In How To Control Your Growth and Don't Break Your Life, I shared my insights based on 12 years in business about successfully integrating your need to build a profitable business with your need to build a business that is the right for your life.
These are two distinct things, but unless they are considered together, you could end up with a highly profitable business but no time to enjoy your life, or a great life plan, but not enough money to live it. When it comes to business, my definition of success is actively leading a business that's designed to finance your unique lifestyle goals. How that looks will vary from person to person and from life to life, and that's what Adelaide Lancaster and I discussed on a recent Indie Business Podcast episode.
Adelaide is the co-author of The REAL TRUTH About Social Media: Confessions of a Social Media CEO. To listen to my 30-minute interview with Adelaide, and to put her insights to work in your business now, scroll to the bottom of this page and click the play arrow. If you don't feel like listening right now, here is a high level summary of what Adelaide and I discussed, with time stamps in case you want to scroll forward.
- What's in it for you (5:03)? While you're probably used to asking this question when it comes to your personal relationships, you need to ask it for your business as well. Of course, you have to look at how your business will serve your customers, but in that process, remember to also ask how your business will serve you.
There are multiple ways to support yourself, and if you choose entrepreneurship, be aware of why you are making that choice. What do you want to get out of making money as a business owner that you cannot get out of making money by being employed in a traditional job. Knowing the answer to this question will help you choose an entrepreneurial path that will help propel you toward the kind of life that keeps you happy and satisfied.
- A “job” is a good thing (8:08). Traditionally, business has been defined in party by how many systems you have in place and how few employees you can hire to run those systems so you can maximize your efficiencies. OK, that's all good stuff, and more power to businesses that run that way. We need them. But, says Adelaide, don't let anyone tell you that your business doesn't matter simply because it's really a job you have created for yourself.
Today, she says, more and more people are deriving enormous amounts of personal pleasure and satisfaction from their work and their role as a small business owner. This flies in the face of the “auto-systematization of everything” kind of mindset. If you have created a business that you enjoy, and your hands-on role is personally and financially profitable, then more power to you for creating a means to leverage your best skills and talents to benefit your community and yourself.
- Be prepared for short-term consequences (9:43). I pulled my share of “all-nighters” in college and law school. I didn't stay up all night every night, but for brief periods, I had no choice if I wanted to complete a project on time or study enough to excel on an exam. Business is much the same way. Says Adelaide, there will be times when you will have to work more and spend less time with family in order to do things like push through a customer order, open your new online store, or organize your marketing system.
“Your business will require you to do a lot of things you don't necessarily want to do,” says Adelaide. The trick is to push through those times so your life can normalize again. You don't want lead your business from one never-ending emergency project to another.
As you listen, be sure to catch the part beginning at 18:00 where Adelaide shares specific tips she uses herself that will help you embrace and organize your social media marketing efforts.
About Adelaide Lancaster
Along with her co-author and business partner, Adelaide is the founer of In Good Company, a community, business learning center and workspace for women business owners in New York City. In addition to her entrepreneurial ventures, she works as a consultant and business advisor. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Huffington Post and MSNBC. Follow Adelaide on Twitter here, and check out her website here.
How to Listen to the Show
This post contains my paraphrases of the information Adelaide shared. To hear it from the horse's mouth yourself, listen to the entire 30-minute show using one of these options:
- Download it on iTunes. (It usually takes a day or two for iTunes to feed the show there.)
- Click on the arrow at the bottom of this post to listen now!
- Because I have not had a chance to load all of my shows to this blog, you can listen to hundreds of interviews from 2005 to 2010, each one as relevant today as it was when I recorded it, at my Indie Business Radio site.
Question: What do you think of Adelaide tips and insights? Is your company big enough, or is it too big, for you?