How to Find Purpose – and Happiness – in Running a Business

You don’t have to wait until you are financially independent and actually retire to enjoy an early retirement mindset. The sooner you can make your business about something other than making money, gaining power, or in some other way enhancing your personal situation, the sooner you’ll begin loving your work.

That will happen the moment your work stops being about you.

Here are five suggestions:

1. Make customer satisfaction your number one priority.

Ultimately, business should not be about sales, market share, renewals, or even profitability. It should be about leaving the world you inhabit a little bit nicer than it was before you entered it. You can do that only by focusing on customer satisfaction.

2. Focus on improving your people for their benefit, not yours.

Every time you interact with your employees, you have an opportunity to make them wiser and thus increase their prospects of being successful.

3. Don’t do more than you can do well.

There is such a thing as being overly productive. By taking on ambitious goals and translating them into demanding monthly, weekly, and daily objectives, you can force yourself into a situation where you have to race through almost everything you do to get it all done.

4. Don’t grow your business too fast.

When you are actively growing a company, you are automatically creating a certain amount of chaos. By pushing to create more products, sales, and customers, you inevitably put a strain on your ability to do things well.

5. Don’t ever feel sorry for yourself.

You don’t always have a choice about the problems you have to deal with in business, but you definitely have a choice about the way you respond to them. When you are feeling beaten up or rundown, the worst thing you can do is complain about it. Complaining focuses your (and others’) attention on you-know-who. And paying attention to yourself is, as I’ve said, counterproductive.

[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]
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