Plan Your Long Term Goals
No matter how much you love numbers, budgeting is a whole lot more fun when you’re planning a big business expansion (or even better, an epic vacation). Now’s the time to dream BIG so don’t limit yourself or talk yourself out of something. Use this time for brainstorming your biggest dreams; you’ll have time later to prioritize and figure out what’s within reach.
Where do you see yourself in five years? That’s a popular interview question in the corporate world and one worth exploring as an entrepreneur. Will you still be working from home or have a brick-and-mortar location? Will you stay in your home town or will you become nomadic and travel with a laptop in hand? Will you be happy with your 1:1 customers or do you want to make a bigger name and become an internet sensation?
There are no wrong answers here because everyone’s definition of success is different. If you’re very happy working part-time hours to supplement your spouse’s income, then so be it. If you want to earn multiple six-figures and have several books published and be featured on television as an expert, then do it. Dream big and imagine your ideal definition of success.
Think about some big dreams for your family as well. Have you ever taken a vacation or driven a brand new car? Have you ever travelled abroad? Have you ever travelled outside of your province? Do you want to remodel your kitchen or hire an interior designer? These are all things that you can use as a reward for your hard work, especially if you see a significant increase in your income or if you launch a new product.
Do You Have a Vision Board?
Vision boards are fantastic tools to focus on what you want in your life. They can be designed strictly around your business or your personal life, or you can make one board with a combination of business and personal goals.
The philosophy behind a vision board is that you put those desired goals out into the universe and at some point in time they will manifest in your life. While it sounds very magical, making your vision board come to life does involve action on your part. But having a visual representation of what you want in life will help you stay focused on those goals, to the point where you may recognize signs or opportunities that could lead you to those desired goals.
You have two easy options to create a vision board. If you have loads of magazines at home, flip through the pages and cut out anything that attracts your attention or that you desire. If you want to improve your fitness, for example, maybe a brightly coloured pair of sneakers will grab your eye. If you’ve always wanted to go on a cruise, maybe an article about cruise vacations will catch your eye. Cut out all these photos and paste them onto a piece of poster board.
You can also create a vision board digitally using free online photos. Since this vision board is for your personal use only, there’s no need to worry about copyright infringement so simply copy and paste free photos and arrange them in a Word document or a PowerPoint slide.
When you’re finished, find a place to display your vision board so you’ll see it on a daily basis. When you start your business day, take a few minutes and reflect on the board to get in sync with what you want in life. If you don’t recognize your board and your goals, it’s quite likely it will just blend into your office décor, thus negating its meaning. Your board can also change at any time; there’s no right or wrong to this exercise so change it up as you desire.
Live without Regrets
Working hard is admirable and taking that action is the only way to change your life and your business but remember to live in the moment, too. Your family members want a healthy you to love and care for them, not someone who is so distracted with work that they can’t enjoy a simple board game or bedtime story.
Get your family involved in these big-time goals instead of doing all this dreaming in private. Acknowledging your plans will help motivate you and makes everything more real, especially if you have kids who will keep asking when you’re going on that awesome vacation! All this planning will also help them to understand why you work so hard.
Be sure to set your business boundaries as well, so you can enjoy family dinners each night without interruption. Knowing you can close up your office at the end of the day without frantic calls or emails will help you focus on your family without feeling guilty.