What Would You Do?

A few weeks ago I noticed an article in the paper that got my attention – 20 employees from the shipping department at the Quaker Oats plant in Iowa won the jackpot. A mere 241 Million dollars. That’s 12 million and change per person, probably half of that after taxes. I wouldn’t mind that kind of ROI on a $1 lottery ticket!

The article got my attention because it raised a question I sometimes ask my clients – what would you do if you were to win the lottery today? Does your business still inspire you, is it so meaningful you wouldn’t want to give it up no matter how much money would come your way? Or, would you close shop, take the shingle down because you’ve been wondering what’s going to fire you up again, as your business no longer does.

Now the chances of winning the lottery are pretty darn slim. But the question might still be staring you in the face – doesn’t it? Why are you doing what you’re doing? Is your business serving your life? Or… have you created a business that runs your life?

Are you finding yourself going from one project to the next? Have you forgotten the last time you took a real vacation? Do you sometimes wonder what happened to your dream of having a balanced life?

Perhaps what you’ve created is a glorified job. How do you turn this around? How do you create a business that serves your life? You may think, Ellen, get off it and get with it, we’re living in very stressful times, I cannot be bothered with those kind of philosophical ideas like why I’m in my business, what my purpose is. I need to pay my bills, get the next client and keep my head above water. Once the economy turns around you can ask me that question again.

I’d say this is the thinking of a self-employed person. And a self-employed person thinks of themselves as being employed and therefore has a job. Didn’t you want to be an entrepreneur, a business owner so you’d have more joy and freedom in your life?  If you still want that then you need to start thinking as one, not wait for external forces to give you the green light. Start looking beyond what’s happening in the moment and envision what the possibilities are.

The chances are that you’re being held hostage by beliefs fueled by fear of what’s going to happen to you with all the uncertainty out there. That kind of thinking only keeps you trapped in the status quo. I promise you if you let go of those beliefs your world will open up. You’ll go from feeling burnt out to being fired up again.  And the result will be that you’ll be more focused and clear and feel less anxious, you’ll make decisions faster and better, your performance and productivity will become more effective and efficient and your profitability will increase. Most of all you’ll experience more joy and freedom in your business and your life.

Start with just 15 minutes a day and explore these questions:

1. What do you want most in your life?

2. Why is that important to you?

3. How will it impact you and others?

4. Get support in exploring these questions. Do it with a partner, friend or someone like myself.

What does this have to do with your business? Everything! Because it will give you the answer to WHY your business exists. Knowing the answer to WHY will help you stay inspired and sustain the momentum no matter what happens out there. When you know your WHY you can start creating what your business will need to look like to serve that WHY.

I look forward to hearing your comments; the conversation just isn’t the same without your input. Come add your voice on my blog.

Wishing you abundance and joy!

5 Comments

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5 Responses to What Would You Do?

  1. simple, useful and profound. thanks for inspiration, Ellen

  2. Thanks for this timely post, Ellen! I have thought about what I might do if a tsunami of money came my way (in terms of my business). I do find happiness in helping my clients discover the gift of time so deep down I don’t think I’d just close up shop and head to a remote island somewhere – although I would take a month to do just that! Probably because, as you said in your post, it’s been a while since I took an actual vacation.

    I like the questions you posed and will start giving them some serious thought beginning on this morning’s walk.

    Thank you for your insights!

    Jeanette

  3. Good thoughts Ellen. What is this word ‘vacation’ that you speak of?

    • Ellen van den Berg

      Hi Terry:
      The funny part about this vacation thing is that more often than not, when you sneak out just for a short week you’ll find when you come back no one even knew you were gone or had time to start complaining about it! Try it – it’s like bicycling – you’ll get right back into it :-) Ellen

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