Your business needs to make money for you – a 5-year-old could tell you that this is the point. But your business should also be fun. You’re entitled to enjoy how you spent a huge chunk of your waking hours.
I often meet people who aren’t enjoying their running their company. They’ve lost their mojo, and got caught up in the humdrum of VAT returns, admin and doing the same work day in and day out and working too hard.
And I meet a lot of people at my coffee and cake sessions, who aren’t maximising the money they could be making from their company. These are often the same people who aren’t having a lot of fun.
How making money and having fun are linked
We don’t often think of making money as being a fun activity. Many people I talk to believe that to make money, you have to sacrifice fun.
It’s almost as if fun is something which we should keep for the weekend. Or maybe a couple of weeks of holiday. But most of us spend a lot of time at work, and I think we could be having a lot more fun while we’re there.
I’m not talking about that holiday kind of fun. It’s difficult to find many business ideas which require you to sit on the beach drinking cocktails before going for your next scuba diving lesson.
Although, I have to say that’s not my kind of fun, and sitting on the beach would get a bit dull if I had to do it for the next 20 years.
How you can enjoy the process and have fun
I am talking about enjoying the process of working with people you like. The satisfaction of creating something new and feeling that you’ve accomplished something this month.
That great feeling of mastering something new, something that was a bit difficult where you had to apply yourself and bash your head against learning a new skill. Maybe the warm glow of helping other people to do difficult things. It’s delicious to feel that you’re getting better at what you do.
These are all part of running a business. Or should be. In particular, they’re all part of running a successful business, which is why fun and making money are linked.
Successful businesses are good businesses
We small business owners can’t afford to be rubbish. The giants often can get away with this – as you can see this from all the people who complain about Dell, BT, Vodafone and all of the major banks, to name a few.
They have massive marketing power, monopolies, and huge bank accounts, and I seriously wonder if they care at all about being a bit rubbish as long as the share price continues to rise.
It’s different for us. To run a small business successfully, you have to be good. And not only do you have to be good at whatever you sell, but you also have to be good at marketing, sales and doing the accounts as well.
This might seem unfair at first. But it’s more fun to be good at something. It’s gratifying to learn new skills, to work out how to do something more efficiently or to do an excellent job for a client. And getting better at these things, helps you to be more successful financially as well.
Taking the time to enjoy your business
When you work on your own, or you’re the boss of a small company you don’t have anyone to tell you that you’ve done an excellent job.
Maybe your husband/wife/partner congratulates you when you land a juicy piece of work. But I bet she/he doesn’t pat you on the back when you’ve finally got the hang of something. Maybe when you learnt how to make the VAT flat rate adjustment in Xero automatically (my little moment of triumph earlier this week) or when you have a client thanking you for a job well done.
Because we’re busy, and there’s always something new on the to-do list. I think we don’t take a moment to enjoy those good things. We don’t finish the week thinking, “yeah, I made a difference to some people this week. And now I know how to use CoSchedule social helpers properly”.
Maybe running a business would be more fun if we could notice those areas we do well in a little bit more and hug ourselves for doing well.
The warm glow of money in the bank
It’s difficult to have fun if you’re feeling insecure about cash flow. It’s a lot easier to relax and enjoy the ride if a decent amount of cash is glowing gently in your bank account.
The amount of money you need for this varies for each of us, but de-stressing your cash flow situation, followed by setting some financial targets and then meeting them is usually one of the first areas I work with, in my sessions with my business coaching clients.
Most of the people I work with aren’t setting out to be mega-millionaires, although it’s okay if you are. But no matter how big or small your financial aspirations are, you need to be making some money. You need to be getting close to your goals or at least feeling that you’re building the path towards financial security before you can truly enjoy the creative parts of your business.
Helping people to make money and have fun
Pretty much all of my business coaching work is about helping people with small businesses to make more money and to have more fun. At the same time. Why not?
My work is 75% about helping people to make more money. The rest of it is about helping people to have fun, and to enjoy what they’re doing.
If you’d like some help with getting your business to make more money and have more fun, maybe we should have a chat about working together, and see what we can come up with.
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