It’s Q2 of 2017 and it’s the first time I’m looking back on the previous quarter and wondering, “Am I moving forward?  Does my business have a pulse?”

Don’t worry too much about me, as the answer to both of those questions is yes.  In the last three months, I’ve  been fortunate enough to engage with four clients, have had countless cups of coffee/lunches with people and kept momentum on all my marketing efforts (no easy feat).

Lately, though, I’ve been wondering why I am in business.  After a few long drives and too many jogs to count, I think I’ve figured it out and I wanted to share.

One of the most appealing things about being my own boss is just that.  I can do what I want.  I can also not do what I want.  After three plus years of 60+ hour work weeks in the consulting and agency world, I found myself tired and questioning the path I was on.  What were my goals? What was my drive for getting out of bed each day?  What started as a mix between wanting some time off and wondering if I had what it took to be in business for myself, quickly turned into a new full time challenge… and a theme kept emerging.  I no longer want to do anything for the sake of just making a lot of money.  I think it’s poison for the soul.  It’s not that I don’t want to make money.  To do the things I’ve listed below, I’ll need a healthy revenue stream…and I want a fair price for my services.  If I am going to work harder and longer than my peers, I want to make more of it than them.  I just don’t want that to be the reason for my existence or let greed take me over.

If you’ve ever taken a Myer’s – Briggs personality assessment, it assigns you four letters that describe you.  While I’m not as extroverted as some people think, there is no denying that I am a strong N (Intuition),  F (Feeler) and J (Judger).  In my mind, Intuition means I am abstract.  I find the thought of the unknown or what’s possible as very appealing and I plunge in head first with little regard to whether or not someone else thinks something can or can’t be done.  Being a feeler means I make decisions based on how I think it will make other people feel… and usually I want to make them happy.  As for Judging, it’s not judging other people, it’s how you go about your business.  Do you keep your options open?  Or do you consistently make decisions and get things done?  For me, it’s always been a very methodical version of the latter.

The reason I write about that is because people poke fun at the meaning of life and trying to figure that out before it’s all too late.  I think you need to understand yourself before you can answer that question.

For me, it’s not about getting rich on paper.  It’s simply doing something great.

…something that moves the needle for organizations and other people in a forward fashion.  I’ve come across too many people or professionals who just want to make as much money as possible or be viewed a certain way by people or their community.  There’s an episode of Mad Men where Don Draper is pondering a boxing match.  One of the boxers constantly brags about how he is the greatest…and Don Draper says to himself, “Not if you have to say it.”  I always liked that quote.  Other people have to assign you labels if they are to really mean anything.  It’s not how you feel inside, but what you do that defines you.

On the flip side, though, I talk often about modes of operation and how they shouldn’t be a secret.  I don’t see anything wrong with stating what your intentions are and what you are striving for.  I’ve found that people will actually get excited about that and want to share in your journey.  If you say, “I want to the greatest” instead of “I am the greatest” it makes all the difference.

For me, I want the Midwest to become a hub of information for Digital Marketing…and I want it to rival San Francisco and New York.  I want my clients to know that I am doing business from Milwaukee, WI. I want their engagements with me to be rewarding, informative and increase their bottom line.  I want to grow slowly, but surely and find like minded individuals.  I want to rent an office in downtown Milwaukee with a view of Lake Michigan.  When I’m in a position to, I want to donate some of my earnings to a great cause in Southeastern Wisconsin.  I want to continue to share my experience as a first year small business owner.  I want to be excited about other small business owners and what they are doing.  I want to succeed by helping my clients succeed.

Stay tuned for a similar update in Q3, where hopefully.. I write about these wants being a reality 🙂

One Comment on “What I’m Thinking after my First Q1 as a Small Business Owner

  1. Pingback: What I’m Thinking after my First Q2 as a Small Business Owner

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