Long-term success in business and life is based on sustainability – the ability to meet present and future needs and desires. It’s a dynamic state and requires reflection, adjustment, and repositioning to stay in balance. To be a thriving, happy success, you must pay attention to your own sustainability as well as that of your firm. This is the foundation for prosperity.
When I ran an IT services start-up in 2000, many of our clients were not sustainable. They were funded by venture capitalists taking big risks on young entrepreneurs hoping to make it big. And what happened? Several did make it “big,” including our firm. We earned $2.1 million in our first year with only two staff. But then the bottom fell out of the market. Most of our clients went out of business and after three years, we closed our doors. None of us planned properly to meet present and future needs and desires. We were not sustainable.
As you move forward this year, consider the following questions to empower your sustainable success:
- What nourishes me? Am I getting this on a regular basis?
- What do I most need now?
- What do my clients most want and need?
- What delights me? How can I integrate that into my work?
- Where do I want to be one year from now? 5 years from now?
My own sustainability plan involves daily meditation, reflection, exercise, and attention to the foods I eat. I LOVE to eat so this takes some work and I’m certainly not perfect (sometimes I pay attention and eat the pasta anyway)! My plan also requires a careful look at how I best serve clients, who I serve now and who I want to serve in the future, what I’m offering, and how much time I want to devote to my work. It also involves hiring others to support my vision.
Growing and leading a business is fun, exciting, and scary, and it can be exhausting. Each time you make a shift, you must recheck your foundation. Grow with intention and attention and watch your success soar!