Life is like clay. It’s an amorphous blob of material that has the potential to be something useful, or nothing at all. Many people struggle to make something of themselves because they lack structure.
Running your life like a business provides structure.
I figured I’d write an article on this topic because of the parallels that I have observed between my entrepreneurial pursuits and my aspirations for a better life.
Read on to learn all about how to run your life like a business so you can live your dreams.
Why You Should Run Your Life Like a Business
Running your life like a business has many benefits, but my personal favorites are:
- Personal growth and development
- Gives you purpose and drive
- Control and independence
Personal Growth and Development
Just as businesses invest in processes and get better over time, you can also develop into a better you. In life, there are many paths to personal development. However, the one constant requirement for self-improvement is overcoming challenges in the pursuit of a goal.
When you run your life like a business, you challenge yourself to change the ineffective habits you have likely formed. Confronting and overcoming these challenges develops beneficial characteristics such as resiliency and self-esteem.
I can say from personal experience that if left to my own habitual devices, I would not have developed into the man I am today. Learning to run my life like a business has been a fantastic vehicle to challenge myself and become better in the process.
Purpose and Drive
In the same way that businesses have mission and vision statements, you have dreams and aspirations. When you run your life like a business, you aim at a desired outcome and focus your time, energy, and attention on that goal.
While it is certainly satisfying to accomplish goals, it is equally important for humans to be working towards goals.
In fact, in a study published by the Journal of Happiness Studies, participants who experienced a stronger sense of purpose reported an increase in positive emotions such as contentment, relaxation, enthusiasm, and joy. They also reported a decrease in negative emotions including anger, anxiety, sluggishness, and sadness.
When you’re working towards a worthwhile goal, your life takes on a whole new meaning. Your purpose drives you to push through obstacles, flow through your days with persistence, and give you something to look forward to.
Control and Independence
When you live your life like a business, you get control and independence over your life. This is the effect that I like to call being proactive instead of being reactive.
When you’re in a constant state of reactivity, you will always be caught in a trap set by external sources. External sources will exploit aspects of your humanity for their own personal gains. Whether that’s biological drives, ego gratification, fear, or just distraction, other people can manipulate us by triggering these unconscious behaviors.
Instead, learn how to be proactive in your life. This means getting to the root of your purpose and making daily decisions to chase that purpose.
When you start making proactive decisions for yourself, you start to have an effect on the world around you.
Take this blog article for example, no one forced me to write it. But since you are reading it right now, it will have an effect on your consciousness. Had I been in a state of reactivity, to say, a boss at a day job, I would only take actions that he made me do under threat of loss of employment (fear).
I would never have written this article, you never would have read it, and that energy exchange never would have happened.
After a lifetime of taking action from reactivity, you are left with nothing to show for yourself.
For more information on how external forces can exploit you, check out this article on a modern guide to escaping the matrix.
Take control of your life, run it like a business, and make things happen.
How to Run Your Life Like a Business
Running your life like a business is pretty straightforward. Think about how a successful business would operate in an attempt to achieve a challenging business outcome – say selling products, making customers happy, and making a positive impact in the world.
Do the same things in your life and you’ll be well on your way. Here are 7 tangible things you can do to start treating your life like a business:
1.Set Clear Goals
Businesses have goals. You have to set your own goals to run your life like a business. Think about what you are aiming at. All of your actions should align toward achieving your goals.
Write your goals down on a piece of paper, and make them SMART goals, (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound). Review your goals every day so they are fresh in your mind and there is no doubt about what you are working towards as you move throughout your day.
Processes allow businesses to scale operations and make more of an impact. When you run your life like a business, you should be constantly looking for opportunities to build repeatable processes.
Write down your processes in the form of a schedule. Run this schedule every day to make it a routine. Live the same routine repeatedly until you achieve your goals.
One of the added benefits of processes is that you can teach them to other people. Whether you hire a personal assistant from an outsourcing platform or create a course to sell, repeatable processes allow you to spread the productivity around and get more done.
3.Monitor Your Progress
Monitoring your progress is super important when running your life like a business. Just as businesses use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure their progress towards set goals, you should also track metrics to evaluate your progress.
This could be a daily checklist of tasks, a journal to record wins and challenges, or an app to record your fitness progress, depending on your goals.
Regularly review these indicators, either on a weekly or monthly basis, to see how you’re doing. If you’re not on track, it’s an opportunity to identify issues, make adjustments, and course correct if needed.
4.Prioritize Time Management
In business, time is money. This means that if you are going to live your life like a business, you have to stop wasting your time.
Life is full of distractions, the big one nowadays is social media. Social media is made to addict you and keep you mindlessly scrolling.
Manage your time by ignoring distractions, and consistently getting back to the task at hand. Write tasks into a schedule and aim to complete them by the end of the time block. Giving yourself deadlines will engage your brain to work faster which will compound your results over time.
5.Practice Financial Management
In the same way that time is money in business, financial management is the basis of all businesses. Cashflow is the lifeblood of all companies. This means that if your expenses are higher than your revenues, your company will soon cease to exist.
That’s how important financial management is in business. Treat it the same way in your life.
Track your income and expenses on a monthly and yearly basis. Always make sure that your income is higher than your expenses. Aim to have a certain amount left. Budget your expenses in relation to the targets you set and stick to them every month. If your expenses are higher than the target on any given month, go through all receipts to see where the excess is.
Be ruthless in cutting out expenses that make you miss your financial targets. When your income increases, do another analysis to find another target expenditure limit.
6.Build Your Personal Brand
Businesses are made up of relationships – relationships with customers, employees, funders, suppliers, and society at large. The quality of the business is dependent on the quality of the relationships formed.
When you live your life like a business, you have to build positive relationships with others. What people think and say about you when you aren’t around is your personal brand.
A personal brand gives you leverage in the form of a reputation. When you have a good reputation, people will want to be around you and work with you. They will be more likely to do favors and introduce you to other people.
All in all, your opportunities and quality of life will start to shoot up.
While you can’t force other people to think and say positive things about you, you can INFLUENCE them to do so. How to influence others is a deep topic that expands beyond the bounds of this article, but here are a few things you can do to start building a good reputation right now:
- always do what you say
- treat others with respect
- always be honest even when it’s inconvenient
- help others without asking for anything in return
- be loyal
- be positive and encouraging
Think of your personal brand as planting seeds in the ground and watering them over time – the more seeds you plant and the more you water them, the more thriving plants you will have to harvest in the future.
7.Invest in Yourself
In order to grow, businesses need to reinvest their earnings back into operations. In the same way, you need to reinvest in yourself to move up.
People who don’t run their lives like businesses:
- eat junk food
- buy things they can’t afford
- waste time on momentary pleasures
- consume entertainment instead of helpful information
- aim to be comfortable instead of working to get better
People who run their lives like a business:
- take courses
- upgrade their skills
- read books
- buy products that allow you to do more work
- buy healthy food
- invest in appreciating assets
When you reinvest in yourself, you enter into an upward spiral of improvement and success – all of your current successes feed into future successes. After several years of investing in yourself, you’ll have a thriving life that propels you to new heights.
Summary and My Own Personal Experience with Running My Life Like a Business
In my journey to learn the intricacies of building online businesses and improving my life, I have found great success when applying these principles. In fact, the idea for the personal brand is what spurred me to create this website and create a leverage point that spans both my personal and business life.
The concept of running your life like a business is a simple idea in theory. However, when faced with the realities of human experience, it can be quite challenging to practice. I can personally attest to the challenges of combatting the natural urge to goof off instead of getting to work, engage in momentary pleasures instead of investing in the future, and succumbing to the endless distractions around us.
But with continued focus, I promise that you can run your life like a business and reap the benefits of it. Adopt the principles in this article and your life will start to work like a well-oiled machine propelling you towards greatness.