You’ve taken the plunge and started your own business, and the initial excitement has gradually faded. You might find yourself overwhelmed and underpaid, with long hours and little to show for the time you have to spend away from your family working on your business.
This is a very common scenario that I have seen play out for the 23+ years I’ve been in this industry, and finally, I’ve had enough of watching good people struggle. So why is it that so many people start their businesses and then feel stuck?
What I discovered was that the common denominator was a lack of foundation. No business plan, lack of processes and procedures, little understanding of who their ideal customers were, and the worst was not even knowing why they started the business other than to make money.
When I was working on my success principles certification, my mentor, Jack Canfield, coined the term J.O.B. (Just-Over-Broke) to highlight the jobs people had that just didn’t fulfill them and make them feel successful. That sparked the realization that the struggling small business owners didn’t start a business; they just created a new J.O.B. for themselves where they now had all the responsibilities, but with no security.
I realized at that moment that helping people get from a J.O.B. to a business they love was my calling. And the great news is the process is simple. In this article, I want to share with you how to determine if you have a J.O.B. and what changes to make so you can have a business you love instead.
More than a J.O.B.
First, let’s clarify that having a job is not inherently bad. For many people, a job provides stability and fulfillment. At the end of the day, what most of us are after is fulfillment, and that equates to success.
However, the issue arises when entrepreneurs find themselves in a business that resembles a soul-sucking job that is not fulfilling and steals all their available time and resources. So, if your business is at your idea of success, you feel fulfilled and like you are heading in the right direction, then you probably don’t need to read on. But, knowing business owners like you, you will read on as you are always looking for ways to strengthen your foundation.
In a J.O.B., you may be broke emotionally, spiritually, financially, or some combination of all of them. Your focus is often on fulfilling someone else’s dream at the expense of your own. You’re trapped in a cycle of trying to please everyone while doing work that doesn’t align with your core values.
But again, the process for changing this is simple; it just isn’t always easy to implement as it takes an uncommon mindset and a willingness to do things that might go against the grain of what you have been taught. You have to be proactive, learn to say no, and utilize some other strategies we will talk about later in the article.
Allowing your business to become a job comes from excessive people-pleasing, not clarifying your deeper reason for starting your business other than to make money, and having goals that are what someone else wants or what you think they should be to look good in the eyes of others.
So, ask yourself: do you work with the types of customers and people you love doing business with? Is that something you can choose, or are you desperately searching for anyone who has money? Is your business only about making money, and therefore you are always focused on the results instead of the growth?
Are you chasing the idea of a business that is someone else’s ideal of success? Maybe some loud guy you follow on YouTube is yelling at you to do more, so you think that is success? Ultimately, are you asking yourself enough why questions?
First, get comfortable with the truth that success can only be defined by you at your core, not by the stories we were given since we were kids. It’s like the kid who wants to be an artist, but their parents insist on them becoming a doctor, a lawyer, or some other more “secure” profession.
That story has been told in our culture, but other, less obvious stories are fed to us too. “You have to make a certain amount of money.” “You have to do this or that to look successful to your neighbors.” Take a moment and just ask yourself what success specifically is to you.
Once you are clear on that, it’s time to look at what a business you love is all about. A business you love is fun and rewarding. It’s fun because of the types of people you are around and your shared values. You are secure in your core beliefs and values and know living those will shine through.
Also, your business goals will be rooted in the difference you can make, not the money you make. A business you love grows from your ability to share your gifts with others. The results show up as a reward and are part of improving the processes.
Again, success can only be defined by you, and once you allow yourself to go deeper inside, I believe you are going to see the desire for fun and passion as well as serving the needs of the community that matters to you.
Transforming a J.O.B. to a business you love all starts with adjusting your mindset. A job mindset puts you in a silo, clocking in and out without deeper engagement with the fact that a business is just part of who you are.
A business mindset, on the other hand, integrates the business into your life, offering a holistic approach to work-life harmony. You are not 10 different parts of your life. Instead, you are one person who might have interests and responsibilities for your health, community, family, partner, love, growth, spirituality, career, and finances. Balance is focusing more deeply on different areas when they need attention and nurturing and celebrating the areas that are strong.
Once you have made the decision to look at your business through a different mindset lens, then you can start taking some deliberate actions. Creating a business you love requires deliberate action by embracing your passions, implementing systems, setting boundaries, and making investments in the future of your company.
You embrace your passion by directing your energy toward the people and tasks you love to associate with. If you’re working on something that lights your inner fire, you’ll naturally devote more effort and care to it. Start by making a list of tasks you enjoy, as well as things you could do without. This will help you delegate the tasks that drain your energy, letting you focus on what you love.
Next, make sure your business is made of repeatable systems. Without systems, you’re just flying by the seat of your pants. Having systems in place streamlines your workflow, ensuring every action you take is aligned with your business goals.
Set boundaries by learning how to say no. This is a tough one for most of us, as we’ve been taught to seize every opportunity that comes our way. But this is a trap. By saying yes to every opportunity, you may end up spending time on less impactful tasks instead of focusing on the ones that truly matter.
Invest in your future by continually learning and growing. Don’t stagnate; there’s always something new to learn that can contribute to your business’ success. Attend workshops, read widely, and consider hiring mentors and advisors to guide you.
To close, I’ll share an inspiring anecdote from my own experience. During a group discussion with our Radical Goal-Getters Mastermind, one member was stuck in a J.O.B. mindset. Over six months, we saw her transform her entire business model to align with her core values.
By the end of the program, she had quit her day job and was running a fulfilling and successful business that she absolutely loved; the business she had always dreamed of, but didn’t believe was possible.
So why not make today the day you decide to make a move toward the business you love? Remember, the difference between a J.O.B. and a business you love is not just in the work you do, but in the mindset you hold.
Transforming from one to the other requires the courage to embrace your true self, the wisdom to set your own course, and the discipline to stick with it. You have the power to make your business a joyous expression of who you truly are. The process is simple, it just requires an uncommon mindset and deliberate actions. You can do it!