I got off the phone yesterday with a colleague who reminded me of myself. (Well, he reminded me of my past self.) He had experienced a good level of success, was respected by his colleagues, had a wonderful family and all the clients he could ask for.
But, there was something very wrong. He was exhausted, overworked, stressed out, and feeling like his life was his business... missing out on the other things that meant a lot to him.
I call this the "spinning your wheels" syndrome. It happens when you find yourself constantly running on the hamster wheel of your business (and your life). Only to realize that when you "get" to where you think you want to go, it's not what you had envisioned. The "success" experience falls flat in comparison to what you thought it would be. Where is the bliss? Where is the freedom? Where is the joy from doing the work you love so much? Ahhhh... these are all very good questions.
And, here are three steps you can take immediately that'll help you get off the never-ending "merry go round" of your business and enjoy more ease in your life. These were the very steps I took to shift things in my business to a place where I truly love my business and my life.
Step 1: Create Your Personal Definition of Success
When it comes to experiencing entrepreneurial success, so often we see that definition being (according to the external world) about financial success. However, if the sole focus of a business is on financial reward, your life will be compromised in that pursuit.
It's important as you look at redefining success for yourself, that you look at the entire picture of success. Here are some things to consider as you contemplate this... that go beyond your financial goals. What is the work that truly calls to your soul? How do you want to spend your time in your business? What types of clients do you want to work with? How many hours a week do you want to be working on your business? Do you want to offer more products or services, or cut back on your offerings? What kind of team do you need in place to help you experience your definition of success? How involved are you with your team? Do you want to travel for your business, or stay closer to home? What support do you have on your journey?
These are all questions to consider as you define what real success means to you. You'll see that success is about much more than money... it's about fulfillment, peace of mind and joy in your life.
Step 2: Reevaluate Your Business
Once you've gotten clarity on your personal definition of success, it's time to take a closer look at your current business. It's important to give yourself a half day (or preferably a day) to step back from the operations of your business, and focus on the big picture. Too often, I see entrepreneurs who are working to create a business based on someone else's model of success. But, in this step, the only model you need to allow to emerge is the one that works for you.
As you reevaluate your business, identify if there is anything you're doing that you don't want to do? On the other hand, are there things you want to do, but aren't getting to? Are there aspects of your business that you think you "should" do, but they just aren't working for you? Once you evaluate your current business, turn your focus on creating a vision for the business you really want. If you could create anything for yourself in your business, what would that be? This type of reevaluation is a necessary step in getting your "wheels to stop spinning" and fully enjoying your business.
Step 3: Be Proactive
Being proactive is a key step to take your insight and clarity from the previous two steps and create positive change for yourself. When you do this type of work (to create your personal definition of success and reevaluate your business), chances are you'll see some things that require a change to be made.
But, it's up to you to take your new understanding and shift something in your business as a result. Nothing is more painful than knowing it's time to make a change, yet not being proactive to it. This has been the step that's allowed me to release entire businesses, projects, strategies, or programs that didn't fit with what I saw for myself, my life and business. As a result, more aligned opportunities keep showing up for me, and I'm feeling more fulfilled in my business (and my life) than ever before.
These three simple steps aren't necessarily easy, but they are indeed simple. If you feel like you're spinning your wheels in your business and want to enjoy your life more fully, you owe it to yourself to give yourself the gift of time to follow these three steps and move forward toward the business and life you truly want.
© 2009 Christine Kloser
Would you like to use this article? You may as long as you include the following information along with the article: Christine Kloser, author of The Freedom Formula, helps entrepreneurs put soul in their business and money in the bank. If you want to thrive in your purpose-driven, profitable business (while enjoying a soul-satisfying life), send for my special report, How to Avoid the 3 Massive Mistakes Made by Most Conscious Entrepreneurs and my audio, 7 Strategies Entrepreneurial Authors Need to Know... Before Writing a Word, both of which you get (at no charge) when you request my Conscious Business Success Kit at www.LoveYourLife.com.