Thursday, May 17, 2007

What Defines Success for an Entrepreneur - Part I

Since leaving my marketing career in the corporate world 13 years ago, which followed a successful career in government, I have had quite a few entrepreurial adventures. The original idea in leaving was to

  • get control of my time so I could be more involved with my family (2 boys ages 2 and 4 at the time), and
  • try my hand at the next step on the career ladder - as I see it
  1. government
  2. private enterprise - employee
  3. business owner

Having conquered (at least to my satisfaction) the first two steps on the ladder, I was ready for #3. Today, as I ponder my next move, including a return to #1 or #2, it is time to evaluate what I have learned.

Most importantly, I have succeeded completely in getting control of my time. As a result, I have enjoyed being part of my two teenagers' lives, become much closer to my wife through many wonderful discussions and adventures (enjoyed via morning tea, lunch, a quick walk, hot tubs), have a fully trained golden retriever, and a home with only a short list of needed repairs. I have also been able to exercise regularly for the entire 13 years, work the hours that suit me (late at night), and have avoided the stress of business travel, corporate politics, and bosses. Finally, we have managed to get a handle on our finances and have a financial plan that includes funding college and retirement (although we cannot agree on what age we will live to).

I feel very good about the use of my time for family and personal business. It is clear to me that this first goal, getting control of my time, was by far the most important. I would not now trade being a part of my family's daily life for anything, including succeeding at the second goal - being a business owner. About that I shall write next time...