Many people start a business with the hopes of improving their quality of life. Sadly, many new business owners find themselves trading time for money as a self-employed consultant beholden to customers instead of a boss -- and with no more control over their time.
If you feel stuck in a rut, it could be because your life as an entrepreneur is not measuring up to what you'd hoped it would be.
I spoke with Pamela Slim, life coach and author of Escape Cubicle Nation, for her thoughts on how to make sure your new life as a business owner is fulfilling.
'I recommend people develop a life plan so they can be clear about why they started their business in the first place,' she says.
Slim recommends your life plan paint a clear picture about how you want your entire life to unfold in the future. Ask yourself these questions:
According to Slim, if you envision yourself leading a large business and making a significant dent in the universe, and you're doing one-off consulting for a handful of clients, then you're likely going to feel out of sync.
The same person consulting for a handful of clients who has a life plan to make a deep and meaningful contribution to a few people may feel completely satisfied consulting and would be miserable trying to scale up a company.
You need to remember why you started your business in the first place. You may find the process of writing a life plan reminds you of your broader goals and helps you feel in sync, comforted by the knowledge you're on track. Alternatively, you may realize how far you have strayed from your original motivations and take actions to get back in touch with why you started the entrepreneurial journey in the first place.
Before you write your 2011 business plan, you may want to pen a life plan first.