There are three things that, if I had waited until I was completely ready, I never would have done. Get married, have kids, and start a business. And yet, when I think where I get the most enjoyment and satisfaction in my life right now, it’s those exact three things – my wife, my kids and my business.
I’d wanted to start my own business for a long time, but always had excuses. Finally, three years ago, conditions were “perfect”. And by perfect, I mean the market had just tanked into the beginning of a recession, and my wife was pregnant with our first child. So what better time to quit my job, forego regular paychecks and health coverage, and jump off the deep end?
In retrospect, I’m not completely sure what I was thinking. But I can’t imagine doing anything else. In fact, I might be downright unemployable now. I absolutely love what I do, not only because I love the work but because it enables the life I want to lead for myself and my family.
For a long time, I hated the term “lifestyle business.” I didn’t want any part of it. Lifestyle businesses, I thought, meant you were trying to work as little as possible. Definitely did not define me. But what I’ve come to accept and embrace now, is that a lifestyle business can be something you work incredibly hard at, but that’s purpose is to enable the lifestyle you want.
For me, that means not working to please a set of shareholders or executive team. It means not worrying about growing by XX% next year if I don’t have to, or if the market doesn’t allow for it, or if it means pushing my sales pipeline faster than it’s ready to convert.
For me, a lifestyle business means doing what I know is right, putting my team and my customers first, growing at a pace that’s comfortable, and enabling the life (inside and outside of business) that I want.
There are three things that, if I had waited until I was completely ready, I never would have done. Get married, have kids, and start a business.
I’m a sales and marketing consultant (Heinz Marketing helps companies build, manage and close sales pipelines), but I really don’t like selling. Ironic. But we’ve experienced amazing growth in our first three years, and I attribute most of it to giving away what we otherwise could be selling.
I write a lot, do a ton of 15-20 minute phone calls with companies and executives and entrepreneurs that just want help thinking through something. I get to spend more of my day thinking about how to help other people sell more. I love that. I have no problem spending time with someone with no expectation in return. Either they’ll be a client someday, or they know someone else who might be. My biggest source of referrals are people in my network who have never been direct clients.
I get to do something I love, help people with critical business problems that unlock their own personal and professional success, and I get to do it in an environment that I control, that operates and grows at a pace I determine, and that supports the security, health and future well-being of my family (as well as those who work here). That is so awesome. I am so blessed.
Matt Heinz, is president of Heinz Marketing, a Redmond-based sales & marketing firm. They help our clients achieve sustained sales success by growing revenue from existing customers and cost effectively identifying and winning new customers. You can connect with Matt via email, Twitter, LinkedIn or his blog.