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This morning I was talking to a young entrepreneur and the conversation was about the grind. About hustle and how there has to be some sort of hustle within a business. Now I had to stop him because what I wanted to ask him was are you getting everything you want out of life? And there was a long pause in there, as there often is when that question is asked. The answer was simply no, no they weren’t. They were trying to achieve their goals and dreams through the vehicle of their business, right? And it was a young business, a business just being started and they’re spending all of their time doing it.

Now there’s a season for this, right? There’s a season for putting in the work and I’m all for that. In fact, I do it often. But you have to honor the other areas of your life. You see, if you sacrifice your relationships or sacrifice your body, you’re gonna pay double the price later on, if not even more. In my experience, business owners often find themselves embracing the grind simply as an excuse for telling themselves that they’re moving forward. And the truth is they’re really not. Because why did they start the business?

So for this particular entrepreneur, when I was talking to them about their situation, they had actually shunted all of their relationships to focus on this business. Now it’s been two years since the launch and they haven’t achieved the goals that they set forth for the business. Now they claim they were working 12-15 hours days almost six to seven times a week. Now that’s a lot of time to be put into anything. And the season isn’t that long, right?

So what you’ve got to ask yourself as an entrepreneur, as a business owner is what are you sacrificing up for? Are you sacrificing all these areas of your life, your mind, your body, your soul, your relationships? Four of the five to thrive in order just to get one. Now, sure, if you have a product launch, your business is growing, there are certain times, again, seasons, seasonalities in a business. There’s also ages of a business. Businesses go through life cycles, right? And they go in different directions in that life cycle. They can regress and progress. And I totally get that and I honor you for where you’re being.

But I don’t want you to lie to yourself and I don’t want you to sacrifice like this person was doing for two years under the false pretense that they were moving forward. You see, they were telling themselves what I’ve told myself in the past and maybe you have too, I don’t know. But as a business owner, sometimes we jump in and we want to feel that we’re progressing. We want to feel we’re moving forward so we just work. And we go through our to-do list, we go through our tasks, we stay late nights, we work on Friday nights, the weekends. We celebrate it by talking about how much we’re working. We brag.

Yet we’re not getting anywhere. We have this feeling inside of us and we know this, if we’re being honest with ourselves, that we’re just spinning the wheels. I know I did this for years as a young entrepreneur in my 20s. I finally figured out a way out and along that journey is when I developed the five to thrive. Right? The five areas of life, the containers which I had to have filled in order to live an extraordinary life.

I looked around and there weren’t many people doing this and I didn’t really understand why. And it took a while for me to break the mold in this area and that’s where we came up with the Author of Your Own Story concept. And I addressed this to this young man. Now he wasn’t asking me for life advice and he wasn’t asking me to tell him about his health. What he wanted was a specific key tactic to move him forward in his business.

And so what I told him, the advice that I gave him is don’t use tactics. Tactics work when they’re applied to the right seasonality, right? You can nail in, you can actually nail a nail if you use a hammer. But if you have a saw, that’s not really gonna help you. A saw is a tactic but a tactic used for something else, for cutting something down, for sawing something in half. The tactic needs to fit the right criteria.

So for this particular business person, and again I can relate to it because I’ve been there and that’s why it’s so easy for me to be a coach for people because I run businesses, I’ve made all the mistakes, you know, if not once, twice, sometimes three times. I’m a slow learner, what can I say? But you feel like you’re spinning the wheels and really you’re just checking off a task list, right?

Your tasks never stop, they keep filling up. You could have a page of tasks, spend all week focused on eliminating those tasks and as soon as you’re done, you turn no more than turn around and that task list is filled. If not by you, by somebody else. They’re taking over authorship of your life. Authorship of your story. You’re just spinning your wheels at that point, right? It feels horrible. Imagine where you would be if you were in the same place two years from now.

This is why I’m such a fan of becoming the author of your own story and breaking the mold. First, you’ve got to write your story, right? You’ve got to be real honest and raw with yourself. Second, compress time, right? Get mentors, get coaches, read books. Find people who’ve been there, done that, who’ve been along the path. Use their experiences, hire the best. Hire the best of the best, whatever you can do. You’ll get more out of that. You’ll have more skin in the game and it’ll make you move forward or allow you at least to move forward, I should say.

So in this idea, make sure your priorities are also in order and you are always filling your five to thrive. When you have your five to thrive filled, you are going to see a more holistic approach to life. You’re going to have more energy for your business, you’re going to have more time in your business. It’s going to be focus time because you’re going to be filled up in your areas, in your relationships, your health is going to be on point, your mind, you’re going to have clarity. Because you’re doing work for your soul that fills you up, whatever that means to you, you’re going to have more to bring to the table.

And that’s what I want for you. I want you to break the mold, unplug from the Matrix if that’s what you want to call it. For me, it’s just really about being the author of your own story. You can write it down or not. It’s the whole idea of taking control of your life and living life on your own terms and not sacrificing so much to get where you want to go.

So what I’m going to recommend you do right now, is grab your five to thrive and write out those areas. Where are you sacrificing? What areas are you actually limiting yourself and are you lying to yourself? You know, it’s hard. Am I lying to myself or am I lying now? I get that, it’s kind of a contradiction. But just be raw with yourself and be really honest, what am I really doing? Am I sacrificing my mornings? Am I sacrificing my health or playing sports?

I know for me when I was building my second business, I was sacrificing going out and playing sports competitively for a while, or at least not as much as I wanted to. I was sacrificing Friday nights, not going out. I was single, I was in my early 20s, not going downtown. I was sacrificing friendships. I wasn’t connecting with my old friends. And it took me a long time to build this up once I figured this out. And I don’t want that for you. I want you to use me as your voice, just my experiences, and compress the time by learning from my past mistakes. That’s what a good coach and mentor should be able to do for you.

So write out your five to thrive. Write in your journal where you can progress and where are you sacrificing and where are you lying to yourself and just be really raw and relevant to yourself. And then go out and make a change. Right now, I encourage you within this moment, if anything I said rings partially true to you and it kind of says, yeah it kind of sounds right, I am spinning my wheels. Or I am just knocking off tasks and I’m not moving forward or progressing the way I wanted to, take action now. Now is the moment. Five, four, three, two, one, go.

This is your time to be the author of your own story. Every day you get to rewrite it and every moment you get to rewrite it by the choices that you make. I’d love to hear back to you. Go to the author of your own story group or reach out to me personally, I’d be happy to have a chat with you in any way that I can help you. That’s it for me today, I’ll see you tomorrow. As always, go to authorofyourownstory.com to get more tips, tricks and techniques delivered right to your inbox. Have a great day.

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