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Resolving the family/business paradox…

 

If you were to draw a graph of the lives of most business owners on two parallel trend lines, there is an uncomfortable confluence of events which takes place right around the time their business needs the most time and effort.

The problem is this – that right around the time our business is growing and demanding the most attention, so are our children. Suddenly, we go from being able to pour as much time as we need to into our working life, to having to constantly dance between two huge competing life priorities – our growing business and our growing children. It seems that both things happen at very similar times in most people’s lives.

This is the source of a lot of pain for most business owners. When we elect to devote time to one, we are consciously making a choice to neglect the other, or at least that’s how it feels.

It’s almost as though we’ve been trapped. We set out with big dreams for our business and even bigger dreams for our kids, and then as they grow, they start trying to jostle each other out of the picture. The stresses of business distract us from focusing fully on our family life. And often the demands of family life stop us from focusing fully on our business.

For many businesspeople it is something they never resolve. Life becomes a series of compromises until eventually their kids leave home and make their own lives. By that time, the business has settled into an inefficient but predictable pattern and the big dreams have been forgotten, replaced with the simple relief of survival mixed with the bittersweet memory of what might have been.

It doesn’t have to be that way of course, but for most businesspeople it will be that way until they make a conscious choice to do it differently. The biggest immediate hurdle is purely mental, a hurdle often planted in our brains by our well meaning parents and other grownups, who told us over and over that “the only way to achieve anything worthwhile is hard work”.

They’re not necessarily wrong, but most businesspeople unconsciously twist this around until it becomes “unless what I’m doing is hard work and high stress, it’s not worthwhile”. This is clearly wrong – there are lots of things in life that aren’t particularly hard work and which are hugely worthwhile (think, time spent with our families for a start).

But when we think this way, we start to justify high stress as a price that we have no choice but to pay if we want a successful business. We console ourselves by thinking that our kids will benefit in the long run when the business is successful.

What we ignore, or try to, is that our kids don’t really care about the long run. They just want us to be present with them now. They don’t really want the latest X-Box or the latest Nikes. They want time with us. And as we all know, there’s not much of it – they’ll be grown and gone before we blink, and then it will be too late.

So here’s an interesting question to consider. What would happen if you said to yourself “I’m going to build a business that I can operate in a reasonable number of hours with minimal stress”. Imagine if you could have a business that was so efficient that you could run it successfully and profitably without worry. Imagine if it was set up so that you could run it in 6 hours a day, about instead of 10.

Really, when you think about it, there’s no reason that you can’t do that. Face it. If you’re like most owners, your business is hugely inefficient. You think you’ll get around to improving the systems one day, but you still haven’t. So you battle on the same as always, waiting in vain for a break, where you can work on it, instead of in it.

If you’re like most owners, you probably don’t have a plan either. You know basically in your head what you want to do, but you haven’t written it down, and it’s another one of those things you will get around to one day.

And you do too much yourself, instead of getting help. Something which again goes back to that long-held but basically untrue belief that “Unless what I’m doing is hard work, it’s not worthwhile”.

So, imagine if, with some efficient systems, good planning and smart helpers, you could get all of your work in the business done in a few hours a day, and outside that you could focus on growth, new ideas, and cool concepts – the stuff you love doing in your business.

And more importantly, imagine if this way of working gave you a rock solid financial base and ultimately provided you with a valuable asset that you could eventually gift to your children; leverage to buy other assets; or sell, and reward yourself for your effort.

What difference would that make to your life? It can be done, and it takes just two things – one, the willingness to work differently; and two, the willingness to ask for help.

We can take you through a proven system for building a large profitable business that is low stress and high value.

Talk to us!