Build a life plan, not a business plan.

When I started my businesses I had a clear vision:

I wanted to build several companies, while not having to live accessible to them. These companies would ultimately have several tiers of management so that I would focus on new development and big picture growth.

{but here’s the kicker}

I wanted a typical week to include no more than fifteen hours work. Oh, and I wanted to bring in millions of dollars in revenue. Yes, I just put 15 hours a week work and 7 figures in the same sentence.

Raise your hand if you think what I just said is impossible, if not insane. Yup, I guessed that’s what most people work thinking.

Two years later, this is exactly what my company looked like.

Seven years later, I started consulting with other people’s companies because, well, I was lucky if I had 5 hours work on a given week.

And, this year, I’m on target to sell most of my companies for quite a lot of money {totally answer to prayer}. Add that to the millions we’ve brought in over the last eight and that makes me a very happy girl.

Most people would tell me that I am lucky. I agree. I think that these businesses have been truly blessed and I send up prayers just about every day thanking God for how this path.

But, I also think I built a business around the life I wanted to have.

You see, I’m not a typical business owner. My husband is in the Army, and the last eight years have brought 7 moves {considering we lived almost four years in North Carolina that’s 6 moves in 3.5 years}. He deploys regularly, which leaves me a single mom of a now seven year old away from family.

And, speaking of family, I am crazy close to mine. My grandparents, who were like a second set of parents to me, were in their mid-80’s when I started these companies and I didn’t want my mom, as an only child to be caring for them alone. I wanted enormous flexibility to be home in Louisiana, regardless of where we were living. In 2014 when we lost both of them, I made 9 trips home to New Orleans.

Maybe you’re saying, this is crazy…there’s no way I can do this. And, you’re right. If you don’t set your business up for the life you want to live, you won’t do this.

I have seen these results because every decision I have made has been based around my desire to live a life I have specifically chosen. You can build a business that allows for your dream life, but you have to know exactly what that life is going to look like and shape your business around it.

For most of my clients {and sometimes myself} the hardest part of this is envisioning our dream life. How do I want to feel every morning when I wake up or every evening when I go to bed? What do I want to build in my business? What are our passions? Where is our time for them? Who will we spend our days with? Where will we want to go? Do we want or have a family?

So that we’re clear on exactly what we want this vision to look like, let’s layout a big idea of what this vision looks like by translating it into a single day. This day should be the epitome of a typical day. It’s not a timeline, but the birds eye view of the day {and yes, our workbook will walk you through this step by step…just scroll down to the bottom to download it}.

So my most recent one looks a little like this:

In my perfect day I wake up refreshed and energized to birds chirping and green peering in through my windows. There are four children of mine sleeping in the house, along with my amazing husband. We are incredibly close to our families seeing them every day. I’m prepping for a few weeks of skiing and some vicious tennis tournaments with Pilates and yoga each day and my afternoons and evenings are filled with kiddos and best friends, parks and snacks. During the day, I am engaged with my team, who are located around the country, building a business that helps other entrepreneurs see amazing results in their businesses, but I’m finished most days by 3 PM in time for pickup. My nights always have long dinners around the table filled with laughter and love and bedtimes with my favorite books from childhood. I pickup my paintbrush most evenings because I’m prepping to show at my first major exhibit, the Sausalito Art Festival! My nights end quietly, with the stars winking in on me under a full moon.

Now, a few things you should know: I have one child right now, but I want to expand my family. I love to move and I’m happiest on a hike, on skis or with a tennis racket in my hand. I value super close relationships with some of my best friends and I need time with them each day. I love building people’s businesses. It’s a genuine passion that I need to fill each day and I’ve already started building an amazing team to do this with me. These elements make up my perfect day. And, if I get a few of them into each day, I know I’m blessed.

Your ideal day may look very different from this and that’s okay. The key is to understand what you want in you dream day, your dream life.

For example, many of our clients come to us as solo practitioners. They’ve been working 52 weeks of the year for far to long with no backup and zero vacation. When we build packages with them, we always ask, how often do you want to take off.

{Fact} They always start with one week.

But, as I dig deeper, I hear their kids are in travel baseball and it would be amazing to have four weeks a year to just have nothing on their calendar, but running to a tournament. Or, maybe their town slows down in the summer, so we based their packages around 9 months of the year rather than 12, which let’s them spend time enjoying their life when their clients are normally gone. Or, their spouse has just retired and they want to travel.

Each of these situations warrants a different type of business. We’re often stuck assuming we can’t make changes to the “status quo”, but with your business there is no such thing as the status quo. You can make it whatever you want it to be.

Your business may be based on 9 months or 11 months or 6 months of the year. That’s okay. It’s your business after all. The key is setting up the plan around this from day one.

How do you do that? Well, that’s a very good question. You see, when, I started writing this post, I had no idea what a rant, I’d go on….and since I’ve written a small book and I’m not done, guess, it means this will be my first two part blog. So stay tuned for next week!

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