People don't have financial goals.
This statement is, on the surface, completely insane. Of course people have financial goals. They want to be able to afford to buy a house, to send their kids to college, to be able to retire or retire early. They want to know that they can sleep easy at night without having to worry about how they're going to pay their bills next month.
The thing is that none of what I just said is really about money. It's all about how that person wants to live.
Money is just a means of exchange. It exists so that we don't have to haul around metal or do a farmer's tax return in order to get dinner. The dollar makes transactions easier; it's not an end to itself. Most people don't have dreams about how much money their online banking says they have - it's about what they can do with that money, what they can own and where they can live, and how all of those things will make them feel.
Why is this important?
Because people - particularly business owners - frequently overrate the importance of pure financial success.
Business ownership isn't just a calculation of how much money you can make. Owning any sort of business is dramatically different from working a standard W-2 job in terms of the scope of your activities, the amount of time freedom you have, and the responsibility you bear for everything that happens. And it probably goes without saying that no two businesses are the same in these regards.
You can build a business that makes a ridiculous amount of money and will give you a heart attack in a year, or one that makes a more moderate sum but only requires twenty hours a week.
It's impossible to make intelligent strategic financial choices without understanding what the owner actually wants out of the business. Is it free time to pursue other interests? The emotional high of feeling like the best in an industry? The ability to retire at 45? Getting to do certain kinds (and only certain kinds) of day-to-day tasks? There's an endless number of possibilities, and it will be different for each person.
For a business owner, money is still a means to an end. Your business financial goals can't be separate from your personal life goals, but you can meet your financial goals and still be left very much wanting.
Before you make your next big move as an entrepreneur, spend some time and make sure you really understand what you hope to accomplish with your business - you might save yourself a lot of headaches later on. And give us a call if you want to talk to someone who is able to track with what you actually want and to come alongside you to get there.
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash