Fulfillment Can Be Elusive
Being successful is not just about winning or making money. Don’t get me wrong, money is one of the measures of success. If you do not know how to make money you will always struggle to fulfill the dreams in your heart. However, achieving your goals and making some money is not everything. I know many people who have been successful at making money who still struggle with the fulfillment factor in their life.
Pete’s story (part 2)
In Part 1 of this article, I introduced you to Pete. He was a small business owner who had achieved considerable financial success. However, he was overwhelmed, frustrated and constrained by several things in his life and business.
What I can tell you is that after several months of trying to make things work, Pete decided he needed help. He sought out the business mentor who had assisted him with his initial business plan. He had been quite proud of the fact that he had not needed assistance for five years as he implemented this plan. Now, he swallowed his pride and sought out some help. The way he was operating needed to change if he was going to be able to make his business serve his life.
The business mentor sat down with Pete and helped him think. He realised his mind was continually whirring around with a million details and it had become difficult to determine what was really important. It was good to have someone to assist him to focus on the main issues. Together they came up with a list of things that Pete was concerned about and that needed to be worked through.
Pete’s Core Issues:
- Work out what was really important in his world. He realised he had been working hard growing his business and his family and had not done any reassessment of his life and values for over 5 years. It was time to reassess his world and his values. And work out what he and his wife really wanted for their future.
- Coordinate with his wife, Justine, a joint approach to integrate and manage the various parts of their world. Their work, children and home, etc
- Assess how well his business was going and what options he had now to make changes for the future
- Work out what he really wanted out of his life and business. He had thought that was clear but things had changed and it was time for him to reassess his life.
These four issues became the basis of the next few mentoring sessions.
The review and changes they made
- When Pete mapped all that was in his world he was surprised at all the things he was doing. He working hard, and contributing as a husband and dad to his family. He was also regularly doing things around his yard – he always had a project going. He and Justine had a very active social life with a large group of friends and a wide extended family. Pete loved his sport, playing touch footy and attending sporting events. Their eldest was at school and they had just started getting involved with the parents association. Plus he liked to do at least one course each year to stay sharp in his industry. No wonder he had little time for himself. Now Justine had resumed her nursing career and he had a much bigger role at home, for the first time things were not working. It was easy to blame Justine but he realised that was selfish and not going to get him very far.
- Once Pete mapped his world he began to think through his priorities. He shared the exercise with Justine and she helped him remember that they also went to church some weekends, and that their eldest had started to play netball on Saturday mornings. This exercise helped them to talk about their life and work out their joint priorities. They decided to make a few changes with areas that were lower priorities in their current season. E.g. Pete realised he should pay someone to do the lawns and gardens, and get a cleaner for their house once a week.
- A profitability check of the business really helped Pete clarify his thinking. Either he grew the business to 7 vans and a team of 15 staff including a manager to oversee the day to day operations, or he was better cutting back to 3 vans, with one person in the office to coordinate everything. The cost of a manager was going to eat most of the profit in the business at the size they were now. Pete came to realise that bigger was not better unless he really went for it with strong commitment to a strategic plan. Fulfillment was more important than growth at any cost.
- When he thought about what he really wanted from his life, things became clearer for Pete. His family was more important than relentlessly driving business success. He and Justine wanted to be comfortable financially rather than being the biggest player in his industry. He wanted Justine to have fulfillment. He knew she was a great nurse and loved serving people when they were ill. Pete had grown up with a dad who was always too busy with work and he liked the fact that he was making enough money for his children to have everything they needed. However, he wanted to be there for them as they grew up.
This period of review and decision making was critical in this season of their lives. Pete realised he had been resentful of Justine’s decision to go back to nursing. His mum had been a stay at home mum, and he had not realised how he was unconsciously expecting Justine to follow that example. The process they went through both personally and in his business helped them to grow together. They reviewed and clarified their values. They rediscovered what was really important in their world. After a period of being so stretched and unsettled they were once again excited about their life together. This process enabled them to integrate their work with their overall vision for their personal lives. This in turn has led to new levels of fulfillment.