Is Your Business Right for You?
This is a question that might not have popped up in your head. And rightly so. You are in business, and you go about it the best way you see fit.
Well, I have shut down many of my businesses – apparently for no particular reason, and then started others from the scratch. The biggest change came in 2001, when I used to sell clothes and earned in a month, as much as my mother (an engineer), would earn in one year.
When I quit this business and got employed as a financial analyst for $100 a month many people told me I was crazy. I couldn’t even afford to buy gas for my car. Still, I thought it was the best decision at the time.
10 years later I figured out why I made that move.
Wanna know why? Well, you have your own life to live so I get it if you are not that interested in the story of my life. But it might be the case that you are not in the right business yourself…
Well, I noticed that most people’s needs are included in Maslow’s famous Hierarchy of Needs. Some of these needs are stronger, others are less compelling. During a person’s lifetime, the dominant need that shapes our personality will change.
Let’s take a look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. I represented it as a wedge rather than a pyramid and I slightly modified Maslow’s original pyramid to make it relevant in today’s world.
Safety is about …well, safety. Simple basic things like having a place to sleep, food to eat. These are the most basic human needs to survive and function.
Variety is the need to experience diverse things. It is the need that pushes you to travel, to do something different at your job every now and then, to meet up with different types of people or to undertake activities that keep you away from boredom or routine.
Relationship is about the need for love and a connection to others, and the need to belong to a community or a group.
Respect is the need to be appreciated for what you are and what you do. If you are the type of person who likes to wear branded clothing and accessories it means that you want to project a higher status, and show that you can afford luxury.
Fulfillment is about your own personal fulfillment in life, and your contribution to others. This need is at the top of the hierarchy. When this need is satisfied it means that all other needs are satisfied too. At the same time, when you experience self-fulfillment you know that all other needs have been met.
Let’s take a look at my story again.
When I used to sell clothes bought from China and Thailand as a student, I was fulfilling my need for safety. It was a means to get money and to do what I wanted when I wanted. At the same time, since I travelled to so many new places I was also satisfying my need for variety.
What more can a student want? Not much. That’s why for a while I was really excited about my small business.
When I decided to end that business I did it because I needed a new challenge: the need for self-fulfillment. I wanted to use my brain, to do something more challenging than haggling for a better price with Chinese merchants. A strong need for self-fulfillment drove me to drop a lucrative business and to take an underpaid job that would challenge my intellect and feed my brain.
As an entrepreneur; as a responsible adult who needs to provide for your household, pay for your children’s education and mortgage, you might be asking yourself how to make a change that could fulfill the needs that are not actually met.
The answer is simple. Take the time to understand what your most important needs are today and reshape your business in a way that meets your desires. For each type of need there are some existing business models that could allow you to use what you already know, and help you to meet the desires that you’ve not yet fulfilled.
Here are some examples:
- Businesses that don’t require a lot of involvement from you and you can generate a decent revenue so you cover your expenses: selling products on Amazon or eBay (from pacifiers, to sunglasses and electronics). You can buy cheap merchandise from overseas and sell it in the US or in the UK, from your living room, without leaving your house. Or, if you want to take the business to the next level you can create your own brand in order to command higher prices.
- Businesses that bring good money, offer flexibility and satisfaction but are limited in their growth potential: coaching or consulting. With the things you already know you can help other businesses overcome obstacles you have already conquered. This type of business is easy to set up (you just need a computer and internet) and you can generate clients in a short time. If you have already started a coaching or consulting business, the next level is group coaching or training, so you can use the same knowledge and skills to help more people. This “upgrading” allows you to serve more people and generate more revenue.
- Businesses that fulfill all your needs, generate a lot of money on autopilot, give a lot of satisfaction and can be continually upscaled: online personal or professional development programs, in which you input your knowledge and create tools clients can use from the comfort of their homes, whenever they choose to. You can add one-to-one consulting as a premium service, and this can then be reflected in the higher fee you charge those clients.
In order to start such a business you need to structure your knowledge and devise programs that bring a lot of value to clients, and the benefits and satisfaction will be huge. The sky is the limit! You will have to run workshops, deliver presentations, speak in public, and even create videos. These are things that anyone can do with a little training, no one is born with these talents. You can start now from scratch, learn all these methods and become a true celebrity in your niche area of expertise within a year.
You may be wondering where I am right now. I redesigned my business to get from the 2nd to the 3rd type of business. Because I want it all!
For me, contributing to helping as many companies as possible become more successful is the ultimate goal in my life at this point. If I fulfill this overarching need, all my other needs will be automatically met. I just returned from my 2 month vacation, a period when I rarely checked my emails and hardly answered any. Because I chose not to do any work!
You too can choose to build a business that will meet your needs and make you truly love your life.
My purpose is to help you discover what your ideal life looks like and how to get this lifestyle by reshaping your business.
I want you to discover the strategies to grow and transform your business so I invite you to join my next FREE Online Masterclass.
Is a masterclass with many “Aha!” moments because it starts with your needs and it guides you to make the most of the things you already know and have. You will discover how to attract clients on autopilot so you can take your business to the next level. If you have a business idea you can identify the relevant strategies and tactics to implement it.
Why am I giving this for free? Because I believe the future will be shaped by people like you and me, each of us creating value according to our skills and in line with our dreams. Small businesses, brave entrepreneurs, freelancers will make the world a better place. I’ve experienced two bankruptcies and I know how tough it is to succeed in business. Since I’ve overcome my challenges and created a successful business I want to share what I’ve learned with you.