Businesses come and go--what you are doing today is unlikely to be what you will be doing in ten years' time. You are the most significant asset in your life and it is important to realize this.

I encounter a lot of people who become their business--it is everything, from their waking moment in the morning to their last thought at night (and often it fills their dreams). When they no longer have this business their life falls apart. They don't know what to do, their life feels empty and dissatisfaction and depression can set in.

Look at the lives of a few high profile entrepreneurs. Rarely do they have only one business interest. They may start new businesses, sell old ones, go broke in some, do a joint venture in others--they are not attached to one business. They are passionate about what they do but they realize they are the resource and the skill centre used to make the other businesses work. They are more than any of the businesses that they own.

Whatever you are doing, there is life after your current business. For this reason you need to be more than your business. You need to have more substance, more interests, more beliefs and more of a long-term view about how you fit into your business life. Don't let your business consume or control you, you are in the driving seat, not the other way around.

Often younger entrepreneurs are caught up trying to build their empire. Every waking moment is about the business, leaving little room for anything else. The key here is to make time to stay involved with interests outside of business, keep connected with friends, have regular breaks and getaways, no matter how busy you may be and establish some rules--like "I don't work on weekends".

This might sound unrealistic, but being successful in business is rarely a sprint, it is more often a marathon, and that means that leaders have to pace themselves. Add to this the fact that when this race is over, you need to be in good enough shape for the next race.

Ponder this thought--what would you do if you got a letter in the mail that said you had to close down your business in 24 hours? How would you cope? What would you do next? An interesting situation to spend a few minutes considering.

Published on: Oct 21, 2014