Almost every morning, I start my day with a meditation from The Daily Calm and a short journaling exercise before my household stirs. I love this window of serenity and calm.
Lately, I’ve noticed something that bothers me.
My morning musings are 80%+ business-related and this has prompted me to ask myself the questions I often ask my clients. What role does my business play in my life? And how much am I enjoying that role?
These are questions I think you should ponder too.
What role does your business play in your life?
Is it a hobby? A passion project? A part-time venture? A side-hustle? A full-time focus? Are you building an enterprise that will sustain you through the next 20 years or is this an “until formal retirement in 5 years” kinda thing? Are you solely responsible for your household income, or are you contributing to it? Are you committed to your business and your audience, or are you actually being consumed by it and them?
It’s really important to have some clarity around this. Especially if you find yourself comparing your progress and results with that of other people in your space. Their “Business Role” could be wildly different to yours.
Don’t allow yourself to be in the thrall of the headlines on social media that imply or outright demand that you need to scale and leverage and build and grow an online empire. The “go hard or go home” philosophy held me hostage for quite some time in my previous entrepreneurial life as I built my Marketing Agency from home to buying an office and having a full-time team.
I barely escaped with my health and sanity intact!
But thankfully, that’s a story with a happy ending as I am far more content and fulfilled (and incidentally, far more profitable) in my Next Chapter Business that utilises all of my skills and allows me to have a more balanced life.
A guide for creating your business model and marketing plan
Business Role clarity will guide your marketing and visibility strategies and actions. You likely don’t need to do “all the things” that you think you need to. You can make informed choices when you’ve become clear on the business you’re building. The level of marketing you need to develop and implement will be highly dependent on your level of clarity. And you can let go of that pervasive, exhausting almost guilt-like feeling of “I should be doing more, more, more” when you’re clear.
That’s such a relief.
For example, I love my business model. Marketing Strategy Sessions, Masterminds, and Retreats are at its core. I have a high intimacy business model and that means I don’t need to rely on systematic launches or to build a MASSIVE email list. I focus on my key Marketing Megaphones and Support Acts, staying in touch, leading by example, providing great free resources and paid services at different levels whilst delivering fabulous experiences to my lovely, lovely clients so they keep coming back (many of my Mastermind clients are in their third year and some of them have been in my world for over 10 years!). I value building long-term relationships with clients rather than short-term transactions with customers, so this really fills my happiness cup.
I’m clear on the role my business plays in my life right now. It will stay at this level until my daughter has finished High School, and then I will expand it further. It has a little bit more than part-time focus (roughly 9.00 – 3.30pm four days a week, with a couple of early starts and one later finish each fortnight to accommodate some of my Mastermind groups that have overseas members and busy offices) for that reason and also because I currently oversee the marketing and events for my husbands growing sailing and yacht importing businesses. I’ve been bosom buddies with burnout in the past and I’m not going there again, so I guard my time a little fiercely.
And that’s why the 80% business focus in my morning journaling rang a small alarm bell when I recognised it. There could be a wee smidgen of “being consumed rather than committed” creeping into my world. I need to create some more space so my creativity has time to come out and play. I’m going to consciously swing that pendulum back a little so I have a full life with a business component, not a full business with a life component.
Questions to ask yourself
If this resonates with you – if you suspect that you’re either “unconsciously working” without a clear focus or conversely if you know you need to increase your focus because of the role you want your business to play in your next chapter, here are a few things to try.
- Explore that key question – what’s the role of your business – does it fit your life, does it need to expand or contract?
- Ask yourself, is the model you’ve chosen to work within working for you? Do you feel uplifted by it, or a victim of it? Are you following someones else’s path or your own?
- Consider setting an “I’m going to finish at x time” intention when you start your day and stick to it. When we work alone the natural boundaries are not in place so we need to set them ourselves
- Be aware of any tendency to drop into mindless social media scrolling mode and stop yourself – this habit eats up your time and throws the Comparison Trap door WIDE open
- Do you have hobbies? Leisure activities that take you right out of your working space (especially if you work from home) and allow your imagination and creativity room to grow? If not, time to explore… follow your nose – what feels enticing?
- Are you working to your big quarterly picture, using a weekly planner, calendar blocking and scheduling to ensure you get the most important tasks that underpin your core quarterly goals completed and are not diverted by busywork?
- Are you always listening to podcasts or reading books and blogs that are only business and personal development focused? Break it up a little – grab a novel! Listen to something purely for fun…
Those are a few thought starters for you, and I trust they’ll be helpful. Your business will naturally evolve over time as your own experience, skills, goals and life circumstances change. What I’m keen for you to have is conscious evolution, with the role Your Next Chapter business plays complementing, not commanding your life, if that’s important to you.
If you’d like a sounding board for this process, why not request a Business Strategy Session with me? It might be the fresh perspective that you need to help you gain clarity and make some significant changes in your business!