For the first couple years of business, despite having accomplished most of the goals on my list, I felt little change. I had improved in certain areas, re-evaluated techniques and become more efficient, however, each year felt similar to the previous one. You may think that incremental growth is the cornerstone of good business, and it is, but I still wasn’t where I wanted to be and it was going to take forever to get there. I also wasn’t really pleased with my life overall. I was not spending enough time doing the things that I loved. I was overworked, frustrated and wondering why I started a business in the first place.
One technique that helped me greatly that year was visualization. Now, I didn’t sit in a room and meditate or commune with the universe but I tried to think of the manner in which I wanted my life to unfold in the coming year. I focused on how I wanted to feel and the type of activities that would make up a typical day in the life of me. I thought of an ideal scenario where my business had reached it zenith and I was in the exact role I had imagined for myself. Then I compared this to my reality and it was shocking. I knew I had to make drastic changes immediately.
So where did I start? How did I begin to visualize this new life I was about to create? I started by asking myself several questions and I tried to be as specific as possible with my answers. Here were my questions:
Describe a typical day:
Where do I want to live?
How do I want to look?
How do I want to feel?
What are my friends like?
What do I do for fun?
What is my job like?
What kind of clothes do I wear?
What do I eat and drink?
You may be asking yourself what these questions have to do with you business (Especially the last two) but they are essential. If you imagine yourself wearing designer suits or driving a luxury car and your current business caters to DIY weddings than you have some work to do with regard to branding and pricing. If you want your office to be full of colorful funky art but your current clients are mostly conservative professionals, maybe you need to make some adjustments to your marketing or seek out like minded colleagues through networking.
By comparing the description of your ideal life with your list of business goals you can begin to seek out discrepancies and create a more unified path towards an authentic life. There is no work/life balance. There is only life, and you should be doing what makes you happy every day, not sacrificing for some future date. Start today and you’ll be surprised how quickly your life and business can change for the better.