Reignite Your Dream

August 27th, 2016

Remember the days before you started your business? The energy, drive, passion, and determination that drove you to launch your company?

You’d celebrate small successes, burn the midnight oil on new projects, go back to the drawing board when things went wrong; you were invincible.

Is it still like that? Are you still celebrating, burning the midnight oil, reworking things and making improvements; are you still invincible?

No? Then you need to reignite your dream, perhaps build a new dream.

Dreams are important – they keep you focussed but can have a big negative impact when you lose sight of your dream.

The euphoria of a new venture gives us a burst of energy, an overwhelming need or desire to succeed, a bit like a shot of adrenaline. We hope that the reality matches the dream, but that doesn’t always happen first time. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of working in the business rather than on your dream. It creeps up on you and then suddenly, there you are, worn out and tired.

Most of us work to live rather than living to work. Some people are workaholics; the “work hard, play hard” types. I remember feeling dismayed when a colleague said that she lived for work. She was so obsessed with her work that she had few, if any friends. When she went on holiday, she went alone. I imagined her lying on a sunbed in a beautiful place, still working for her boss.

Life’s too short for that; we really must choose to work to live. As a business owner, you’re privileged to have more freedom to choose than if you were working for someone else. You’ve the opportunity to realise your dream and shape your personal and business future.

If your business life isn’t okay, then your personal life is going to suffer too. Make sure you get a good balance between your personal and business goals. If the business hasn’t turned out to be what you dreamt it would be, you’ve got to turn it around, and quickly. With a business life full of drudgery, you lose your spark, your mojo, your passion. If that’s happening; stop and get it back. Pulling yourself out of the rut isn’t easy, though: you might need some time to think and re-plan, perhaps someone to help you rediscover why you started the business in the first place, reignite your dream, even build a new one. Let me (and Sean) explain….

Sean ran a successful investment brokerage with his partner, but his business partner really didn’t want to be there. The atmosphere was depressing; everybody was miserable; the business was just limping along. Sean didn’t want to be there either – any excuse to leave early or come in late, and he took it. Doing the work was so disheartening that he started to think about throwing in the towel, but he didn’t.

His wife was a passionate gardener and had started selling plants and cut flowers at the local market. Easter and Mother’s Day were approaching and she knew it would be busy, so she enlisted Sean’s help at the weekend to sell the cut flowers for her while she concentrated on the plants. Sean loved it, chatting to customers and encouraging people to buy flowers even if that wasn’t on their shopping list. He was buzzing at the end of the day, with a big smile on his face and eyes sparkling, something that had been missing for a while.

Reflecting on his Saturday job, Sean realised that he loved being with clients, selling and helping them. He wanted and needed to change the way his own business was running. He could do it. He reignited his passion for his own company by doing something completely different.

For the next few Saturdays, Sean was selling flowers. He loved the smiles he put on people’s faces, especially when they told him how much they had enjoyed their flowers all week and so would buy some more. He soon realised that he loved being with clients, selling and helping them, and that was missing in his own business. He wanted and needed to change the way his own business was running. He couldn’t continue like this.

He planned to inject the passion back into the business and the first task was to talk to his partner. His partner couldn’t get excited about the business anymore and decided that he wanted to sell his shares. Sean snapped them up and set about building a bigger, better, more Grown-Up business – all because by doing something different, he’d reignited his passion, vision, and dream for the business.

Losing your mojo tends to creep up on you gradually. One bad day, followed by another, and soon your dream is in tatters. It might be that the dream you had was never going to translate into reality. If that’s the case, now is the time to pause, reflect, and change your dream.

Try these exercises….

  • I want you to dream, but not about your business. First I want you to paint a picture of your personal dream. Think about family, friends, holidays, homes, cars, interests, and goals. Perhaps you only want to work three days or five mornings a week, or to sell the business and retire.
  • Now that you have your personal dream clear in your mind, you can concentrate on developing your business dream. Here are some questions for you:
    1. How much do you have to earn versus what you want to earn?
    2. When do you want to retire, reduce your hours, or go part-time?
    3. Are you planning to sell the business or pass it on to the next generation? When will that be?
    4. How much time do you want to spend at work and how much on your own interests?
    5. What do you need to put in place in your company, so that you can…
      • have the income you want?
      • have the time off that you crave?

This is an extract from my book, The Grown-Up Business. If you’d like to read more you can download Chapter One  for the cost of a tweet or buy the book on Kindle or Paperback.

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Shirley Mansfield

Shirley Mansfield is a highly experienced business coach & mentor. With over 25 years’ experience, she founded CoachSME in 2011 to work with business owners to maximise growth, and she is still trying to reduce the 18 handicap! Keep up to date by following me on Twitter and Google+.