

2. Wealth

Building wealth goes far beyond making money. What does your wealth translate into? Tangible categories like financial security, philanthropy and what you will leave for the next generation are rewards on the other side of wealth.

3. Time

Make every minute count. Are you spending your time in ways that make you feel fulfilled or frustrated? What do you love doing? How much time do you hope to devote to family, friends, hobbies, work and other interests?

4. Lifestyle

Do not hold back. What does your ideal lifestyle look like? Are you hitting the gym, enjoying an evening concert, attending classes, reading books? What in your life is missing? What is holding you back?

5. Workplace culture

Business owners influence workplace culture. So be intentional about it. If assisting those less fortunate is important to you, then transform your personal goal of supporting others through some form of volunteering.

6. Your passions

We have all heard we should follow our passions, but what does this really mean? Dig deep and remember what you loved in years past: teaching, travel, writing, creating art or helping others.

7. Customer relationships

Do you want more interaction with customers or less?

8. Exit strategy/succession

Begin with the end in mind and then work backwards. Involve your key advisers.

9. Extreme achiever dreams

Being the first with a patent or climbing Mount Everest or solving a global dilemma are high-achieving goals. What big mark do you want to make on the world, and how can your business help you achieve it?

Back to John. I asked John those questions. John breathed deeply and his face relaxed. John had the 'Aha Moment'. John connected personal goals with business goals. And everything changed. After that, John not only changed his world, he changed the world for his business, his employees and his family.

By understanding his business was there to serve him (and not the other way around), his personal goals raced to the top.

John went on to construct his dream home, took the long overdue holiday with the family, and started a not for profit helping disadvantaged youth.

Clearly understanding your personal goals as a business owner builds a business that supports them. It creates a culture where you bring on the right people and give them a reason for contributing 100 percent each day with well-designed processes and systems so you deliver a product or service that is valuable to your ideal customer.

By tying personal goals with business success, you connect your passion for your business with a love for the things you value most as a human being — so you can get off the merry-go-round.

Transcend is a team of experienced business advisors and mentors that provides a support network to business owners who are looking to grow their business, improve efficiency or increase profitability. For more information refer to

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