Believe it or not, much of the potential for success in your small business depends upon two things:
1. Your ability to effectively function physically, mentally, and emotionally.
2. How well you balance where the business stops and your personal life starts.
There actually are times when being one with your business is not only a good thing, it’s essential. But extreme commitment weaves a fine seam between business and owner. And unfortunately, entrepreneurial single-mindedness will often result in the opposite of what is intended: a business in jeopardy run by an unhappy human.
The best way to be successful AND happy is to be able to define success in many ways, including having a life that’s balanced with richness outside of the business. Getting that new customer on board is an essential part of your business’s future. But making the time to attend a child’s activity in the middle of the day is also important to the long-term well-being of your business.
A small business is more like a patchwork quilt than a gilded security blanket. Some patches represent good things and some not so good. Some patches are about the business, others are about the owner, and some are hard to tell. Happiness will be found by those owners who can feel successful regardless of which patch is in front of them.
Having multiple touchstones of success, not just money and stuff, helps keep the rough patches in business and life in proper perspective. If you became a small business owner to find financial success, good for you; as a capitalist I admire that motivation. But if you think being rich will make you happy get your umbrella out, because I’m going to rain on that parade with these two truths:
1. Wealth only provides options, not a guarantee of happiness.
2. If you can’t be happy without money and stuff, you aren’t likely to be happy with it.
Now let’s talk about fun.
The most successful business owners I know are those who have learned that one of the keys to their success is to run a tight ship while encouraging their people to laugh and find joy in their work. Every day that goes by without some kind of joy is a precious opportunity lost.
Two final thoughts:
1. The happiest people laugh at themselves—regularly.
2. Think of happiness as a business best practice and a success fundamental.
Write this on a rock
Learn how to define success in more ways than just money and stuff. And don’t forget to have fun.