What Price will you pay on the Road to your Success?
Written on the 30 May 2011 by Altitude Communications
Listening to the story of the road to success of entrepreneurs and business-people across all industries and all countries, it becomes apparent that their success came at a cost. They all had to give up something for what they achieved, perhaps an initial financial investment in the business, some other dreams they may have had, or their free time on the weekend. Does success always come at a cost, does this really matter in the scheme of the bigger picture, and what can you do if you are not willing, or not able, to pay the ultimate price?
Almost every decision we make in life comes at the cost of something else. If we decide to live in Australia, we are forgoing the opportunity to live in New Zealand or Mexico. If we choose a life-partner, we are excluding all the other attractive potential soul mates out there. There are only so many hobbies the week will allow for, so if we choose to play cricket, soccer and netball, we may have to give aerial skiing a miss. Some choices are reversible, and others are not. Yes, you can choose to live in a different place every year, but then you may have to make this choice at the expense of having a life-partner (who may not appreciate moving around so much) or a certain career opportunity where it would simply not be possible.
Following your dreams is no different. Olympic medalists tell of how they gave up going to the pub every weekend with their mates so that they could wake up at 4am on a Saturday or Sunday morning to train. Many of them also gave up the opportunity to study or qualify in readiness for a career, simply because their training did not allow the time for it. They will admit how difficult it was to acknowledge that their peer group had careers, relationships, and disposable time and income, while their pursuit for the Olympic dream eliminated all those opportunities for them. But few you speak to would change a thing – the feeling of euphoria when they stood on the winner’s podium, with the medal around their neck and the Australian anthem playing over the loudspeaker to a worldwide audience of millions made it all totally worthwhile.
Business-people and entrepreneurs face a similar situation. They have a goal, a dream, and a strategy. They promise themselves they will do whatever it takes to make it a reality – to make their business idea a success and result in their own financial and spiritual wealth. Those that are serious about reaching their destination will often pay a hefty price on the road to their success. They may invest or outlay thousands, even millions. They will give up their free time, a hobby, and a former career to learn something new. They may even compromise their own morals to achieve their goal. Relationships may suffer due to lack of time and energy to invest in them. Their health may suffer, due to lack of time to look after themselves. Was it really all worth the sacrifice? Well, that depends on the person and what they consider to be important.
Looking back, some entrepreneurs will admit that their business success was not worth compromising their family for. All those hours spent at work, while they missed their children growing up. It is too late for them to change what happened, but they would advise other business-people to do things differently. The question is, can you still achieve your “Olympic dream” without a costly sacrifice?
Sometimes it is simply not possible to have it all. What you need to do is determine what is really important to you. Highlight a few areas in your life you cannot do without – for example, time to spend with your family, time to exercise and look after your health, or a hobby or passion of yours. Then, once you have done that, figure out a strategy that will ensure your business can still succeed without you missing out on what you identified as the “no compromise” areas of your life.
In order to fulfill all your obligations to yourself, you may need to delegate some of the work that takes your time. You may need to utilise the services of an accountant or assistant to free up some of your time. Will this cost you money? Yes, it will… in the short term. But you will probably find that your business will be more successful and become profitable if you have time to concentrate on the aspects of it you are really good at, and have time to recharge your batteries.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are so many service providers out there today who can assist you to, for example, automate many of the time-consuming tasks you perform each and every day.
Success may have to come at a price, but don’t let the price be more than you are willing to pay.
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