It’s funny how we make excuses when we get asked these kind of questions. There’s that famous scene in “The Notebook” (one of my wife’s classic faves), where Noah challenges Allie to stop thinking about what everyone else wants, and just ask herself and answer – “what do you want?”
I’m surprised we haven’t seen this spoofed a million times already – maybe that’s happened and I just missed it. I just remember the over-the-top intensity of the moment in the film, and how Allie just couldn’t answer.
But the truth is that we all do this at some point. We hide our desires behind what’s needed, or what’s convenient, or what we think is possible. But when do we actually SAY what we want? And why do we feel like we’re ADMITTING it when we do?
I was recently working with someone who had established a great business – things were going well. But he recognized that he didn’t want to live with the regret of giving his best time to strangers, and having his family miss out. So we were looking at how he was spending his time – looking for things to delegate, automate, or simply remove. And when we started comparing those things to his priority, it was easy to address. And by building good processes, we were able to make sure that his team who were picking up those jobs would be able to do them without dropping the quality (too much).
The greatest benefit here was that we were able to free up hours of time, reducing late night and weekend work, and even freeing him up for the occasional school pickups in a way that would have no negative impact on his business. Even better, the processes we put in place could be picked up by anyone – so his business had removed another bottleneck for growth and was ready to go to the next level.
Understanding what you want is vital – but the courage to pursue it is the real key.