I remember hearing that the number one regret of older people is that they worked too much, forfeiting opportunities along the way to fully participate and invest in their personal lives. I immediately reflected on my own career and my own family life, trying to determine to what extent I had allowed my business plans and goals to impact my roles as husband and father. Then I thought about all entrepreneurs and the challenges they face in trying to determine when “enough is enough.”
When we first start out, we all have a set of ambitions. We tell ourselves that once we achieve them, we will be satisfied. A 25 year-old entrepreneur might write a business plan, and then dive head first into the work required to make the objectives become realities. Then, having reached all of the goals three to five years later, she goes on to create a more ambitious plan, which of course takes more time and energy to realize. After a while, the whole process becomes second nature, as the entrepreneur continues to check off boxes and reach greater levels of success. But what exactly is success? Remember when we told ourselves that we would be content after we wrapped up our first business plan?
It is completely natural that as we and our businesses evolve, we desire greater achievement. It would run counter to the ideals of human nature to expect less as time moves on. But on the other hand, if we get so enveloped in day-to-day activities in our companies that we miss out on the sacred time and space with our families and friends, we could end up with the same regret as so many older people.
What if your original goal was to own your house outright? Or perhaps you wanted to take it a step further and be completely debt-free? Maybe you wanted to put away enough money in college savings plans so that you never had to feel the squeeze of tuition issues? And you have accomplished all of those things. At what point can you take a step back and allow yourself to feel satisfied? Maybe you have reached all of your goals and have yet to even realize it.
When we move from one business objective to the next over a period of years, we could find ourselves missing out on life events. We can rationalize things, and say, “No, that isn’t me. I was at all my son’s games and all of my daughter’s plays.” But were you really there? Sometimes we can be so preoccupied that we are physically in the moment but not mentally present. I believe that a key to experiencing presence and enjoyment in life is finding the peace that comes from understanding when we have reached our goals, when enough is enough.
At Sumus, we have been exactly in your position in our own lives. We have the experience to be able to help you examine your complete financial standing, and help you find success in both your professional and personal lives.