Happiness in business… is that an oxymoron?
Whoever is happy in their business must not be trying hard enough! Business owners should give every last bit of energy to their company. After all, the more you work, the more profits you’ll have, and the happier you will be, right?
Red flag! This is not true!
You deserve to take breaks and be rewarded for your hard work.
It’s not enough to “show a profit” on the books at the end of the year if you, the business owner were not well compensated for your efforts.
At the very least, you need to be getting something of personal value as a reward. It is common to be paid less than market wage or no wage at all when you own a business. Or worse… to never have meaningful time off.
As a business owner, these rewards may be owning the car of your dreams or taking annual vacations with your family. Saving cash into your own bank account for your personal future use can be a great motivator for hard days.
I know what you are thinking, there is NO money! If this is the case you may want to stop long enough to decide if the way you spend your time (AKA your life) is worth the effort.
Chances are that the money is there, it is just being spent on other things that may be perceived as more important.
You can only go so long without getting paid or having time off. Your company is stronger when you are happy, healthy and well-compensated for your efforts.
Here’s the happiness system:
1. Know what you want.
Now is not the time to be shy! Your business’ success is counting on you. List what you personally want to have from being the owner of your company.
2. Understand what drives you.
If you are honest with yourself, you will be able to easily describe the things that make you happy, give you energy and that keep you going.
3. Construct a personal reward system
Consider what you need to have the energy and enthusiasm to keep going and find a way to make your own dreams come true.
Start with opening a business savings account and start putting money aside every week for yourself. Think of it as a lease payment to a supplier, make it a fixed cost and put that money away no matter what. Then, watch it grow.
If money is not the issue and you need time away, then book that time off now. You can put systems in place so that you can get away.
4. Be honest with yourself
Are you happy? If the answer is no, then talk to someone who can help you decide if you should even be doing this. Maybe the company needs to go in a different direction.
5. Take your reward
This is the part where you actually put yourself first. Try it. You will be surprised at how much better you will feel after a holiday with your family or a whole weekend off to do one of your hobbies. Whatever it is that you need to be happy in this life, make sure you include this in your business plan.
6. Integrate company & personal goals
It is possible to reward yourself AND build a profitable company. Maybe it starts with something as simple as taking every Friday afternoon off to hang out with your kids or go golfing with your buddies. It may mean raising prices or lowering other non-essential costs. Some of your hard-earned revenue can actually land in your wallet so you can do whatever you please with it.
Happiness in business is not a myth!
Owning a small business is one of the most demanding jobs on the planet. It is essential to decide what you want to get out of owning this company. This will determine whether you will find happiness in your business or if you will end up resenting it.
As a business coach, I learned early to look for the fire or the “soul-satisfying driver”. It’s what keeps a business owner motivated. There is always a reward, what is yours?
Until next time! Enjoy your entrepreneurial journey!