Where do you want to go? Where are you now? Are you getting to where you want to go?
These are questions I’ve been fielding recently. However, these are questions that should be periodically asked and answered. More than likely, myself and many others ask these questions only when things are bad. That is, thoughts arise like, “I don’t like where I am, what should I do next?” It’s akin to reevaluating bad habits or poor exercise form only when pain occurs. Even less often is when longer-term questions are asked.
It’s a problem.
We shouldn’t ask these questions so rarely. We definitely shouldn’t ask these questions simply when things are not going well. (“Don’t go to the grocery store when hungry” comes to mind.)
We should ask ourselves several times a year where do we want to go. Has this changed since the last time we asked? Why?
The difficult part of not asking these questions periodically, then, comes when we have to ask the question not out of a want and simply to stay aligned. Instead, the difficulty comes when the change must come out of necessity – when a drastic change must occur. The difficulty comes when we find ourselves further beyond our locus of control. The difficulty comes when things have become easy or comfortable, and we’ve adopted a higher luxury. That’s when lethargy comes in and we forget about our why.
Ask yourself: Where do I want to go? Where am I now? Am I getting to where I want to go? If not, how do I get back on-track?

I was talking to a mentee this weekend, and he made reference to the lifestyle entrepreneur vs. the growth entrepreneur. He believes he’s a growth-type of entrepreneur, or at least, he’s growth-oriented. This led to friction when he was working with a friend who was more lifestyle-oriented. He pointed out how the business could have done more. He came into his friend’s company with suggestions on where and how to grow. The business owner, however, was less than interested. They eventually went separate ways.
There’s an important realization here– we have different aspirations. As much as everyone wants wealth, we should recognize that wealth comes in many forms. To that, folks have varying views on what their purpose and drives are. Where do they want to go? Why?
Yes, lots of folks these days look at successful entrepreneurship as billion-dollar exits. That’s extremely, extremely rare. Getting to millions in revenue is difficult. It requires lots of work to build a sustainable business.
Instead, many entrepreneurs may find happiness as lifestyle entrepreneurs – those looking to grow organically (if expansion is even a top priority) and one that maintains a small infrastructure. Here, the pressures of board members, high infrastructure costs, growing payroll, etc. are limited. Instead, lifestyle entrepreneurs are building a business that maintains a way of life. They want to achieve and maintain a level of living and business.
Most businesses in America are lifestyle – making up a large chunk of small businesses (those with 500 or less employees). In fact, small businesses also make up 99.7% of all U.S. firms. (SBA)
Also, the type of entrepreneur can shift depending on situation. I’ve watched many entrepreneurs shift from growth-oriented to lifestyle-oriented. There’s nothing wrong with being one way or another. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with notwanting to be an entrepreneur. In today’s age of glorifying entrepreneurship, there’s little recognition of the difficulties of entrepreneurship. This causes many to plunge into entrepreneurship ill-prepared and not recognizing their WHY and PURPOSE. Why are they interested in this direction?
When considering any venture, be it growth-oriented entrepreneurship, lifestyle oriented, or even a new job change with a big corporate, think more about WHY. How does this new focus align to the why?
For me, entrepreneurship is a game. It’s a game where the odds are heavily stacked against my team and me. As I sit down here on a Saturday afternoon at Starbucks typing out my blog post for Thursday (published today), I realize that I’m doing something unconventional for most. It’s all for the love of the game.
This morning, I played a good, healthy game of pick-up soccer with friends. This afternoon, I challenged my mind in a more mindful way with meditation. Tomorrow morning, I will go to the gym and grimace and fight against some iron. Other than that, I’ll likely get a good bit of “work” in. I put work in quotes because to me, it’s actually a game, a sport for my mind.
I’ve chosen this life to work at a startup, to be entrepreneurial, to read and to write because I love the challenge of it all. These challenges are like sports, but for my mind.
As it pertains to Entrepreneurial Ninja (this blog), it’s my way of learning and teaching myself. The competitive aspect is to be a better self – to always learn and improve. It’s to be consistent. I’m playing against, perhaps, my favorite opponent – myself.
I love challenging myself to do things I found uncomfortable years before. I love saying that I’m building a new sales process or creating the new marketing strategy on a day and an hour where others aren’t. I love getting up to work out early in the morning or go lift even when sick because I know most others wouldn’t, and I aim to be the best.
So, today in this startup, I consider this all a game. I want to win. Stats say 90% of startups won’t be “successful”, but I love that, too. I love looking into the mirror, and saying, “look at what I’m about to do”. I’ve come here to win with my team. I’ve come here to build something great. Yes, there’s the mission to provide jobs for others and to create a loved brand, but make no mistake – I love playing the game… love for the entrepreneurial game.
Why are you doing what you do?