What’s Your Why?

Do you ever think about why you started your business?

Yes, we all like to make money. But most of us also started our companies because we want to help people in some way.

If you’re a coach, you probably want to help people live their best lives. If you’re a realtor, you want to help people find their dream homes. If you’re a personal stylist, you want to instill professional and personal confidence in your clients.

As a social media consultant, I want to teach people how to leverage social media so they can make more money with their businesses. And that mission is really important to me. But it’s not what truly drives me.

Let me back up a bit.

I am incredibly lucky. The last two years of my life have been absolutely amazing — and things just keep getting better and better.

I published a book last year.

I’ve earned a spot on the Copyblogger Media editorial staff — which is my dream job.

I work from home every day, and set my own hours. As a single mom, owning my own business allows me the flexibility to go to school events (or stay home with my kiddo when he’s sick).

I have a brand new puppy who brings my family joy.

I feel like my life is pretty damn awesome.

I don’t mean to sound like one of those cheesy 10-page sales letters filled with promises of sailboats and tropical vacations. It’s not about that.

But here’s the secret — in my consulting and coaching business, I do more than help people with their online marketing. I help people fulfill their dreams of living happier, abundant, amazing lives.

I believe – from the bottom of my heart – that we can all lead lives of extraordinary power and magic. We don’t have to suffer through jobs we hate, or 3-hour daily commutes, or living in places we don’t like.

The real reason I started my business — and the reason I keep going, even when things occasionally get tough — is that I believe that people can live amazing lives.

They can build an online business that supports their dreams. They can travel, or work from home, or have the money to buy that new house.

And I want to help them get there. That’s the real reason I get out of bed every day. I want to help people live magical, extraordinary lives.

For more inspiration about finding your “Why,” check out this incredible TED talk by Simon Sinek.

So tell me – why do you run your business? Tell me your “Why” in the comments below.

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Our Fluffy New Marketing Assistant

This is our new marketing assistant. His name is Moose.

After many years of contemplating getting a dog for our family, we have finally taken the plunge. Moose is a Coton de Tulear, and he is a soft, fluffy, incredibly sweet little guy.

But what in the world does getting a puppy have to do with marketing?

Well, first I have to tell you my little secret. Up until this week, I had a serious problem with work/life balance. In fact, I’d say “balance” was nonexistent. I worked ridiculously long hours. I worked weekends, I worked evenings, and I didn’t take vacations.

It had been going on this way for years, and although I was really pleased with the results that I was getting in my business, I wasn’t happy.

I felt like I wasn’t enjoying my life. Weeks and months were going by so quickly (in a blur of meetings and deadlines) that I couldn’t enjoy my success, or the life I’ve created for myself and my family.

So I said to myself, “What would bring me joy this year? What would help me slow down a little? What would force me to take a breath every now and then? What would bring an infusion of happiness into my life?”

So we decided to get a puppy. And it’s the best thing I’ve done in YEARS.

I’m getting more sleep, because I know I can’t stay up until 1 AM every night. Moose rises at 6 AM on the dot.

Earlier today, I put aside an editing project so the puppy and I could take a brisk walk around the neighborhood. Making time for exercise is something I could never seem to do in my pre-puppy days. Now it’s an absolute must.

And I know that I’m going to use my time in more efficient ways, because now I absolutely can’t work 80+ hour weeks. Long hours are out of the question, because I have to make sure I have enough time to make sure the new marketing guy doesn’t wee on the carpet.

And my days of scheduling 8 or 9 back-to-back meetings every day are also gone. Moose simply can’t be at home alone for that long!

I can tell that 2013 is going to be a big year for the business, and that things are going to continue to grow in enormous ways.

And guess what? I’m going to be happier in 2013, too. Because now my life is just where it should be – in balance.

What This Means for You

As business owners, we’re often overwhelmed. We work too hard. We can’t figure out how to get off the roller coasters we’ve created with our businesses and actually enjoy our lives.

If you find yourself needing to slow down, but you can’t seem to make yourself do it, consider something drastic. Think about doing something that might seem a little crazy to your friends and family. It will do wonders for your business and your sanity. And you may just make a new friend in the process.

Have thoughts on how you’re achieving better balance? Leave us a comment with your best tips and stories. Or give us links to pictures of your own furry little assistants, too!

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