Creating a business that is fulfilling both personally and professional is a relatively foreign concept to most people.

I understand. Most of what we’ve been conditioned to believe about work is that professional success and personal happiness are mutually exclusive. But that’s just how we’ve been taught to think, it’s not reality. In fact, from what I’ve both witnessed and personally experienced, you’ve got far more control over your outcome than most anyone believes. Having spent more than my share of time around both people who struggled to achieve much success in life and people who enjoyed one success after another, this has become abundantly clear.

I grew up in a small, poverty stricken town that fell on hard times after the local steel mill closed (at one time the town actually had an NFL team…) and thousands of jobs disappeared. But I also have worked with probably more health and fitness entrepreneurs personally than anyone on the planet when it comes to growing a business. And I’ve enjoyed spending time around hundreds of millionaires and top achievers from dozens of different fields. So the diversity of people I’ve spent my time around is vast… and I think the difference in achievement from the ordinary to the extraordinary largely centers around one thing:

The way someone thinks. Not how intelligent they are or how talented.

One of the smartest guys I knew and my freshman roommate in college later died from an overdose… and while he was an extreme case, I know plenty of ‘geniuses’ who are destitute. I’ve seen literally hundreds of talented people struggle to achieve much of anything.

But it all begins with how they, and how you, think about achievement.

You need to think that not only is success possible… but that you’ve got what it takes to achieve it, you deserve it and that you’re going to make it happen. You need to think bigger than the average person.

When most people are thinking that ‘the normal’ they see around them is their ceiling – you need to be thinking that you’re capable of so much more. When others blame the economy or circumstances – you know that you control your own economy.

You simply have to decide what you want, believe you deserve it and put yourself in a situation to make it your reality. It’s really that simple.

So think big… but be specific. If you want to draw your map, you need a precise destination.

Then do what you need to do to feel you deserve success. For me, the two things that helped me think that way were who I spent my time around and what I studied.

Then put yourself in a position to achieve it.  That’s the willingness to take strategic action.

I hope you really embrace what I’ve just shared…it can be the platform that your success is built on if you do.

One of the biggest mental shifts I have ever made when it came to making better decisions and ultimately working toward my Ideal Business was substituting one four letter word for another.

Instead if thinking: ‘Should I spend my time doing this?’, I switched to thinking…

‘Should I spend my life doing this?’

See, sometimes I think that the way we think about things or talk about things is designed to minimize the impact of our choices. If I say that I spend 50{cd266c1509fca34f59dc93da7daf12a6ee52c6401aabb2126e757d9de7c223fc} of my time dealing with things in my business that I didn’t particularly enjoy… I could rationalize it as the cost of doing business or tell myself that most people spend far more time than that doing things they don’t enjoy. But if I say I spend 50{cd266c1509fca34f59dc93da7daf12a6ee52c6401aabb2126e757d9de7c223fc} of my life in that same situation – it seems far more troubling. I’m more motivated to change because I can’t retrieve that 50{cd266c1509fca34f59dc93da7daf12a6ee52c6401aabb2126e757d9de7c223fc} of my life once it’s gone.

Maybe it’s just semantics… but the way we spend our time is actually the way we’re spending our lives… and to me that means no settling. When I really embraced this way of thinking I knew that creating my Ideal Business just an interesting idea – it was a must.

My belief is that when you decide what and who you’re spending your time on…you shouldn’t settle – because you’re actually spending your life on them. So whether you choose to use this approach or not, the message is really that you have the opportunity to do, be and have almost anything you want, but you can’t achieve any of it by settling.

And every day that you’re not pursuing your Ideal Business, spending time with those that are important to you or doing the things that you truly want to do is a day you can’t get back.

We all have the same 168 hours each week. Are you spending yours the way you want?

About the Author

Pat Rigsby

Pat Rigsby is a Business Coach who helps entrepreneurs and Thoughtleaders® build the business and success that they want. He’s built over 25 different businesses including two Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Award Winning franchises and a 3X INC 5000 company as well as authoring or co-authoring 11 different Best-Selling books. Pat can be reached at Patrigsby@dnagency.com.