Could You Be Running Out of Future?
Recently, I was listening again to a Success Magazine CD and in particular a Dan Kennedy interview and heard this great line—”running out of future”. What does that mean for a business owner? At first I thought the gravesite and got a little anxious and thankfully that’s not it.
Running out of future means hitting your goals—especially the goals you had when you started. For most business owners, the immediate (and very real) goal is to get the business to a point where it is supporting both the personal and business cash needs. In other words, you are not borrowing money, dipping into savings or living on credit cards anymore.
That’s the first resting point—the first sigh of relief.
An interesting thing happens though. For those owners that get to that point (and for various reasons there are many that don’t) they plateau. They keep working but never really make the business do much more than that, because they are satisfied financially. Some will tell me they’d like to make it grow more and set higher goals but figure it’s only about working harder and longer. These are the folks who are more like
employees than entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs have a reason to grow the business and set about the task as the person in charge of growing the business.
In other words, running out of future is the same as having a small WHY for your business. What are you doing the business for? What impact are you trying to make? What do you really need to accomplish?
This is a HUGE question—What’s your answer?
I’ve struggled with this topic for years—up until a few months ago. Now, I know why I need to build multiple businesses and what I will accomplish in doing so.
How about you? Do you want to leave a legacy for your family or employees? Do you want to be able to give to certain charities? Do you want to sponsor a youth program? Would you like to do something special for your alma mater? Create a Foundation? Create a continuing scholarship? Buy a sports team? Be the best in your industry, or your region or your town? Do you want to have a lot of stuff? Whatever it is, make sure you don’t run out of future.
Hit the reset button after each quarter, certainly yearly at the very least. Spend some quality time with yourself and then your family and then your team. Figure out your WHY. Let everyone know what your long-term outcomes must be. They will help you get there. If you fail to do this, they become a team of unfocused clock punchers.
Go take Action on your future today and then Go Run a Lap! Business is Fun!
Tony Marder is a Gastonia resident and President of ASM Ventures Corporation. He is a certified business coach and a specialist in preparing strategic business plans. You can reach him for questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org