When you set out to start a business, there is a ton of amazing business-focused advice out there. But what should you really be thinking about long before websites, payment methods and email services?
I challenge you to think about the lifestyle you want to create, the way you want to spend your days inside and outside your business and as well as the energy you want to put out into the world and take in.
This is YOUR business. You can do what ever you want, and you can do it however you want and for what ever reason.
I believe if you build the framework for the type of lifestyle you want, then you can plug in the perfect business into that framework.
You’ve heard it before, but you want a business that supports your life, not a life that supports your business.
So, let’s think about these 3 lifestyle decisions first;
How do you want your day structured?
Do you love to get up in the morning and write before the rest of the house wakes up? Would you rather snuggle in bed with your kids in the morning and head out to a late night coffee shop in the evening to get your work done?
Do you want to only work 3 days a week? Be able to take school vacations off with your kids? Do you want to wear yoga pants every day, or get dressed up to go see clients? Do you like to have a set schedule or one with lots of flexibility?
Now, I am not saying you don’t have to work hard to run your own business. I am not telling you, you can decide to only work one morning a week and watch the 6 figure income come rolling in. What I am suggestion is you start the way you which to continue.
As you build a business, build it around the life you want…not the other way around.
Do my kids sometimes watch an extra cartoon so I can get a blog post done? Sure. But I also recently made the decision that I didn’t want to work after they went to bed (which meant no work from after school pick up through the next morning) You know what happened when I removed that option…I got more done. I was more focused during my work time, I didn’t put things off to do later and I was more relaxed with my kids, not trying to figure out when I could sneak back into my office. And after they go to bed, I can hang out with my husband.
What motivates you and what do you love to do?
Do you thrive on external deadlines? Do you like to collaborate, or do you like to make all the decisions? Do you love to speak in front of large groups of people or do you crave the more intimate connection of working one on one?
These are important details to flesh out before you get there. Of course, businesses can be built on many combinations of work structures, but if you know what you like and what you don’t like up front, you can avoid feeling like you are going to vomit before you go on stage to speak to 200 people and realized you’ve built a business model around being in front of people and you hate public speaking.
And remember, what you love to do doesn’t have to only be the thing you are good at. Just because you can code a website with your eyes closed, doesn’t mean that all you have to offer clients is to be a web designer. Don’t let what you ‘should’ do or what you are trained to do be your only option. Remember, you are building a business you love….start there.
How do you want to feel?
Do you love the hustle and bustle? Do you thrive on calm? Think about how you want to feel in your life and in your business and make sure your business idea support that feeling.
One exercise I love my clients to do when they are visualizing their dream business is to think about a party they want to throw for their potential clients. Are you the type of person who loves to throw a Sunday brunch party on sunny patio with steaming lattes and sparkling mimosas or does a fun night out with loud music, amazing high heels and a signature cocktail sound like the ideal shindig?
I’m not suggesting you will ever take your dog walking clients out for cosmos, but this idea sets the stage for how you want to feel inside your business and how you ultimately want your clients to feel when they work with you.
Now it is your turn. Tell me in the comments one lifestyle decision you have made that shapes your business, or if you are just starting out, tell me one thing that is important to you that has nothing to do with your business.
The big secret…it has everything to do with your business.
If you’d like to dive deeper into these types of business building decisions, my new course, Mama Business Incubator is exactly what you need to get unstuck and get started building your dream business. You’ll receive 3 weeks of email prompts and a one on one virtual coffee date with me to nail down exactly what excites you about your life and your business and how you can blend the two…while being a great mom! Click here to learn more!
I wanted to work my work around my life, not the other way around. Before kids, it was very clear how that worked. With kids, it is less obvious that that’s what I’m doing. Sometimes I feel like the work gets crammed in to every available pocket of time, but I realize it gives me time with my kids I wouldn’t have otherwise.
I just wanted to say that these particular sentences really stood out to me when I read your latest post. I am actually going to print out these words and hang them up. Thank you for this reminder.
“Don’t let what you ‘should’ do or what you are trained to do be your only option. Remember, you are building a business you love….start there.”
Loved this Megan and I think it’s so important! While some days I feel stressed about not having enough time to work on all the ideas I have, I remind myself that my #1 priority is spending as much time as possible with my little girl while she’s still little. Which won’t be for that long!
And I need to go back to what you’re doing as far as evenings. I wasn’t working in the evening at all until I had a tight deadline recently, but now I want to stop again. (For the most part anyway). That time with my husband is vital for not only our relationship, but our family as well.
Sorry, Megan, I didn’t intend to include that link to my recent post. It just automatically added it?? Sorry, I know that’s bad commenting etiquette. 🙂
Hey Karen! I have my comments set up so it automatically shows your latest post! Its all about creating community! If you comment on my post, chances are, my readers might also like to check your post out too! Its all good! Thanks for the comment
Great post Megan – I’m often working late at night and right now the idea of not working from school pick up till the next morning seems like a complete pipe dream. It’s inspiring to see you take charge of your schedule that way.