Personal Vision – There’s Something In It For Me After All

Mark Komen, President

Kodyne, Inc.

Plymouth, MN

Business owners often think of themselves last as they tend to their companies.  When I say that, I’m thinking about the owner who rarely takes a vacation, works nights and weekends, and who maybe doesn’t even take a personal paycheck so that they can make payroll for their employees.  Given those things, you might think that owners are little more than volunteers donating their time, money, and credit score to ensure a place to work for their staffs.

In my opinion, the business should be a vehicle for taking the owner where he or she wants to go….and not the other way around.  To clarify – I have worked with many clients over the years where “The Business” becomes “The Boss” and dictates to the owner where he or she should spend their time.  The result?  The list often includes stress, dissatisfaction, lack of focus, and even physical and mental health issues.  Some business owners have told me they feel trapped by the very thing they created and helpless to back away.  Some report feeling guilty for even having those thoughts.  The mantle of responsibility weighs heavily at times with customers, vendors, employees, family, even the bank needing attention and making demands.  The owner’s lament becomes, “So how do I get what I want?”  Well there is a way.

These days, when I work with a business owner on a strategic planning initiative, I start by helping them create a personal vision for themselves.  One that addresses how they want to live, the things they’ve always wanted to accomplish, where their passions lie, and what they need in order to live a fulfilled and happy life.  We can even go as far as establishing an action plan for them to follow to achieve, acquire, or experience those things.  Many times, I hear this is the first time they’ve ever stepped back to consider their own needs and futures since starting their companies.

Once we’ve established this personal vision, we then embark on the company strategic planning journey, mindful of considering how to align business goals, objectives, and strategies with the personal ones.  Having a positive future of their own creation to look forward to and work towards is reinforcement they can fall back upon when times get tough or just plain overwhelming.

Those of us who’ve gone into business for ourselves need to remember what it was we were seeking from life when we made that monumental decision.  Losing sight of this is easy to do in the day-to-day blur of activities we all deal with.  But keeping that picture of tomorrow vibrant and visible will help us to steer both our businesses and our lives towards that future.

Copyright 2008.  Kodyne, Inc.  All rights reserved worldwide.