What does success look like?
Before you start on your journey, its worth asking yourself that question. If you’ve already started your journey, you will save yourself a huge amount of time if you stop and ponder, not just your direction, but the picture you want to paint in years to come.
Apple recently created an advert for their new TV show, using a young entrepreneur saying, “I rarely see my kids. That’s the risk you have to take.”
Andrew Kemendo says “for the ultimate reward, he’ll put everything on the line.”
He’s not alone, as I have heard a number of young entrepreneurs saying similar things recently.
The road to success is a long one. It’s not an easy route. And whilst things are going well its very important not to get too carried away.
Success is complicated, exhausting and whilst every young person feels invincible, its precisely these same characteristics that drive you beyond expectations, that also gets you in to the predicaments that can unravel your success too.
Its very easy to start believing your own hype if you don’t surround yourself by the right people.
I was one of those kids once and fell foul of my own success many a time. My father called it snakes and ladders. Each time I’d rise above my previous accomplishments, I’d suffer a set back of some sort.
And when you say, well I am not having any setbacks, thats a problem too! If everything is going too well and everything you touch turns to gold, it maybe time to take stock and look at the changing landscape. Without doubt there will be areas of your business that are in dire need of attention!
Success brings a number of complex conundrums. I remember Sir Richard Branson telling me a Chinese proverb that says something along the lines of “I wish you the success of a 100 people.” The saying is designed to be almost a double edge sword, rather than a straight compliment, because 100 staff is when your business starts getting complicated!
Scaling your business brings challenges, cash flow becomes more intense, chasing debts, managing large teams, building and widening your leadership teams. The first problem most entrepreneurs face, and I still find this a challenge, is finding the right leaders for the various departments that are popping up all over the place. Building your formula is one thing; keeping one step ahead of it is another!
So why am I painting this picture? Well, at some point you have to step away and take a break! Its imperative that you do! Non stop work eventually grinds you down just in the same way non stop exercise does. If you ran a marathon every day for the rest of your life, its safe to say you will hit a wall at some point.
I have a number of ways to switch off from work. Chess being one of my favourites, but that doesn’t rest my brain, quiet the opposite! Squash and sport being other very effective ways for me to escape and crucial to staying healthy too, so they need to be in your formula. But the best way to step away from work and switch off is with children and someone you care for like a wife or husband.
Its essential that you grow in your relationships in equal measure to your business success. Your emotional wellbeing is a critical part of your business stamina. By taking regular holidays and time out with your husband, wife, fiancé, girlfriend, boyfriend, you get some switch off time that allows you to recharge.
If you are one of these people who are saying, “I am too busy for a relationship” I argue that you have not fully understood yet what success looks like.
As a young man, I worked every hour God sent, Every day for 9 years without a holiday. I had a great lifestyle, bought two apartments, saved lots of money, but honestly I was a little lost!
In many ways my accident I had is arguably the biggest trigger to my recent success. Getting a second chance at life made me change my formula and prioritise Gail and got me focussed as hard on building a family as it did building UKFast and our other companies. And yes, I still probably work too hard.
Its father’s day and I am writing a blog! But I wouldn’t swap my time with my girls for anything.
I remember saying to someone when trying to sum up how our perspective changes.
“As a kid I worked hard to get out of Wales. As an adult I work every minute of my life to get back!”
Time is the only thing thats of real value and its how you spend that time that determines whether you are a success or not. It’s not the car you drive or the house you live in that matters, its the look in the eyes of your kids and the feeling in your heart that defines whether or not you are on the right track.
Friday night I went to see Poppy in a school rendition of the Lion King. I never miss Sports Days or school assembly when one of them has achieved something special.
So if you are working hard to break the bank, theres no harm in that, but remember to take a minute for the special people around you that help keep you grounded and on the straight and narrow.
Happy Fathers Day!