Everyone who puts forth the energy and ability to start a new business has some large goal in mind. It can be as simple as pure money, but for some, the goal can be to truly provide the best service or products in a given niche. For others, it may be to create a lasting personal legacy. Some businesspeople even see their business as a route to help create the kind of social or political change that they want to see.
The challenge is connecting the day-to-day elements of running a small business to the large dream that we all have.
I’m a small business owner with two distinct goals. The first is to establish enough stable investments so that my family can survive without the need for steady income directly from the business. The second is to build a foundation that helps families with the incredibly complex adoption process. I guess you could say that my goal is to build stable, happy families, starting with my own.
How do these goals tie into the day-to-day decision making process of my business?
First, whenever I have to make a strategic choice of any kind with regards to my business, I keep those two large goals in mind.
So, for the first goal, whenever I have an option to take some profit or other resources out of the business and into a stable investment that returns a steady amount every year, I do this. Sometimes it means that I have to return money to the business in some form or another, but as time goes on, I will require less and less profit from my business to fund my own personal living expenses. That means I’ll have more business resources to fold back into the business to grow it – or more resources with which to push myself to a level of complete financial independence.
Second, my business is designed to maximize my ability to reach that goal. In other words, because my personal goals tend towards stability, my business decisions also tend towards stability. I much prefer steady, slow-growing businesses that will steadily produce some income than businesses that are shooting for incredible growth with the potential for incredible failure. I prefer businesses with low operating expenses as well – again, even if that means foregoing profit.
Understanding these personal goals up front makes it much easier to run the type of business I want to run. If I were a more adventurous type with more adventurous goals, I’d be much more likely to jump into more adventurous businesses. The key is understanding who I am before making major business decisions as a business owner.
Who are you? What are your large goals in life? How does the business you’re running relate to those goals? The better you understand that connection – and the more time you spend reflecting on how your big personal goals relate to the nuts-and-bolts financial choices of your business – the quicker you’ll arrive at the kind of results you want to achieve.
Image credit: See-Ming Lee