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The 1st Question You Need To Ask Before Going Into Business ( it's not what you think)

You’ve invested years in earning your degree and certifications. You’ve spent countless time honing your skills and practicing your craft. You’re now eager to put those skills to work helping others… and that is wonderful! That's what it is all about!

There is a pivotal question you need to ask and answer for yourself before you do. One that will serve you well… before making any kind of decision of this magnitude.

It’s not what you think…

It’s not “what kind of business you want?”

Nor is it “who do you want to be?”

It’s not even “who do you want to help?”

It’s dramatically more fundamental than that.

Hi, my name is Dan Tresemer and I’m founder of Guruville, where we help those in the business of doing good, grow a successful business of helping others.

The sad fact is that 50% of new businesses fail within 5 years. Statistics show that one of the top reasons for this is: “Going into business for the wrong reasons.”

So the first question is: How do you want to live your life?

As I meet and chat with business leaders of all varieties, it is easy to spot the ones who did not ask themselves that question years ago when they first started. They are unhappy. Unfulfilled. Frustrated. They feel trapped and don’t see any out of the prison of their own making. And… I know that you’ve seen them too.

Doctors who loved treating patients… now spending most of their time and energy dealing with the drudgery of running a business. Artists who come alive when they are creating… turning into petty tyrants as they manage their companies and the people within. Health and Wellness providers who ambitiously purchased or lease a property, hung out their sign with the hope that their next couple of years of working 24/7 will only be temporary, leading them to the life they desire. Coaches and consultants roiling in that all too familiar feast or famine cycle.

And it makes sense. You’ve been highly trained in helping others. Most people have not gained equivalent training and experience in running, let alone growing a business.

As time churns onward… that spark, that energy they had in the beginning continues to dwindle as they move further away from what they love, and for which they are highly skilled, being evermore consumed by something for which they are not. The actual running of the business of doing good.

How do you want to live your life? Where do you want to live it? Do you want to commute daily to an office? Do you want to travel the world nomadically? Do you want to be a practitioner of your craft or a business owner whose sole responsibility is the health, wellbeing and growth of the business, rather than the actual working with clients? Do you want a family? Where do you want to raise your children? If nothing else, the events of the past few years have taught us that physical proximity to work is not as absolute as it once was.

When I work with leaders, this is one of the first exercises we do. Through a trance, I have them go 5, 10, 20 years into the future and have them experience their ideal life. And through that experience, we now have their North Star for which we begin designing the path. To a person, the vision that they had before our session and the one afterwards differed greatly. They still had the spark to change the world, yet the context had changed. They now have a clear vision of how they want to live their lives while they are doing it. That additional insight was the catalyst, shaping all of their decisions.

What is it that will make you jump out of bed in the morning feeling energetic and passionate?

Once you have that clear vision… it is in the future. You now need to create a path to it from where you are currently. Then identify that very first step and take it. By doing so, you are both moving towards your dream as well as having what you experience on each step of the path to inform your next steps. 

Statistics show over and over again that one of the biggest reasons that 50% of new businesses go out of business within 5 years is that the business owner went into the business for the wrong reasons. Perhaps the peer pressure of family and friends was the reason. Or perhaps it is an ego-driven thing whereby the business owner wants the image and prestige of being seen as a “captain of their industry”, imprisoning them into an option-less plight.

My grandfather was a very skilled carpenter/craftsman. For many years the company he created flourished, with one example of the work they accomplished being the building of the replica of Independence Hall at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. If you’ve ever been there, you know how detailed and intricate it is, having to match every detail of the original. 

There came a time when he sold that business and began working for another company. Many years later, I asked him why he did that. He said “I got tired of spending all of my time doing the business stuff, with the pressures that come with growing a business and the responsibility for my employee’s livelihood. After I sold the business, I was able to leave work at work and enjoy my life.”

For some people, launching and growing a thriving business is their dream. For many people, it is not.

Design your life first. Then use that as your guiding light to make the decisions concerning how you are going to use your skills and talents to help others. And then gather the professionals needed to bring your dreams to fruition.