06 Jun What do you Want From Life? From the Grow, Sell and Retire Book
What do you want from life?
What do you want from life? It’s a big question and I am in the perfect place to consider it- the patio at Starbucks in Sutton Coldfield. It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon as people are walking by, I’m typing and sipping at a latte. Today, I’m listening to the Foo Fighters to help me concentrate. Time to get on with it.
Everyone has their own dreams of what they want from life. What they want to achieve. What they want to be remembered for. What type of legacy they want to leave.
I help people to realise their dreams by helping them to build a business which will generate the money and give them the time they need to achieve their dreams. Money gives you freedom of choice. A successful business can also free up your time- you can either get paid for doing a few days a week or you can sell it and live off the proceeds.
The start of any journey is knowing your destination. Where do you want to get to? The first question I always ask is:
What does success look like for you?
There are as many different answers to this question as there are people. Success to you might look like a variation of one of the below:
• I want to have £5m in my bank account within in ten years
• I want a successful business that provides employment for 100 local people from the community I grew up in
• I want to earn £50,000 a year but only work 3 days a week so I can spend lots of time with my family
• I want to have a comfortable lifestyle and be able to donate heavily to my favourite charities
• I want to ensure that my family business which has provided employment to the community for the past 100 years is still going to be doing so in the 22nd century
Everyone has a different idea of what success looks like for them. Whatever your idea of success is, you must write it down. This is very important. If you write it down, it makes it much more likely to happen and you can share it with others (friends, family, employees etc.) so that they can support you in realising it.
I have a question that I ask people to help them clarify the financial part of their success. Every day you wake up and in your bedside drawer there is an envelope containing money for you to spend that day. Your mortgage and bills are all paid and every morning your envelope is replenished with the same amount of money. The money in your envelope is just “walking around” money for you to spend as you want.
The question is: How much money do you want in your Magic Drawer?
The amount you want will give you an idea of how much you want to make which gives you an idea of how much you need to risk and invest to achieve this.
Before you start growing your business, you must, as in any journey, know your destination. These questions give you a guide.
Some business owners think they want to get as far as they can. Some want to rival big business celebrities, such as Richard Branson. These are fine goals but you should realise that, as a business owner, you are trading your time and energy and risking your health and reputation for growth.
This is an important point that I’ll return to throughout this book. You can grow your business and make lots of money but you must exchange your time and energy. This often includes taking calculated risks such as investing your own money heavily in launching or aggressively growing your business or in developing a new product or service. It may also involve risking your health- both physical and mental.
The more money you want to make, the more time, energy and cash you need to invest and the higher the risk.
Wealth= £ to afford experiences x Time to afford them
The above equation is important as anything multiplied by zero is zero. So, you could have tons of money but no time to enjoy it, so your wealth would be zero. Equally, some people have lots of time but no extra money for the experiences they want so again their wealth is zero.
How you balance this equation is up to you. You may want to spend time with your family or helping charitable causes or playing golf etc. and don’t need a large income to support your lifestyle. In this case, it would be madness to work 100 hours a week and invest all your energy in your business. You don’t need to do that to achieve what you want.
You may love your work and want to live a multi-millionaire lifestyle with several luxury homes, sports cars, designer clothing and home furnishings, expensive holidays etc. In this case, you’re not going to be able to live a 9-5 Monday-Friday life.
I recently watched a TV programme on the exceptionally wealthy- people who own manor houses and multiple apartments, employ servants and live an amazing lifestyle. One of those interviewed was asked what she thought of the middle class. Her reply was revealing.
I can’t remember her exact words but she said that the middle class aspired to a wealthy lifestyle but weren’t prepared to put in the long hours to achieve it. She went on to say that having a regular social life with dinner parties and drinks with friends and colleagues during the week and then spending the whole weekend with the family was incompatible with making large amounts of money.
Yes, she spent time with family and friends, went on holidays etc. but she spent far more time working than the usual 40-50 hours a week. A whole day off was rare for her. She usually worked Saturday mornings and then again on Sunday morning and evening. At least half of her social entertaining was done for business reasons. She watched little TV beyond the news and a few documentaries…