By Jenetta Haim
The movie Pretty Woman followed the formula of the most popular fairy tales. I always remember the cool dude strutting down the street in the final scene yelling out as Julia Roberts drove off into the sunset with her Prince Charming:
"What's your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don't; but keep on dreamin.
I think what he said applies to the 'land of business' as well. Too many people get so busy working that they forget to keep dreaming about what it was they were looking for when they first started out in business.
Often business owners say they are doing it all for their family, or the next big holiday or for retirement. But that is often too far away?
What about NOW! A great question to ask yourself is what would put a smile on your face today, tomorrow or this week? I think all business owners should be selfish every now and again and do something for themselves to remind them what life is all about. And at the end of the day, life isn't just about business!
As they say 'the fish stinks from the head down!' If you're happy, then employees, customers, suppliers, everyone you come in contact with will pick up on that. It will be contagious. If you aren't happy, whether you realize it or not, the opposite occurs.
A great way to 'start dreamin' again is to grab a piece of paper and jot down a few headings that represent what you want in your life. Some good headings to consider are Health, Intellect, Spiritual, Friends, Family, Community and perhaps even the Environment.
List three or four activities or goals your might have under each heading. Plan a few immediate ones (quick fixes) as well as a few longer term goals.
For example under Health you may organize a simple short term goal of booking in to see your doctor to get a complete health check. You may also have the longer term goal of losing some weight, talk to your partner and start by gradually improving your diet so you can lose those 10 kilograms over the next 6 months.
When was the last time you got lost in a great book? Under the heading Intellect, you might go to the local bookstore and buy one of the latest best sellers and read a few pages every night before you go to bed. Perhaps buy that magazine that focuses on a hobby you have or want to take up one day.
Spirituality is important but often forgotten in this busy world. Organize to go to church this Sunday or find out about a meditation class that is held at the local yoga centre.
Consider giving yourself some time out each day. Organise to have 20 minutes each afternoon in a quiet spot without any interruptions (leave the mobile phone at your desk).
For Friends and Family consider one small activity with someone each week. Send your partner a bunch of flowers, take a turn at picking up the kids from school, help with their homework or hobby, or turn up unannounced for lunch. Ring up that old friend to catch up for coffee or play that game of golf you have talked about for years.
There are many Community causes to choose from. One idea that involves the Family and helps the Community is to do the big 'spring clean' at home. Donate all those clothes, toys, books etc. that you don't use anymore and give them to the Salvation Army or St Vinnies.
Talk to the family about choosing a charity and support it for the year. Our family supports Nakima, a young girl in Kenya through World Vision.
From an Environment point of view, you could start a recycling program at work or at home. Organise a group of people to clean up the local park or creek, your council is always willing to support these types of initiatives.
So don't forget to keep on dreamin' and keep on smiling. And if your business can't give you enough smiles, then make one of your goals to start improving your business skills so you can change your business to give you the lifestyle that you want. After all, that is why you went into business in the first place.
Andrew Vincent was the creator and producer of the Channel 9 television series Your Business Success. Over 80 of the case studies have been re-edited and are part of a comprehensive business coaching program that includes a set of easy to follow workbooks and FREE business coaching.
Go to www.yourbusinesssuccess.com.au/thinkbig6