A recent client of mine, Michael who is the founder and hardworking owner of a trade business, was deeply involved in the day-to-day running of his business.

With no clear path at the age of 59, the question many of us face suddenly hit him like a ton of bricks:” How do I get off the hamster wheel?  I’ve been doing and doing and doing for more than 20 years. It’s like I’m chained to my business.”  He has always put his business first and sacrificed other important areas of his life.

After numerous attempts to change with support from external professionals, with no success in sight, I challenged Michael to think beyond the business, sales numbers, administration, daily meetings and process. I asked him, “What kind of life do you want to live?” “What is your ideal life – income and freedom?”  “What’s the big picture?”

This was Michael’s Ah-Ha moment!  He breathed deeply. Michael connected personal goals with business goals. And everything changed. After that, Michael not only changed his world and his family, he changed the experience and opportunities for his employees.  

In their pursuit of business success, many business owners simply don’t take a breather and self-reflect. Instead, they bury their heads in work for too long, forgetting to see how their role needs to evolve. They neglect to execute strategically to unchain themselves from the tactical roles consuming their time. Most importantly they neglect themselves and the people close to them.  Life is short, it is not selfish to reward and enjoy the benefits of what you have built.

Live as you mean it. Here are ten personal goals every business owner should explore so business success translates into balance and fulfilment:

  1. Make decisions that align with personal and business goals

Since the company and owner are closely tied together, business owners often make business decisions for personal reasons. It’s important to understand the true rationale. For example, will sponsoring a golf tournament meet the marketing objectives of the company, or is the decision to sponsor based on a personal desire to play the event? Neither answer is right or wrong – that’s the benefit of owning the business. But having direction and goals presents a new perspective for each decision.

2. Exit strategy/succession

Begin with the end in mind and then work backwards. Involve your key advisers and partner.

3. Leadership and values

Rather than using institutional definition, ask yourself: What kind of leader do I hope to be based on my ethics and values? What kind of leadership do I want to bring to the workplace based on my, upbringing, experiences, empathy and beliefs?

4. Time

The past 2 years have been challenging for everyone and also a good time to reflect and reassess what is important. Make every minute count. Are you spending your time in ways that make you feel fulfilled or frustrated? What do you love doing? How much time do you hope to spend with family, friends, hobbies, work and other interests?  Be honest with yourself and consider asking the people closest to you, your inner circle for their opinions, too.

5. Wealth

Building wealth goes far beyond making money. What does your wealth translate into? Tangible categories like financial security, freedom of choice, balance and fulfilment in life and what you will leave for the next generation are rewards on the other side of wealth.

6. Your passions

We’ve all heard we should follow our passions, but what does this mean? Dig deep and remember what you loved in years past: family, feeling healthy, teaching, travel, writing, creating art or helping others – your cause.

7. Lifestyle

Lifestyle goals and desires connect to the inspiration for starting or owning a business. Make a list of the lifestyle or most important personal factors, and quantify the amount needed to achieve the goal. The goal may be to spend more time with family, travel, play more golf, or set up a foundation for charitable purposes. Every individual is different.

Be bold here. What does your ideal lifestyle look like? Are you hitting the gym, enjoying an evening concert, attending classes, reading books? What is your life missing? What is holding you back?  We’ve all heard we should follow our passions, but what does this mean? Dig deep and remember what you loved in years past: family, feeling healthy, teaching, travel, writing, creating art or helping others

8. Workplace culture

Business owners influence workplace culture. So be intentional about it. Link a cause to your business.  If mental health is important to you, then transform your personal goal of supporting mental health through company volunteerism or mentorship/support programs.8.

9. Self-Investment

Personal growth will look different to every individual. For some, it may be pursuing educational goals, such as learning a new language, developing a skill, or receiving a degree. For others, it may be more abstract, such as improving relationships with other people or increasing their confidence. 

Business strategists or coaches will also help you critically answer certain questions, like:

  • What’s important to you, both personally and professionally?
  • Why do you do things the way you do?
  • What type of legacy do you want to leave?
  • How are your actions improving your wellbeing and that of the company?

For instance, if a business owner feels stuck in their role and isn’t growing, yet keeps finding reasons to stay put, a good coach isn’t going to buy whatever excuses you make to avoid making real improvements. Moreover, they will help set up attainable milestones to get move them out of that rut.

10. Customer relationships

Do you want more interaction with customers or less?

Back to Michael. By understanding his business was there to serve him (and not the other way around), his personal goals raced to the top.

Clearly understanding your personal goals as a business owner builds a business that supports them.  You move from being a back seat passenger, with no control over direction, to the front seat in control of the steering and direction.

 It creates a culture where you bring on the right people and give them a reason for contributing 100 per cent each day with well-designed processes and workflow so you deliver a product that is valuable to your ideal customer.  You find your real purpose and value within the business; you stop wearing multiple hats.

By tying personal goals with business success, you are maximising value in your business, moving it from a job to an investment that brings balance and fulfilment to your life, by achieving you’re your income and freedom goals.

Important:  Everyone knows that writing down a goal is the best way to make it happen. But many people don’t take the time to make a concrete list. When a goal is stated in writing and a person makes an accountability plan, the results have a much better opportunity for success.

Contact us at Aligned 4 Growth for support in aligning personal and business goals to maximise value in your business, creating more balance and fulfilment in your life by achieving your income and freedom goals.