Do you know how to make a marriage last? I do! A marriage to your goals that is – the other kind I know nothing about and have no interest in finding out any time soon, but marriage and business – now that’s juicy stuff!
Marry your goals, not your business
Have you ever heard the term “I’m married to my job” I hate it when people say that – firstly because it’s deeply depressing and secondly because corny turns of phrase annoy me. You should never be married to a job, (eeck!) and most entrepreneurs get this – but the problem is they’ll leave their 9 to 5 and get married to their business model instead!
Tips to know if you are married to the wrong person (figuratively)
- If you left your business for a week it’d fall apart
- If your business got bought tomorrow for $1,000,000 you’d feel a sad, empty feeling (as opposed to me who’d be on the next flight to Bali baby!)
- You are constantly, compulsively “checking in” with the wife (i.e. your business)
Divorce your business and marry your dreams
I rarely ever promote this but it is time to not only get a divorce but toss the children. If your business is your wife/husband than everything in and around it are your kids. Opposed to popular life logic, where you want to stay with the one you marry (ideally) and raise your kids – in business you want to let your “kids” (products, services, etc.) raise themselves and you want to never be married to their mom/dad (the business). Instead you want to set up systems (nannies) that boss the kids around and keep the wifey in line.
A divorced business should be able to hold it’s own without you. A divorced business, that truly lets you marry your goals – none of this bigamy stuff – will look like the following
- It will be propelled by the MARKET
- It will monetize with a PRODUCT (read: services, consulting, doughnuts, etc.)
- It will produce excellent SERVICE
- Everything will be SYSTEMIZED
Marrying your true love, your goals
If you can’t immediately think of 5 goals that your business will help you reach you may be married to the wrong entity. The goals have to be outside of the business and deal with life in general vs. the tiny microcosm that is your company. Remember your business should be one of many vessels that will lead you to your goals, not the other way around. Here are non-business related goals to be married to:
- Traveling the world
- Adopting two children from special needs backgrounds
- Retiring at 30 with a cool $5 mil in the bank
- Building your dream home in Aspen where you plan on raising a family
- Competitive gerbil racing (look it up!)
Only one of these directly talks about “money” – but ALL of them have something to do with having X amount of dollars. Adopting special needs children means one of you will need to stay home a lot or hire help, gerbil racing (assuming it’s real) may be an incredibly expensive sport where you have to buy special diamond crusted gerbil outfits and travel to far off countries where gerbils are revered.
So write out your goals, marry them, tell yourself that you’ll NEVER break up (goals can’t cheat on you, lie to you or be bad cooks!) and then commit to one way or another to reaching those goals and making those marriages work! Your businesses, now take a backseat to your dreams and become the means to an end, not the end in itself. This way when a business falls apart you aren’t devastated instead you see the massive opportunity laying in the midst of the old businesses rubble and use it to grow a hugely profitable enterprise that’ll get you to your goals!
So for a “project” that I’ll be documenting on escaping the 9 to 5 I need 2-3 “testimonials” persay from current readers of this blog who (for some reason) find what I have to say helpful, funny or inspiring. This would ideally be a few sentences to a paragraph in length. Now for the fun part: If you fit this category email me a little blurb on how this blog has helped you in some form & if I pick it to be part of my experiment I’ll send you a FREE book from my collection of awesome books! Now these aren’t just ANY books, these are uber highlighted, super well read, amazing books that have changed my life and will probably change yours too. I have about 100 and will at random pick one and send it to the top three ‘testimonial’ winners (no matter where you live in the world!). Email them to CONTACT(AT)ESCAPINGTHE9TO5.COM and thanks so, so much!
photo credit from icanhascheezburger.com