Yesterday, the front page headline of my new hometown newspaper*, The Oregonian, read, “Sure we want stuff, but do we need it?” [They used bold font in the print edition.] Obviously, different people define “need” differently, but there is a fundamental difference between people who put wants front and center in their lives. (The Oregonian article is perhaps making a point now during challenging economic times they wouldn’t have made a few years back.)
However, coincidentally, and also yesterday, I came upon a Seth Godin blog post on “Get to vs. have to”. Now at first blush this sounds like a similar argument, but it has a different twist:
“…as people become successful and happier (the subset that are both) I
find that the percentage shifts. These folks end up spending more and
more time on the get to tasks.
You’d think that this happens because their success permits them to
skip or delegate the have to tasks. And to some extent, this is true.
But far more than that, these people redefine what they do all day. They view the tasks as opportunities instead of drudge work.”
And that’s the beauty of running your own business. True, in the first few years, there are lots of tasks you have to do. But as you become profitable and you can hire people to do your have-tos, you find your life is more enjoyable because you get to do the things you like and where you excel. If you ask any business owner who was previously an employee, you’ll find this is the single biggest benefit of owning a business.
But to keep your business sound during these uncertain economic times, please take time to consider what are your real business needs, and be watchful of spending resources on the business wants.
* I just moved to the Portland, OR area.