If you’re looking to start a business to get filthy rich, I hate to break it to you. It’s not likely to happen—and it’s not a sustainable intention to keep you motivated and leave you feeling fresh in the morning, ready to take on the day and whatever your business throws at you. So let’s talk about intentions and why you need to establish your business intentions—the right intentions—to stay sane and do what you love every day.
Before you set a single business intention, it’s essential to get clear on your why. Your why is foundational and completely necessary for many things, your branding being one of them. Your why will infuse all of your intentions, fueling your decisions and compelling you forward through tough choices, long hours, and the inevitable self-doubt that every entrepreneur experiences. Fellow entrepreneurs know exactly what I’m talking about.
Running a business is not for the faint of heart or the thin-skinned; it’s hard and ugly.
Your why is rocket fuel for running your business. Just because you’re selling something, doesn’t mean anybody wants to buy it. Your why ensures you’re doing something meaningful, and that has a higher chance of connecting your business to the world at large. If you haven’t established your why yet, here’s how to do it:
- Ask yourself who you want to help/what change do you want to make.
- Ask yourself what problem they have/exists you’re trying to solve.
- Ask yourself what role you play in your community.
- Ask yourself what you can offer that nobody else can touch.
Without a why you’re fumbling in the dark. Turn on the lights, and keep the lights on with your why.
Own your time
When you start your own business, your sweet, sweet time is 100% yours. And over the years, you may develop a love-hate relationship with time because it’s the one thing nobody gets more of, including you. The only way to get more time is to pay for other people’s. And paying for other people’s time is a right you earn over time. Until you do, you will invest this valuable resource in droves into your business.
Entrepreneurs work long hours (see above). I’ve put in 60-80 hours per week, on average, since I started Brainchild Studios five years ago.
In my five years in business, I’ve worked the equivalent of 7.5 years of full-time employment.
If you’re looking to work 40 hours per week, 9-to-5, you’re in for a shock. If you intend to own your own time, you’ll get just that, and you’ll spend a lot of it on your business. However, the satisfaction of owning your own time can take the edge off the sacrifices you will inevitably make to run your own business. And with any luck, over time, you'll be able to find a greater work/life balance, but just know it gets worse before it gets better.
Manage opportunity costs
For many small business owners, you’re the boss, the employee, and everything in-between. You’re accounting. HR. Marketing. Business development. Execution. Operations. Infrastructure. Compliance. Don’t be legal. Hire legal counsel and an accountant while you’re at it.
There are many, many pieces you have to get organized to start a business—business essentials, branding, website, marketing, and operations. It’s a big time suck. Big time.
The opportunity cost can be huge:
- Time with your family
- Time with your friends
- Time with your partner or spouse
- Time to yourself
- Building a well-rounded life, in general
- Forget about hobbies (seriously)
Everything goes to the business. The lost time stings less when you’re clear on who you are, what problem you solve, and why you’re the right one to solve it. When you make yourself indispensable, your time is never wasted, just diverted.
Make an impact
To make sure your business intentions are sound, actionable, and compelling, you need to consider your values before signing contracts, launching your website, or entertaining client meetings.
Once you’ve clarified your values, you can establish values-driven intentions. Incorporating your values into your business’s day-in and day-out is imperative. I really can’t emphasize it enough.
Think of it this way: your values drive your actions and behavior. They help you make the right decisions for you and your business, and your values help you connect with others—potential employees or contractors, clients, and customers. So with values behind your business intentions, it’s more likely you’ll make a positive impact on everybody your business touches.
People have their greatest chance at living their best life and living in their most true alignment when they understand what matters most to them, who they are, and the relationship between the two. Budding entrepreneurs need to explore both before starting a business.
Next steps for setting business intentions
Ready for the good news? The Work From Home Playbook for Startups can help you create all the infrastructure necessary to get off the ground, and I mean everything. Click the link to download your playbook today.
And if you want to go deeper into the marketing aspect of running a business, I have a course for that too: Marketing for the Professional Advisor Masterclass. So forget doing it all (you already do enough); save time and click the link to sign up for the course today.
Kiley Executive Coach & Consultant
Kiley Peters is a serial entrepreneur, national speaker, executive coach, and small business consultant. Having personally counseled over 100 small and medium-sized businesses on operations, business development, digital marketing, and consumer behavior analysis over the last 17 years Kiley is incredibly passionate about serving small business owners. She is the Founder and CEO of Brainchild Studios, a research and business strategy partner for small businesses and mid-market executives, and also created the Work From Home Playbook, a series of online courses guiding aspiring entrepreneurs through the steps of starting a virtual business. With these experiences in her back pocket, she understands the challenges and struggles small business owners encounter.more posts by Kiley →