Regardless of success or failure, what matters most as leaders, is that we stay true to who we are and that our action’s echo into the future because we are more than our businesses.
It’s vital to move beyond the compartmentalized leader and build more than a business by creating a worthy business cause and a family with purpose, because, YOU ARE MADE TO DESIRE MORE THAN JUST BUSINESS. If you do this right, the family will catalyze business success, and business will catalyze family success. What does this depend on? Your leadership.
There are four essential principles I have challenged myself on over the years, and I believe they uncover the heart of what you are or are not building.
I encourage you to examine yourself on these four principles, which will reveal if you are Building More Than a Business or not at all.
1. Do you have a stronger vision for your business than for your family?
The entrepreneurial instinct is to achieve growth in business. Once we have conquered that vision, we can slip into the mode of maintaining to pursue new adventures which appear to exhibit challenge.
Winning my wife’s heart was one of the hardest challenges I have ever experienced. After sixteen years of marriage, seven children, and many business adventures later, our family is still thriving.
But how easy is it, once you have your family, to hit maintenance mode as you strive so hard to build your business?
Think to yourself honestly, “What’s my vision for my business?”
Now ask yourself, “What’s my vision for my family?”
Which one is better thought out?
Which one have you put more thought and energy toward leading?
You are limiting your business success if your vision for your family is weak.
You are hurting something longer lasting, with potentially even greater impact, if your business get’s the better vision or better version of you as well.
Your strongest vision is reflective of where your heart lies loyal.
We must be multiple focused executives. It is crucial we never hit maintenance mode with our families and our marriages because we lack vision.
2. Are you the same person in your family that you are in your business life?
Today trust is hard to build with employees, the public, and customers. You are either earning it or losing it; there’s no in-between.
Distrust seems to be the initial response until you prove to be otherwise, and even then most people have a heightened sense of what feels authentic or not and are wary of following someone they sense lacks congruence.
Authenticity is realized when there is congruence between who you are in your personal and professional life.
Audit yourself honestly on this.
If your children watched you at work would you want them to replicate the words you use, the respect you show to others, the decisions you make and purpose you’re leading with?
It’s so easy to be a hypocrite and so hard to be an example. It’s no wonder young people are so quick to see a hypocritical world.
If you are courageous enough, ask your spouse for honest feedback on whether you put the same energy and vision into leading your family as you do your business?
Join the club. I believe every entrepreneur deals with this dilemma, but it’s crucial to evaluate, create change, and lead our families with a clearly defined and compelling vision.
For a true leader, there is no excuse for dropping the ball in the home. A leader with massive success and a failed family is a failure.
It reminds me of the verse “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Mathew 16:26
3. Do your revenue goals matter more than your impact goals?
It’s one thing to make a lot of money and another to fulfill the magnitude of mission you are called to in this life.
In fact, I would say you are likely to make more money pursuing your impact goals through your business as a priority.
Tragedy often befalls people who don’t feel like they make enough money, so they make that the number one focus. Don’t get me wrong; money should be a major focus, as it is often what enables larger impact. What I’m talking about is making sure there’s a greater purpose for WHY you’re building your business than only for monetary gain.
At first glance, I would think most people want to believe they are pursuing something more meaningful that their customers, employees, and family believe in. It’s one thing to know this and another thing to live this out. What we live out is the reality. Let’s not confuse intentions with reality.
We live in America, which despite recent turmoil, is still the greatest land in the world to build a business and receive financial rewards. We are inundated with opportunity.
Always consider how you make your money above how much you can make.
Make having a positive impact on people, on the world, a primary purpose that’s lived out.
Otherwise, you are left with mere success because you missed pursuing what matters.
I’ve looked at everything through this lens since I was 23 years old, with one expensive hiccup when I invested in race horses. That’s a story to explain in a future post.
Audit yourself. If we asked your customers what your company’s focus is, what would they say? If you have employees, what would they say? What would your children say the bigger purpose of your business is?
While it is important that your customers and employees catch the vision, how your children answer this question matters most.
Don’t assume they see what you are thinking or what your intentions are?
Model how you want them to engage in the world, economy, and community. And be sure to communicate clearly what your vision is with your family so that they understand how essential it is to find purpose and reason behind whatever they choose to pursue in life.
4. Even if you are successful, would you say that you are fully pursuing the level of impact you are called to make?
Successful people can often be the most out of alignment after they’ve achieved a solid financial footing.
Here’s what can happen, many entrepreneurs have an ever growing magnitude of mission for the impact that was fulfilled in the process of getting to a profitable place, but once there, often the drive for larger impact keeps growing and surpasses the current reality.
Once you are comfortable, it can become very difficult to make the changes necessary to stay on a path within and outside your business in having the impact you feel you should be having.
There are three reasons you will feel this
1. You’re not creating a worthy cause through your business
2. You didn’t set up your business and interests in a way to scale that impact
3. You failed to grow a family with purpose
It’s important not to sacrifice your calling for comfort. Comfort without striving can become deadly for an entrepreneur.
How are you doing with this? I suggest you journal about this in a quiet place and think through your unique situation.
I encourage you to build more than a business because YOU ARE FAR MORE THAN YOUR BUSINESS, called to important work that creates progress within yourself that has an impact on your customers, employees, your family and the world at large.
Let’s not leave this at a place of being positively challenged but then not experiencing authentic growth and change.
Are you ready to truly Build More Than a Business?
Then this 11 Day Challenge is for you. See, there’s no time to spare for those called to widespread impact. If you spend 5-10 minutes a day for 11 days, you will create change that echoes into the future.
It’s very simple;
You will get a text a day sharing a short video you can watch on your mobile with an opportunity to engage with me via text.