Are You Sacrificing Your Life for Your Business?

No one is born to “do business” – we’re born to live.

Yet too many owners sacrifice their lives for their business.

Let me give you an example.

One day a prospective client called me up because his wife had told him:

“Your business is your mistress. Either you do something about it, or I will.”

That was the day he decided to get coaching.

For months, maybe even years before that, his business was consuming him. He’d work late, work weekends, and sometimes even crash on the sofa in his office.

I hear some version of this all the time from my clients:

  • My family needs me, and I want to spend time with them, but I can’t because the business would fall apart without me.
  • I’m missing my kids’ practices or recitals and I feel like a bad parent, but I need to make the business successful to look after my family.
  • I’m making good money, but I can’t enjoy it because I’m spending all my time at work.

Or they may be physically home with their family, but mentally they’re checked out worrying about the business.

In so many cases, these businesses are not only “not giving the owners the life they want” – the business is making their life worse.

Business Problems are Often Personal Problems in Disguise

This is ONE of the reasons why I often say that business problems are personal problems in disguise.

My clients may come in the door seeking help with any of the big three business problems – time, team, and money – but what they’re seeking is a better life.

They want the time, energy, and mental presence to be with their spouse and children. They want time off to enjoy the wealth their business provides.

The other reason why I say that business problems are personal problems in disguise hits a little closer to home.

In the quest to build a better business – a business that will give you the life you want – you will need to work on yourself.

Another saying we have here at W5 is this:

If the owner wants a better business, first the business needs a better owner.

Becoming a better owner comes down to the 3 A’s: Acumen, Activity, and Attitude.

Acumen is about knowledge and skill-building.

Most business owners never got formal business training.

Instead, they were good at what they do and they turned it into a business.

They started as one guy doing plumbing and now they have 5 plumbers and 5 trucks. Or they started as a freelance graphic designer and grew into an agency.

So part of becoming a better owner is to gain some business knowledge and learn the skills necessary to run a good business.

This part is the easy part.

Activity is about behavior. It’s about taking action and getting things done.

Hiring a team. Training your employees. Doing the marketing and making the sales. Creating a plan. Tracking results. Developing systems. Being a leader.

This part isn’t that hard either, although it often helps to have someone hold you accountable for doing the things you said you would do!

The third part is where business and personal collide.

Attitude, or as I prefer to call it, “mindset,” is what will make you or break you as a business owner.

Mindset is about thinking differently. Seeing your business as an entity separate from yourself.

Mindset is about leaving your comfort zone and confronting your challenges head-on.

Mindset is about shifting your identity from the person who is good at doing the work of your business (eg: being a great plumber) and taking on the role of the business owner and team leader.

Mindset is having a positive attitude, setting goals, and then doing what it takes to achieve them.

Many personal issues and challenges can get in the way of this third very important A.

  • Fear is a big one. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of looking foolish.
  • The ego is another big one. Not wanting to ask for help, not willing to admit not knowing something, not wanting to admit making mistakes.
  • Complacency. Being OK with how things are, more interested in complaining than doing something about it.

And sometimes those personal issues and challenges run much deeper.


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