One of the questions I ask all my coaching clients when we’re first starting out is “What inspired you to start your business”?
I believe it is one of the most effective ways to discover someone’s passion for the work they do. Sometimes it takes some poking and prodding to get the authentic answer, especially if someone is not feeling fulfilled by the work they do.
For me, I wanted freedom and flexibility with my schedule. I wanted to stop working 60+ hours a week away from home for someone else. My inspiration to start my business was fueled by my 3 young children and wanting to spend more time with them.
So, I did just that, I opened my business, I hung out my shingle, I started marketing and almost immediately working with clients. Pretty fast I got busy, my team grew, and we outgrew my home office. From the outside looking in, I’d become successful in less than 2 years – however, I was utterly burned out.
How did this happen? I thought that being a business owner would give me what I was missing when I had a job working for someone else. Did I have it all wrong about this whole business thing? The answer was yes, no and sort of.
Yes, I had it wrong – not all of it, but what I had wrong was I’d lost track my vision for my life, and the reason I wanted to work for myself. I’d completely forgotten why I started my business.
And No, I wasn’t doomed, as a matter of fact, the things I wanted to do were totally doable, I just had to figure out exactly what it was that I wanted my life and business to look like.
Sort of, after some deep reflecting, and the realization that the business I was creating wasn’t what I’d longed for initially, I did realize that there as a lot of things I wanted to change, and that thankfully I could.
It took me some time to work through this, and what gave me the power I needed to work through this was being able to reconnect with what I initially wanted, the things that inspired me to start and kept me going in the early days when I was struggling. Here are a few of the steps I took to get me back into alignment with what I really wanted and how I began to create them:
1) I got a piece of paper and made a list of the things I wanted to be able to do as a business owner.
2) I made a copy of the items listed above and then started crossing off all things that I couldn’t do when I worked for someone else. (this was important in helping me see clearly that if I wanted all those things, I would have to find a way to make this business thing work).
3) From the original list, I picked one or two and started creating a plan to make them happen in order of personal priority.
At the top of my list of essential things on the list was being there when the kids got home from school. By the time I realized I was burned out, I’d moved the team from my home office to a 2,000 square foot office space I rented. So, to solve this problem I had to get super creative. I met with my team, I came up with a plan and then closed the office space.
Some people the business world looked at this as taking a step backward, I looked at it as a giant leap forward. You see the only people around me whose opinion of my success mattered was my kiddos and me. And being able to be home for them was something that they identified as a success and so did I.
It took a while to sort out all the details, it was uncharted waters in my little world, but we made it work.
Then, I took another item on the list and started finding a way to make more of that happen in my life. Then another and another and, well you get the picture.
So, here’s my question to you – “What inspired you to start your business?” Go back to the days where you were thinking of it, and then think about what fueled you to take the leap. What was your inspiration? What was the catalyst for the change you wanted that caused you to be a business owner?
And, after you’ve written down, ask yourself this question; “Am I getting all I want from my business?”
If not, then do what I did and figure out where you can make changes, some may have to be bold, like me closing down my office, others could be small. The best part is that it’s your business, you have the power to make it exactly what you want.
If you’d like some help crafting a business that is in alignment with your inspiration, then let’s chat. I’d be honored to help you find solutions to your struggles and help you create the business you truly want.
Learn More About Michelle’s Coaching Programs: https://transactioncoordinatoracademy.com/coaching/