I was recently asked by a colleague how I provide simple solutions for my clients. His theory is that the best services don’t bog clients down with complexity; they provide clear, effective solutions that are easy to understand and implement. I couldn’t agree more; it’s why I’ve been talking about freeing yourself from your business this year. What the vast majority of people I talk to want is to simplify their work and their lives so they can enjoy their time on this earth more.
Someone recently asked me if I ever have bad days. I actually get asked that question pretty frequently. I think it’s because when people see me, I’m usually happy. After seeing me being so positive and energetic all the time, some of them start to wonder if I’m ever anything other than positive and energetic, and that leads them to ask if I ever have bad days.
I got one of those emails last week that makes your day. It was a thank-you note from one of my clients, and in it she wrote, “The business is doing so well, and I have a personal life for the first time in 18 years.”
Look around your office. Do you like what you see? Is your environment organized and inspiring or chaotic and unproductive? Would you want to work for you? Great work comes out of a GREAT environment, an environment that incorporates five components that create a supportive, ordered, motivating workplace.
Strategic planning has the misconception of being time consuming, labor-intensive and intimidating to most small business owners, which makes it an easy task to procrastinate. Even when you do get around to it, having the vision of five years from now tends to be elusive and indefinable as you struggle in the day-to-day scramble of right now. It often-times leaves you wondering how relevant is this to me and is it even worth it?
So often small business owners have insights into their business with great intentions and expectations of implementing them, but it just falls to the wayside of the impatient clients and putting out fires. Everything else becomes more critical than the most important things that will move their business forward.
I had dinner with some clients last week, a husband and wife who own a property management company together. These are people who have a lot of interests beyond their business: He enjoys leatherworking and woodworking; she wants to write a book; they like to cycle and hike and travel. Their business is even in a place now where they can do more of that—but they don’t do as much as they would like.
“I don’t take time off,” the husband said to me at dinner. “I feel guilty when I do.”
I hear it all the time: “When I retire, I’m going to _____.” What goes in that blank—buy a boat, travel the world, spend more time with family, found a charity—is different for every person, but what’s not different is the timing. Everyone seems to think they have to wait until they’re 65 (or older!) to live the life they want to live. For small business owners, the idea of living life feels even more elusive because of worries about how they will pass on, sell or wind down their business.
It’s easy to see why so many small business owners give up on the idea of enjoying life. It seems too hard, too far away, too unattainable. It feels like a dream you will never wake up to.
I once had a mentor tell me that my best wasn’t good enough. Ouch! Since best is, by definition, the best you can be, I think I was pretty reasonable in telling him, “Hey, my best is all I’ve got.”
He didn’t let it go: “That’s not good enough,” he told me. I asked him how I could do better if I was already doing my best. His response? “Do better. Learn more; read more. Become better.”
For over the past 17 years I have been helping businesses grow and giving business owners back their life. I am passionate about what I do and I truly believe it is my calling. You see, I believe that people are dying in their business every day, just as my father had at the early age of 62. He never got to enjoy the full fruits of his labor and I see the same pattern arising in many of the business owners I consult with. I am on a mission to change this. My goal is to create businesses that can THRIVE and SURVIVE without the owners, so that they can enjoy their life and make an impact NOW, rather than waiting for someday when the owner can figure it out on their own.
The challenge I have been having is getting my message out there so I can help more people. I realized, rather it was brought to my attention, that there has been a lot of confusion around what it is I actually do. Well I would like to set the record straight and share with you what I have been up to in hopes that this will clarify what it is that I actually do.
I Have a Life for the First Time in 18 Years!
I hired Jim Roman to be my coach for my business. I not only hired the best coach but also received a staff of coaches to help me with everything from understanding my numbers, improving my marketing and, most of all, putting together the best team to run my business. The business is doing so well, and I have a personal life for the first time in 18 years. I can’t put into words how thankful I am to Jim and his team. Without them, I would still be coming to work stressed every morning. Instead, our firm is winning, my family is saving for a trip to Germany, and I’m feeling great about the future.
Jim Made Me Brave Enough
I was brave enough to build my house at the lake because Jim helped me envision what my life would be like one day, and I wanted it, so I moved to that goal. At one of his Boot Camps I attended, Jim gave us pins saying, “Leading the Way”; helped me realize what a responsibility each of us have as leaders of our companies. We are providing a living for ourselves, our families and our coworkers. The Boot Camp was exactly what I needed to get me back on track, to movitate me and to get me to focus on moving the company forward. He even talked to me about how to build my business to sell it one day if I wanted—and I have sold the business!!! I have had other mentors in my life, but since my dad died I have had no other mentor like Jim. I am always grateful to him.
One of the Best Speakers and Trainers
Jim is one of the best speakers and trainers I have ever seen or heard, and I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the best in financial services over the years. Jim was instrumental in advising me to sell my interest in my former firm and start Financial Freedom Planners. He is very excited about and believes in our vision and mission. He is very smart, extremely dynamic and knows what I do for a living. In addition, he is an expert at networking, developing effective referral partners and relationships. Jim’s advice and counsel have had immeasurable value to me and my startup, especially when I lost momentum at one point.
An Integral Part of My Success
Jim and I have worked together to build a solid foundation for my business. His coaching has been an integral part of my success in my business as he provides an outside perspective that challenges me. I came from a corporate background and wanted to pursue my own business, but I quickly realized that, even with a graduate degree, I didn’t know what I didn’t know about running and managing a small business. Jim has helped me focus my efforts on those critical elements that have made my business successful while increasing my confidence as a business owner. Jim really knows how to drill down to the basics, in particular the foundational aspects of helping business owners break down their business into more manageable pieces, keeping them focused and on track to reaching goals. He is an excellent coach, trainer and mentor.
Jim Truly Cares About Me and My Company
Jim has the ability to bring a new and unique perspective to the majority of the challenges that I have consulted with him on. It is evident that he truly cares about me and my company based on the fact that he offers more than short-term, "quick fix" solutions. His coaching has really helped hold me more accountable to myself so far as my professional and personal goals.