The average American will live for 78.7 years. That is 4,088 weeks to journey from the cradle to adulthood to getting older and becoming wiser. As the weeks pass, it is easy to get mired in the struggle of running your business. Many people keep their heads down, focused on what they need to do to pay the rent, the staff, the vendors, and hopefully themselves. Before they look up, fifty-two more weeks have passed by and they are still the proverbial gerbil on the wheel, running, running, running – but never getting ahead.
As you read these words, take a breath, look up for a minute and contemplate these questions:
Was this past week productive for my business? Am I making the money I envisioned? Am I enjoying doing what I do? Am I proud of what I do? Can I take the vacations I want? Can my business run without me, at least for a couple of days? Can I spend the time I desire with my family and friends? What impact am I having in my community?
And the big one; What am I striving to ultimately accomplish?
Personally, my stock answer to the last question is, “Modest fame, immeasurable wealth – and time to enjoy.”
Let me explain: For me, modest fame equates to being known in my community as reputable and giving, for being a friendly, ethical businessman, a reliable person who contributes to those around him, and someone people trust and feel comfortable coming to for advice and help.
Immeasurable wealth means more than money, though the financial means to live the life you want is a strong motivating factor. Wealth can also result from passionate, disciplined and fulfilling work. The by-product being the means to pursue other interests in your life: travel, friends, family, exercise, hobbies, community events and leisure time activities that excite you.
Time to enjoy is just that, time to enjoy. I subscribe to the concept, work on your business, not in your business. Most restaurant operators never break away from “multiple hat syndrome.” They assume roles and responsibilities of manager, accountant, bill collector, chef, salesperson, and technician – to name a few. Inevitably, half their week is spent putting out fires. They cannot see the future through the smoke. In an effort to ‘save’ money, these operators are unknowingly suffocating their business’s growth as well as their chance for a better and balanced quality of life.
True leadership is realizing you do not have all the answers. Surrounding yourself with the right talent is crucial. You need to hire well, and know when to get out of the way, and let your employees do their jobs. It takes a group to move an organization forward. Your goal should be to foster a team environment and then nurture the individual talents.