Episode Summary – You-360 degree- What do I really want?
You-360 “what do I really want” explores your life and business ownership. 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.
This is critical stuff when answering “Should I Own A Business”?
Links and Resources
2: You-360 degree “what do I really want”?
In today’s’ show called You-360 degree, we tackle the first question for everyone who’s thinking of getting into business needs to do ask, “what do I really want”?
We explain why this is our first question, as well as how we can help you arrive at the answer by using a 360 degree view of yourself.
Today we are starting with what we call the prime question-“what do I really want”?
Between Geoff and I, we 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 a solid reason.
Why do I want to own a business?
Our Should I Own A Business Podcast (SIOAB) podcast explains the reality of business ownership, and what it takes to be successful. It might surprise you to hear that the first question is nothing to do with your business dream. It is, however, everything to do with YOU.
We go to school, maybe college or uni, or perhaps an apprenticeship to get a job and career. As we plow through life so few of us ever take the time to ask that most fundamental of questions, “what do I really want”? It seems that we get caught up in life and get carried along by it.
We can share with you that starting a business can be the same. You get caught up in it and carried along-sometimes to where you like and sometimes not.
Does your business idea align with your life?
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 business and life? In businesses, especially smaller ones, it is tough to separate yourself -the owner-from your business. We think that it is essential to recognize this. As an entrepreneur, you will shape your business. You will commit a very significant amount of your time and life to your business, and therefore you would like to choose something that fits in well with you.
How do you evaluate a business idea?
This sounds almost too simple to say, but it’s a massive consideration. It’s not just about what 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!
Owning a business is a major commitment, and we explore this in a lot more in the next episode, “Understanding Your Motivation”.
For now, we are going to focus on what’s makes you tick.
Now, perhaps we should also clarify what we mean by the word “entrepreneur.” The word entrepreneur seems to have been hijacked by the fin-tech start-up world. The Should I Own a Business Podcast definition is anyone who owns, founds, or buys a business, including a franchise. These business owners are every bit as entrepreneurial as the trendy disrupter start-ups.
To avoid confusion, we generally will use the term business owner.
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?” 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?
Answering these questions will help you decide if owning a business is a good choice and how to evaluate business ideas.
We have met many business owners who wished they had understood “what they really wanted” out of life. They would have either chosen a different business to the one they have or done things 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 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.
To help you with answering “what do I really want,” we’ve put together a free downloadable worksheet. It forms part of our Should I Own A Business Podcast Pathway that we say more about toward the end of today’s episode.
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 do” 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 rest of your life.
There’s no point starting a business to improve your life if it unintentionally harms it or does not provide you with satisfaction.
A Should I Own A Business Podcast Warning about 360 degree life view
Now a Should I Own A Business Podcast Warning: what you 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.
You may recall that 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 tool.
How do you get rich quick by starting a business? You don’t!
Remember while you want to own a successful business, the reality is that the odds are against you. The statistics are government ones! So think differently.
We want to give you the absolute best chance of success by being prepared, and frankly, a lot of people are ill-prepared when they first leap into business.
Getting into business can tend to magnify issues in your life-sometimes with significant consequences. This can lead to big stresses or business failure.
Now, some people jump straight in, and they succeed in business by battling through their challenges; however, the majority of new businesses don’t succeed.
So, we suggest that you listen to our approach with an open mind. It can’t do you any harm, and it might do you a great deal of good-so you have nothing to lose! You can then make an informed decision.
Our exercise will give you a personal benchmark of where you are now that will help you decide where you would like to go to in the future.
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:
- Personal Growth
- Leisure Time
- Personal Attributes
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.
This profile with then help you in the process of deciding Should I Own a Business?
There is no right or wrong answer, nor one methodology that can guarantee the heavens opening and the meaning of life dropping from the sky into your lap. This is a personal journey that only you can undertake.
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.
We are human, whether in or out of business, and we have human needs. 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, Mindfulness/Meditation, 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. This is super valuable in our Pathway, so consider these.
Now you might wonder what have these things got to do with my business-surely their personal. Yes, they are personal, but in smaller businesses, it is difficult to separate the owner from the business.
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.
This section might help you uncover your own life goals. It will also help you later when it comes to Evaluating Your Business Idea, which covered in a later Episode.
Business ownership is going to expose areas where you will need Personal Development, 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.
Episode 21 is How starting a business can affect your family and friends.
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. In Episode 17 we talk about money. The prompts highlighted will also get you to define your wealth goals and available resources. You will also consider your attitude to risk -are you a risky person or conservative.
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 Personal Life Aspect 360-degree view of YOU.
How do I use my You-360 degree?
So, what do the scores mean? You are not doing this to compare against anyone else, purely for yourself, so any score is purely for your reference. Maybe you have just commented if you found scoring difficult. 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 your relationships 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. For example, if you identify strong environmental beliefs, then buying into a franchise that doesn’t mirror your expectations may cause you anxiety.
It might also become clear that wealth creation is the most important thing to you. This means your approach and choice of business must be capable of building wealth. We talk about this in later episodes.
Whatever your scores and comments, your profile will also help you when it comes to Evaluating Your Business Idea. 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 what your business idea is but also about 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!
We have also included a section where you can write “what do I really want” against each of these Life Aspects. You will have considered a balanced view of what is important to you and have a tool that you can refer back to when making important decisions.
In our future Podcasts, we will refer you back to this as part of our Pathway.
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.
We suggest you start a journal for Should I Own A Business Podcast series. This is the first on our Pathway, and you can keep updating this profile and use it for reference.
It would be good to do the exercise with your partner if you have one.
If you prefer not to do the exercise, that’s fine too.
The Should I Own A Business Podcast Pathway after my 360 degree view
We have carefully put together our Should I Own a Business Podcast Pathway based upon our years of experience and real-life observations. The Pathway will cover the crucial steps that will enable you to answer- Should I Own A Business?
Remember that our purpose is to reduce the enormous number of businesses that fail by enabling budding entrepreneurs to avoid the hidden causes of business failure. We, therefore, think quite differently to what you hear from other sources.
The Should I Own A Business Podcast Next Episode
In our next episode, “Understanding Your Motivation,” we move on to explore some of the things that motivate people to start businesses. You can see how your motivation compares to lots of other people surveyed. We have some fascinating insights on this, and again, they are probably not what you expect.
We will also get you thinking about your real motivation which is much easier once you have completed your 360-degree tool.
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