It is still school holiday and my son is at home with me. Today he had a friend over. I work from home for the convenience but also to be accessible for my kids. During these periods I will schedule meetings in kid friendly restaurants. Driving to today’s meeting resulted in me overhearing a very interesting conversation about careers.
The one boy turns to the other and asks: “Are you going to be a secret agent when you grow up?”
I do not care who you are, but that WILL get your attention.
My son turned to him and said: “I don’t know yet.”
His friend replied: “I am going to be a secret agent. But you cannot tell anyone”.
Suddenly my son gets in on the action and suddenly also wants to be a secret agent. Looks like the FBI will have to some capacity planning for the years to come.
His friend lists the benefits of being a secret agent: “You get to be an ordinary person, hide and you get cool weapons.”
At that point a client called and I lost the remainder of the conversation but it got me thinking.
I realised just how much we as adults can learn from these two boys and their conversation.
Lesson #1: They pick careers based on what attracts their attention
They see it on TV and they think it is cool. They decide there and then that they want to do it. NOT ONCE did one of them say “That is impossible”. Not once! The only person who could stuff up this conversation would be an adult who might say: “Oh, that is impossible, you can never be that!” Isn’t that what we do when we are considering doing something new? We list all the reasons why it is impossible and rarely pay attention to why it might be possible.
Imagine what you could do if you weren’t afraid?
Question 1: What would you do if you did not worry and focused on the possibilities of new opportunities?
Lesson #2: They did not pick careers based on if it is “right” or “wrong”
Not once did anyone in the backseat say “Oh no, that is wrong. That is not the right thing to do.” The one friend heard the other friend say he is doing it, it sounded cool and now he wants to do it too. The decision is based upon THEIR choice. Not if it is ok with my parents, my mother, my partner, my community etc. This list can go on for SOOOOOO long. We sometimes base our biggest life decisions on the opinions, fears and beliefs of other people who do not want our life or have the ability to live our life. Remember, if I say to you that you cannot do anything it is based upon my fears and my competency level or lack thereof. If I say you should not do something it is usually based on my fears and other subconscious challenges (The PC word for BS).
Questions 2: What would you do if were not afraid of someone judging it as right or wrong?
Lesson #3: They started choosing careers with joy, and took it from there
I mean, I am a special secret agent, I get cool weapons. Things can only get better after that. They looked at the fun, the joy, the fulfilment FIRST before considering anything else.
What do we do? What is the salary, what are my targets etc. We “hope” it will be fun. We “hope” it will be something we can do a while and not burn out. We put one of the MOST important needs, our needs, dead last. I don’t want to burst your bubble, but hope is NOT a strategy.
Questions 3: What would you do if you based your decision on the maximum amount of fun, joy and fulfilment?
Conclusion (Do not skip this)
What I see and experience in the market. I work with business owners to help them turn their businesses into building blocks in their lives, letting their business serve their needs. I see how they burn themselves out. How they sacrifice their health, their wealth and even their personal relationships in the hope of doing something cool something they always dreamed about and getting everything, they always wanted. But how many business owners really get that?
I see how they navigate themselves into some of the worst conditions, living in servitude of their own business in the HOPE that they might get that “secret agent” feeling one day but it never comes.
IT’S NOT THEIR FAULT. This is the way navigating careers and building businesses are taught, implemented, written about and guided by trusted mentors and coaches. But hey, they don’t know any better as well because that is the only option that they are aware off. Let’s put customers first, then the business, then ourselves.
That is why I dedicated my life to teaching Life Design for Business Owners. So that you can have a fighting chance of having your needs met, having a successful life and business at the same time while having a more positive impact upon this world.
But that means I have to help business owners conquer a lot of tightly held beliefs.
#1. We start a business not based on our needs but their needs
We create a business to serve our clients needs with absolute efficiency and maximum delivery. But we never ever consider our needs. Our needs for time, freedom and a better life. No, we do not.
When I sit with business owners and ask them what their business should give them, they rarely if ever know. It has been “worked” out of them.
A new perspective: Your business Can and SHOULD serve you and your needs as much as your customer. Stop this client first BS please. I, the business owner, am a client a too.
#2. We start businesses based on a business plan stating this is right and not wrong
The research shows this is right and that is wrong but our heart is pointing to what has been shot down. Forget the gut feel. Forget our passion, drive and energy for a specific market or service. The plan has spoken.
When I work with business owners you cannot believe that more than 40% say they are doing something they really do not want to do and want to do something else but this makes money, a little at least. They have not tested or entertained the idea of making money doing what they really want because you know: “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”. A new perspective: If you never ask the question, you will never get the answer. At least start asking how and things might just fall into place for you.
#3. We start a business without joy and fulfilment last on the list, or not at all
That is why I dedicated my life to teaching Life Design for Business Owners, so that you have a much higher chance of getting what you really want in life by designing your business (and you can even do it with your career) so that it serves your needs as much as the customer.
A new perspective: This thinking that your business is there to serve you is different and changes everything.
When I work with business owners they keep seeing themselves as servants to the business. Not the business providing the money, people and resources for them to live the joy and fulfilment they really want. A business is a platform for self-exploration and development. It is there working with you, for you.
Because let’s be honest, is entrepreneurship really working? No, it is not, because we rarely, if ever get what we really want. Let stop this. How can I serve a client if I don’t get served?
Reach out to me: If you feel like your business should start serving you and you want to even “escape” your business on some level, contact me and I can help you. I also work with start-ups to make sure that you build the business correctly from the start. Visit my website at: www.WillemGous.com
Willem Gous is an International Innovation speaker and author, has been an entrepreneur for more than 18 years and have wide ranging experience. He helps clients turn their businesses and their lives around. “Sometimes I tell my clients that I help them get their life, wife and profits back” Willem Gous. He works with business from military interconnect systems, commercial property, accounting, IT development and even makeup.
Although he is married to one of South Africa’s top confectionary chefs he does not eat sugar now for more than 2 years.