When the “Lifestyle” hurts the Business

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Chelsea Handler E-OnlineRecently, while flipping through the television channels late one night, I came across this woman-hosted talk show.

I didn’t recognize her.

Then, while reading an article the other day, her name pops up — turns out she earns more than David Letterman on a “per viewer” basis and the article was sharing her secret.

Whenever someone accomplishes something significant:

  • rising *quickly* to stardom/success
  • losing a bunch of weight
  • turning around a struggling business

everyone wants to know their “secret”.  After all, we see the outside.  The end result. Not what it took to achieve it.

Chelsea’s secret?  It’s two-fold:

“MY SECRET IS that I just work really hard all the time.” and “Although I like a finished product, I don’t really enjoy doing anything.”

Okay, not glamorous, no magic pills, but think about the second half of her secret. . .she likes a “finished product”.

If the finished product is what we crave, we’re going to do all the pieces to get us there.  And, the finished product is where the revenue typically can be found.

Make sense?

Many small biz owners start out so focused on the lifestyle that they forget about the steps or, dare I say it, “work” it takes to get there/achieve that desired lifestyle.

A few examples I noticed over the past week:

  • A small nursery that’s open till 5pm on weekdays and closed on weekends.  The “prime time” when most people are working on their yards/in their gardens and they’re closed.  They choose to be open when most people are at work.
  • A coach who’s had a second income stream for years and never really focused on her business, it was more of a hobby and status statement than something to be nurtured and built. Now that the secondary income’s stopped, she wants immediate revenue from her up-till-now neglected business.
  • The tree service company that shuts down for a month during their busiest season so the owner can go hunting and then wonder why revenues aren’t what they could be.

Every one of these could choose to do something differently without giving up their lifestyle.  But they haven’t/don’t and that’s totally okay as long as they’re making a conscious choice and they don’t also wonder where the revenue/clients are.

The pendulum also swings the other way.  Some business owners (and I was one of them) start out so focused on the business that they neglect everything else that’s important in their lives.  

The key is finding a balance that works for you and your goals.  And, I would add, a slight shift in focus — from our “to do” or action lists to the joy of the finished product.

Here are a few tools/resources to help achieve both the revenue and your desired lifestyle:

Questions? Comments? Agree? Disagree? Have other resources you’d love to share?  Please let us know in the Comments section below.