Why did you bother to start a business instead of just working for an employer like so many millions of other Americans do? What is your end game?
For me, and I am betting for most of you, the answer includes freedom and independence in some form – the ability to make a comfortable living and attain an ideal lifestyle. That might mean ultimately selling the business and living off the proceeds or it could mean simply turning daily control over to hired managers.
This may seem like common sense as you are reading it, but you would be surprised how many business owners have not thought through their long term objectives. It’s easy to understand why, most of us are so busy that we can’t get through today’s to-do list, let alone think about the future. But the truth is that business owners who do not take the time to create a big picture goal are usually going to regret it.
It is true that most business owners cannot afford to spend all of their time daydreaming and planning for a goal that may be 5, 10, 20, or even 30 years down the road. But let me tell you something that I have observed over and over again: the 45 minutes each week that a busy owner can find to plan from a strategic standpoint can completely revolutionize his business. Because instead of working with no sense of purpose, which is what most business owners are doing, all of his actions are working towards a defined goal. Instead of working for his business, an owner with a long term vision is slowly teaching his business to work for him. This is a vitally important distinction!
Do you have a long term vision for your business? Do you want to sell it and move to Florida while you are still relatively young? Or maybe you want to travel the world while still maintaining control of your company, left in the hands of capable management? Your business is your tool for living the life you want to live’ but only if you have figured out what that life should look like. So I’ll ask again… what’s your end game?