You360 – What do you really want?
How well do you know yourself? Our 360 degree profile will help you as it explores the various aspects of your life and how they can be impacted when you own a business.
We explore what success means to you, as it can mean very different things to each of us.
Uncover your personal values and how they might help you when evaluating business ideas.
How well you know yourself is a critical when deciding “Should I Own A Business”?
A simple 360 degree tool to explore what you want from life
The first question for everyone who’s thinking of getting into business needs to do ask, “what do I really want”?
Geoff and I have about 50 years of business experience-running businesses and helping business owners through consulting. We have talked to hundreds of business owners over the years in many industries. Yet, with all our experience, our prime question is nothing to do with your business pitch, idea, business plans, or profit.
While this might seem a bit odd, there is an important reason for it.
Owning a business doesn’t suite everybody and knowing what you want in life will help you decide if its a good choice for you.
The more you “know yourself” the more likely you will make the right choice.
Choosing the right business will also be made easier through clarity of your goals, beliefs and values.
Why do I want to own a business?
It seems that we get caught up in life and get carried along by it.
Starting a business can be the same. You get caught up in it and carried along. Sometimes to where you like and sometimes not.
If you are going to own a business, it is an excellent idea that it aligns with what you want out of life.
Why do we make this connection between your business and your life? In businesses, especially smaller ones, it is tough to separate yourself, the owner, from your business.
As an entrepreneur, you will shape your business. You will commit a very significant amount of your time to your business, and therefore you would like to choose something that fits in well with you.
Once again, it all comes down to how well you know yourself and what makes you tick.
This sounds almost too simple to say, but it’s a massive consideration. It’s not just about the how good your business idea is. But how your business will fit into your life, or to be more precise, how your life will fit into it!
For now, we are going to focus on what’s makes you tick.
How can you prepare yourself to own a business?
We, humans, tend to take comfort in doing things!
When we think of owning a business, our mind goes into overdrive about business names, domain names, and how great our idea is and so on. We seem to take comfort in “busyness,” and that’s how we get caught up in it.
BUT… most people who are thinking of getting into business would be better off if they consciously stop doing and start thinking!
The difference between an employee and business owner mindset.
Owning a business is a huge commitment that can change your life forever.
You might be giving up stable employment or risking your savings to start a business. So, you want this huge commitment to be a huge success.
This means that you have to understand what success means to you. What are your motivators to get into business?”
Now, here is the bit where how well you know yourself becomes very important. Do you know the difference between and employee and owner mindset?
How well do you know yourself?
Right now, we want you to start with some serious self-discovery by working out three things:
Who are you?
What does success mean to you?
What achievements are you seeking?
We have met many business owners who wished they had understood “what they really wanted” out of life. That they had understood themselves better.
If they had, they would have either chosen a different business to the one they did or had done things in a very different way.
Some admit they would never have started their business if they had known what it entailed.
Many people don’t realize that, while it is easy to start a business, it can be a lot harder to get out of one. The point of our prime question is to avoid you becoming trapped in a business that you don’t want.
W’ve put together a free downloadable worksheet. It forms part of our Should I Own A Business Podcast Pathway.
Let’s talk about the worksheet, so when you do the exercise, you understand where we are coming from.
Geoff and I look at the question “Should I Own A Business ?” from a holistic viewpoint. You get bombarded with “how to” information on the internet, which encourages you to start doing things.
We understand the stresses and challenges of business ownership and that to be successful many things have to work in harmony. That includes the other, non-business related parts of your life.
There’s no point starting a business to improve your life if it unintentionally makes it worse or does not provide you with satisfaction. Knowing yourself is a good way to avoid making a mistake.
Personal awareness profile to know yourself better 360 degree life view
Warning: what you are about to hear may sound weird. You may wonder what on earth are these two clowns talking about and what have those questions go to do with my business-they are personal questions.
Let’s explain. Everyone else will tell you about writing your business plan, getting a CRM, doing social marketing, automating your email campaigns, and so on. They are all focusing on the “tools” and “how-to” part of business.
Our “noble purpose” is to do our best to reduce business failures by tackling the hidden reasons for business failures. That is why we are demystifying business ownership and discussing the reality of what you need to prepare for. In our view, being correctly prepared as a future business owner is more important than which CRM to pick.
That’s why we are telling you what is not spoken about. Gurus, lead magnets, social media ads, and email campaigns all want you to buy and sign up to their promise of success.
Start by using our 360 degree Personal Awareness Profile tool and get to know yourself from a new perspective.
Take a 360 degree view of your life.
We have identified 7 Life Aspects to help you get a 360 degree view of yourself.
For each of these Aspects, we have suggested some more detailed prompts for you to consider. You can add more if you wish.
The 7 Life Aspects we chose are:
Each of these Life Aspects has some prompts next to it to expand its background. In this exercise, please consider each aspect and score yourself. You can also make comments and therefore build up a 360 degree profile of what is important to you.
There is no right or wrong answer. This is a personal journey that only you can undertake to get to know yourself better.
This is a really important exercise in the process of deciding whether or not to leap into business. You are likely to spend a lot of time, money, and emotional energy, establishing or running a business. Wouldn’t you hate to make that sacrifice only to find out it is not what you want? Especially if it unravels other Aspects in your life.
Business ownership can also test your personal relationships, and therefore, we also encourage you to involve your partners and loved ones, in this. They are going to be directly or indirectly affected by your business and have them involved can help.
The First Life Aspect is called Wellbeing, and it is an area that the business community is awakening to. Business was, for a long time, seen as separate to private life. Talking about stress, health concerns, or being health conscious was seen as weakness. Thank goodness the macho B.S. is fading, and now common sense is prevailing.
Being healthy is good business sense and good life sense. Fit, healthy people can deal with stress and make rational, balanced decisions.
Wellbeing is the first Life Aspect on our list.
The prompts under Wellbeing are:
- Overall Health,
- Exercise Habits,
- Diet Balance,
- Stress Coping, and
- Time Spent in Nature/Relaxing.
Business ownership can be very challenging, and the potential impact your Wellbeing should not be underestimated.
Extended working hours, stress, lack of sleep, changes to routines etc. can all conspire to affect you negatively.
A great listen is Episode 19: Health and Wellbeing in Business – interview with Mel Oliech
2 Personal Growth
The Second Life Aspect is called Personal Growth.
The prompts of Personal Growth are:
- Your Beliefs,
- Emotional Resilience,
- Personal Contentment, Goals.
Exploring these will uncover your values and beliefs together with how grounded and resilient you are.
Some individuals seem more able to cope with life challenges than others, and we use the broad term Emotional Resilience for this. Perhaps think of this of how resistant you are to life’s knocks and how quickly you can recover from them and bounce back. We included Beliefs as there seems to be some correlation that people with strong beliefs can draw on inner strength.
If one of life’s nasties comes along when you’re employed, often you’ll have some support structures around you. Perhaps you can take some leave to help you get back on your feet.
In a business, you may be on your own, and it will be challenging to take much time to recover. More so in very small or micro business, with client deadlines or stores to open. Developing emotional resilience can be essential.
Business ownership is going to expose areas where you will need personal development and growth, and this is something to be prepared for.
Our Third Life Aspect is Relationships, and its importance is of little surprise.
Starting or owning a business can stress relationships. Evaluate the risk to your relationships.
The prompts cover how strong and stable your close relationships are, along with what triggers friction in them. Taking some time to consider your relationships will help you to predict where some issues may occur and where you are going to support from.
Typical triggers for relationship friction are around lack of money and lack of time for partners.
Businesses can be very demanding, and the choice between business needs and partner needs can be a delicate balance.
Wealth is the Fourth Life Aspect we will examine-in particular your attitude to money.
The prompts highlighted will also get you to define your wealth goals and available resources. You will also consider your attitude to risk – a key element of knowing yourself – are you a risk taker or conservative?
In Episode 17 we talk about money. Money mindset is crucial to growing a business and if you don’t have the right mindset you may struggle.
While you expect to have the full financial benefit of business success, you must accept the entire business risk. There are no guarantees.
Some people have modest financial aspirations, whereas others are highly ambitious-what are yours?
You can’t evaluate business opportunities without understanding this aspect. This will have a significant impact on your choice of business and your mindset.
5 Leisure Time
Leisure Time is number Five, and this Life Aspect explores how you choose to spend yours. Unwinding is very important for a balanced life. We ask how important your leisure time is to you. How much of it do you need? Are you a person that must play sport every weekend or go away every year travelling? What would it mean to you if your leisure time got curtailed?
This is another area of compromise, similar to what we discussed in relationships. The choice between business needs and leisure time needs can be a fine balance.
Loss of leisure time can also mean loss of social connection, which can impact on your resilience. We often see owners having to withdraw from sporting teams as the needs of the business get in the way of being able to continue with those commitments.
6 Personal Attributes and Traits
The sixth Life Aspect is Personal Attributes and Traits.
Your attributes are qualities or characteristics that suggest there is something inherent about them. Perhaps you are charming or witty. Traits are things ingrained and difficult to learn or unlearn -perhaps your confidence or shyness. Describe what the things you are you naturally good at are. These will help later when we discuss Your Support Team and How to Evaluate Your Business idea, which are the subjects of later podcasts. You will hear in a following episode how these Attributes and Traits need to understood to avoid making a poor decision about the type of business you might choose.
Are you someone that derives happiness from human contact. Entering a business that involves a lot of solitary work may be difficult for you. A home-based business, for example, can mean a loss of social interaction, which some individuals feel significant.
7 Your Current Occupation
Work, or your current occupation, is the seventh Life Aspect, and we ask what is satisfying and dissatisfying about it. On average of how many hours a week do you work and how well paid are you?
Specifically, you will note three good things and three bad things about your current occupation. What will you miss about your current work or workplace?
Why will the grass be greener on the other side?
When you complete this exercise, you will have a simple, concise, and tremendously helpful 360-degree view of yourself.
How do I use my You-360 Personal Awareness Profile?
So, what do the scores mean?
You are not doing this to compare against anyone else. It’s purely for yourself. So any score is for your own reference.
The objective of the exercise is to consider any areas where some personal preparation and forward planning will enhance your chances of business success.
Perhaps it might be discussing with partners how you will deal with money or holiday plans so they are aware of what might happen.
It might be working out a personal wellbeing plan so that you don’t just become consumed by the business.
Preparing the people and family closest to you may avoid friction at a later time.
It might also be coming to a view of what’s important in your beliefs that must carry into your business life.
How well you know yourself will impact on your decision making
You have to be clear about what you want to make good decisions. You also need to be aware of any weak points you identify that need some care.
We are not suggesting there is a pass score or that any score should necessarily prevent you from getting into business.
By carefully considering your current life balance, you should be conscious that getting into a business will have an impact.
Trying to manage that impact will give you the best chance of success.
How easy is running a business?
It’s not just about your business idea but how it fits into your life. To be more precise, how your life will fit into it! It’s easy to assume that your life will be the same when you tag a business on to it. We are here to burst that bubble!
Spend time doing this exercise– then come back to it after a while and see if there are changes additions you want to make. You own this, and it’s a tool for you, so write and scribble it as you wish.
Remember that our prompts are a guide, so feel free to add others.
The next thing on the pathway is understanding your motivation and ambition to own a business.
The information contained in this podcast is general and does not take into account your situation. The content does not constitute business, legal, or financial advice and should not be used as such. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where applicable, seek professional advice from a financial adviser or lawyer in your jurisdiction. To find out more, please go to www.ShouldIOwnABusiness.com