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Don’t Let Your Business Run You

Operations & Management

Josh Winkles wrote this article

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With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), you have people that fall all across the spectrum of what they expect.

There are those that expect little more than a machine that knows when you wake up, tells you your schedule and makes your coffee; and then those who want all the way to what was envisioned with Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey, where we are going to be imprisoned by the machines as they become smarter than us and gain a consciousness of their own.

Well, that might be so, but this isn’t a discussion about AI.

It’s about your company.

Think back to why you started a company in the first place.

Maybe you had the answer to a problem that plagued your industry or you were bored as an employee.

As a contrast, maybe you loved being an employee, but you were burned out by the constant demand and needed a change in order to work to live versus live to work.

Whatever it was, I can guarantee you it wasn’t to be burning the candle at both ends and never having time to interact with family, friends or enjoy your hobbies.

Somewhere along the way, many business owners let their businesses run them versus them running their business.

If this is you, you know what I’m talking about.

You want to go to the party, but you really have to prepare that proposal.

You don’t want to miss your kid’s basketball game, but speaking at that conference in Chicago is going to make or break your year-end lead numbers.

Saturday mornings sipping coffee with your significant other?

Nope.

That pile of emails is calling and some are time-sensitive.

What if a big client is in there? Have I struck a chord yet?

This isn’t meant to shame you for caring about your business. You’re supposed to care and strive to be better for yourself, your employees and your customers, but just make sure you are driving your business and that it isn’t driving you.

It is so easy for your company to take on a life of its own. It becomes the Frankenstein, the Hal, the thing that is never satisfied with how much time or energy you give it. Sadly, I’ve watched companies destroy finances, friendships, marriages, relationships with kids and communities.

I love business more than most, but just know that it isn’t worth it.

Here is one key principle on how you can do your best to ensure that you stay in the driver’s seat of your business.

Become satisfied with enough.

People set out to their annual revenue numbers and once Q3 rolls around and they’ve hit those, they start saying that everyone needs to aim for more.

“More” is what kills all the things I just mentioned.

The most essential concept that you can grasp as an entrepreneur is the idea of enough. It almost seems anti-capitalistic doesn’t it?

Maybe so. It indeed flies in the face of always adding more for shareholders, more for profit-sharing, more for the media, and more for your ego. That last one might have hit a hot button, but you know it’s true.

The inmates end up running the prison in your business because your eyes get bigger than your stomach and you decide that you need more revenue, more profit, more followers, more likes, more leads and more exposure.

Being satisfied with excellent results is not settling, and it doesn’t mean that you won’t do more next month, quarter or year. It just says that you have a lifestyle that you are comfortable with, your employees are taken care of, and your business is stable. Is that not what most business owners dream about?

Be comfortable with enough. Those close to you will thank you for it.

The onlookers will admire it (or at least most of them, even if they don’t say it out loud) and you might just keep your sanity.

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