As entrepreneurs, we can talk endlessly about our business and our ideas. But we often lose touch with why we’re in business in the first place, and make decisions that may be good for the bottom line but don’t satisfy our deeper motivations.
The more we make choices that lead us away from what we really want and what we enjoy doing, the more business will seem like work. But if we take the time to identify our passions and drives, we can structure our businesses in a way that sustains us.
Harvard Business School surveyed over 2000 entrepreneurs – men and women in their 20s, 30s, 40s+ – to identify why people start businesses and what they want out of being an entrepreneur. They found that the #1 motivation for all entrepreneurs regardless of age and gender was autonomy, which is the exact opposite of non-entrepreneurs who value security.
Inc. Magazine has put together a free Motivation Matrix Quiz to identify your top 3 entrepreneurial drivers and how they impact the choices you make in your business.
==> What are your top motivations? Take the quiz here and share your results in the comments below.
Once you know your motivations, it helps to dig a little deeper to identify what you enjoy most in your business and where you bring the most value, so you can focus your time on the activities that matter and delegate the rest.
I spent two days last week masterminding with Don Crowther who led us through the following process:
==> What are the 5 things that make you happiest?
==> What are the 3-5 things that other people consistently tell you that you’re good at?
==> When you’re working, what are the 3-5 things that you enjoy doing the most?
==> What are the 3-5 things that you least like doing at work?
==> If you were to ask your customers, what would they say is the greatest value that you add?
==> Finally, what’s the highest and best use of your time (so you have a business that’s fulfilling for you and makes use of your greatest talents)?
What I realized from doing this exercise is that the highest and best use of my time is to get out in front of my audience as a coach, consultant, speaker and trainer, rather than running my business anonymously from behind a computer. I add the most value when I co-create with my clients in person, over the phone or through the interactive content that I produce. If I want to focus my time in my genius zone, I have to delegate the research and project management that ties me up.
Now let me ask you, Why are you in business? What is your highest and best use? What do you need to stop doing so you can have a business that sustains you?