Sometimes we rush into making decisions and regret the choices we make. A hasty decision could lead to long-term disappointment. So it’s best you think through everything clearly, but don’t delay to long, because sometimes you’ll go past the point where your decisions matter.
One of the unalterable rules I live by is this: “You can do anything you want in life, but you can’t do everything!” Therefore, you have to know what you want to accomplish before you can decide what you should do next. In other words, you must have a Preferred Future.
60 Minutes’ Mike Wallace once said to Texas Billionaire H.L. Hunt, “It’s been rumored you make 17 million dollars a year.” H.L. responded, “If I only made 17 million dollars, I’d starve. Making 17 million dollars is easy. All you have to do is learn to give up something.”
All highly successful people have learned to say “no” to opportunities of lesser value than those they are currently pursuing. As a business owner, you have to know when to say “no” to perceived opportunities that do not help you do your Preferred Future. And to do that you have to know what it is that you want. If you don’t know where you’re going, you won’t know what decisions along the way will help you get there, nor will you know when you’ve arrived.
Understand that when you build a business, the business becomes a tool to help you do what you want. It isn’t the be-all and end-all. Your business is the means to an end, not the end itself. We all have unique talents, gifts, and a destiny in life. Having a successful business will help you do those things and reach your Preferred Future.
If you look at the creative geniuses in life (Bach, Beethoven, DaVinci, Renoir) many of them were able to do what they did because they had benefactors, people who supported them while they achieved their Preferred Future. Unfortunately, those days are passed; most of us live without the support of a benefactor. Unless you make your business your benefactor! If your business earns the income you need to do what you want, then your business has become your benefactor and you can do your Preferred Future.
When you clarify what you want to accomplish in life, you equip yourself with motivation, inspiration, energy, creativity, and the ruthlessness to say no to things that disrupt you.
So, what’s in your way? Why don’t you take time to clarify your Preferred Future? Easy. You get consumed making a living and creating a livelihood for yourself, your family, your staff, and your business. You focus on survival – how to get through the day, the week, the month. And you sneak in the creative, pro-active stuff when you can, things like customer service, client acquisition, staff training, computer upgrades, and so on.
This behavior is defusing. Our three resources – time, energy, creativity – are consumed with creative solutions for today’s problems as opposed to being used to create our Preferred Future