“What’s your overall goal?”
It’s the first question I ask any entrepreneur, client, friend, (just about anyone) who is in the midst of a career transition or looking to start or grow a venture. I follow it up with, “Where do you see yourself in five years? 10 years? Life-wise.” The question is basic and BIG.
But answering that question, or at the very least attempting to answer that question, creates clarity; crystal clear or not, it’s an important step in the right direction to figuring out Life with a capital “L.” And guess what? Your business is part of that Life. So before nailing down a business mission, start with your life goals.
You don’t have to have the destination 100% set (if you do, awesome) but you do need a map so that when you get lost or head down a path less traveled and find yourself in parts unknown (which, is inevitable and healthy) you have a map to consult—to help you redirect and continue on.
Answer these 12 big life questions and you’ll find that in the process you’ll get further clarity on your business mission as well:
1. Visualize yourself in 10 years. What do you see for yourself? What/who do you see yourself surrounded with? What do you see yourself doing?
2. What do you feel the most fearful of right now?
3. What are you willing to sacrifice to stay true to you? What are you okay saying “no” to?
4. What areas of your life are humming?
5. What areas of your life do you want to make changes in?
6. What do you wish you were doing more of that makes you happy?
7. What kinds of problems do you enjoy solving the most?
8. What about you makes you uniquely you?
9. What are your values?
10. Who are some other people in your life that you admire? Why?
11. What are some commonalities in the people that you are drawn to?
12. What aspects of who you are do people find energizing?
Alison Gilbert is a business coach and consultant. She’s helped over a dozen owners and entrepreneurs grow profitable businesses quickly and efficiently, including such companies as Well+Good, Levo League, Maiyet, and Plum Alley. Prior to building her consultancy, she was hire number four and COO of food media company Tasting Table where she grew it into a forty person team reaching a readership of millions. Visit her site and schedule a free consultation.
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This story was originally published on April 22, 2019, and has since been updated.