What Lifestyle Do You Want?

Many of us spend hours, days, or even weeks designing our flats – choosing our dream blanket, ordering that Italian coffee table, importing the gorgeous Turkish rug. We set up discussion clubs around the type of coffee beans we drink and organic food recipes we experiment with.

Yet, so few are equally specific about the quality of life we choose to have. Isn’t that ironic – we know exactly what we want to put on the floor in the living room, and we often have no clue what we need and want from our lives!

I have always been very open about why I set up my first business twenty years ago, as well as the the other companies later on.  I didn’t do that because I thought it would be cool to have a company or call myself an entrepreneur. I did it because I wanted to make a lot of money – much more than any regular “job” would give me and to be able to make the most important decisions – where and how I live and how I can support the ones I love.

I have never pretended that I set up my business to save the world, my motivations were much more “pragmatic” – not to have to look at the prices and not to have to do certain projects – just to make money. A few years ago I would accept any development project from any client – as long as they were ready to pay my rates. Now, I am much more selective and work only with these clients who really need my support to move further and are ready to work harder than ever before. As far as I am concerned – that is also an important aspect of my lifestyle – who I support and what REAL value and impact I have. I have decided to have fewer clients, but much “better” clients. Am I earning less? I’m pretty sure you know the answer!

So what exactly does “lifestyle” mean?

The word “lifestyle” is used in many contexts nowadays – we have “lifestyle magazines”, “lifestyle programs”, “lifestyle businesses”. I can’t help the feeling that “lifestyle” is one of the most overused words nowadays – especially if it refers to the magazines someone reads, the matcha latte they drink, or the gym they go to. Additionally, it has become so generic – in most cases it helps you define one of the groups you decide to become part of. And let’s face it – “lifestyle” businesses are booming nowadays, as they help people feel better and get that instantaneous gratification resulting from belonging somewhere.

Does that make our lives more rewarding and fulfilling?

I believe it does – in many ways. By choosing a certain option from the dropdown list of the “currently available lifestyles”, we can define who we are, what makes us feel happy, and what makes us feel special.

The thing is, that choosing such a “second-hand” lifestyle category, we actually never ask ourselves what it is that we really really want.

From my perspective, only if you are an entrepreneur, can you make some of the key decisions, and come up with your own definitions. Having a boss or working for Company X makes you part of the system. Having your own business gives you the possibility of creating the system you like, or deciding not to be part of any system – whichever you prefer!

What lifestyle do YOU want?

Business trip. Man bearded hipster travel with big luggage bag on wheels. Let travel begin. Traveler with suitcase arrive to airport railway station. Hipster ready enjoy travel. Carry travel bag.

The Average Entrepreneur Doesn’t Need a Coach!

About two years ago I told my friends that I was going to coach small business owners. They thought I was mad! 

“Don’t you know that entrepreneurs don’t need coaches?! They will never pay for your services!”

“Why are you making your life difficult? You have so many corporate clients and you are fully booked for the next few months!”

“I’m sure 99% of business owners will never even consider hiring a coach!”

Those were just some of the comments I heard from my friends. Some of them were even worried about me. They thought that I was going through some mid-life crisis! Were they right? Well, to be honest – to a certain extent – they were! 

It is true that:

  • 99% of business owners would never hire a coach – they prefer to figure things out for themselves, or they think that they don’t need one. 
  • Just 1%, or even fewer, entrepreneurs are ready to invest money, time, and energy in their development. The others are too busy, or they have more important things to invest in.
  • I was going through some sort of crisis. I was just changing planes, trains and repacking suitcases and heading off to London, Frankfurt or Gdansk to run yet another leadership development workshop, which did not change anything – as most of those leaders were just interested in maintaining the status quo. I was so tired of the “corporate initiatives”, which looked very good on posters. 

That was exactly the moment when I understood that my target group is that ONE PER CENT of entrepreneurs, who are absolutely committed to developing successful businesses, who make the conscious decision that they will succeed, no matter what, and who know they need someone who’ll challenge them the way they have never been challenged before.

That was also the time when I discovered something really interesting: The most ambitious entrepreneurs do need “supervision”, no matter what they say! They are actually happy to pay someone who’ll make them feel accountable, as they know that it is an investment that will help them achieve their goals faster!

At the beginning of our cooperation, I always tell them: “I’ll challenge you,  you’ll need to dig deep. Tell me, when it’s too much”. And you know what? Having supported over one thousand two hundred businesspeople from eleven countries over the last ten years I have never heard “Please be less challenging.”

To sum up: 

  • Yes, my friends were right.
  • Yes, 99% of business owners don’t need a coach.
  • Yes – that 1% is definitely enough.