Whether you are starting a new business, growing an established company or working on retirement is it important to identify your personal needs and goals, as well as your company’s. While entrepreneurship has been declining, a number of Americans still venture out on their own for a variety of reasons.
Why did you become an entrepreneur? Did you want to become rich, or did you want to serve a neglected demographic in the local area? Did you need more time for your family and a shorter drive to work? Or were you simply compelled by creativity? Whatever your original reasons for diving into the world of business ownership, it is good to take account of your current needs and goals, and whether or not your business is helping you (or hindering you) fulfill those plans.
Here are few things to ask yourself as you assess your goals:
What do I need to be satisfied?
- What do I love?
- Where do I want to live, work and play?
- What do I want to do at work, with my friends and family?
- Who do I want to spend time with at work, at home and at play?
- What makes me feel important, passionate, creative, confident, and balanced?
- What do I need to continue doing to reach my goals?
- What do I need to change to reach my goals?
Regardless of what your personal and professional goals are, it is important to recognize them – to really focus on what you want, what you need and why those things are necessary. This is not a hasty exercise; spend some time writing your answers down, talking to your family, friends, coworkers and employees, and focus for a few minutes on what you really want out of life.
As you write down your goals and how to achieve them, start prioritizing them as well. What is the most important item on your list right now? What do you actually have time to do in the next week, month or year? Who is going to need to help you attain these goals and what are they able to commit to? How can you keep each other motivated?
Once your list is focused, create a simple plan with attainable goals and a realistic time line. Celebrate your accomplishments as you go and reassess your goals or timeframe if you hit a bump in the road. Be willing to ask for help and share the success. But most importantly – be willing to change your goals as your life changes and your business evolves. In the future, if you find that your priorities have shifted, do not continue putting energy into something that does not bring personal happiness or meet the needs of your business.
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