The Exceptional Business Roadmap: Part 1

Exceptional Business Roadmap

Humans seek freedom. It’s innate in us.

Many people get into business for freedom and to gain control of their lives, yet often find themselves further away from it the deeper in business they go.

Fuelled by our drive, determination and work ethic to make our dreams come true, it’s a slap in the face when we wake up to the realities of operating a business — often we find ourselves perpetually chained to our desks trying to keep the machine running until we realise it’s not sustainable.

Even if the business is successful… most of the time, we still don’t feel the sense of freedom and fulfilment we sought out if we’re honest with ourselves.

You’ve probably asked yourself…

“Do I really need to work like an animal and be on the clock 24-7?”
“Why am I still slogging away when I already have a team?”

You didn’t plan on ending up with a business that gives you anxiety and headaches because it’s stressful to run. It kinda just happened as you got stuck in a routine, going through the motions not realising you’ve trapped yourself into a life you don’t like until something woke you up.

If you’re grinding through your days feeling like you’re pushing shit up the hill or carrying boulders on your back as you make your way up the mountain of success, just know that life doesn’t have to be this way.

Mediocrity happens to the best of us when we unconsciously follow societal norms, business models and advice designed by other people, for other people.

So, how did we get here?

Is ignorance really bliss when it comes to the entrepreneurship journey?

The truth is… starting a business is easy, staying in business is hard.

The game is to continue to stick around, so we can keep playing the game to enjoy the process as well as the fruits of our hard work.

While it may be true that most of us probably would’ve never started a business if we knew how hard it is to build one… however, I’ve also questioned this belief for a long time.

Because when you look at the reality of people’s lives and where most people end up when they venture down the entrepreneurship path, the onslaught of casualties of that journey becomes very clear.

Some give up on their dreams and go back to the faux security of a job.

And some (driven by blind ambition) grit their teeth and pig-head their way through until something inevitably breaks down — they either buckle under the weight and responsibilities of owning a business, or they are crushed by the breakdown of their health and personal relationships.

Very few people actually end up experiencing true freedom.

The entrepreneurship journey almost always leads to some version of a mental, emotional, physical or spiritual crisis where the business owner is unable to enjoy the fruits of their hard work.

Crisis and breakdowns are signs showing us that the way we’re working isn’t working.

All the breakage, stress and frustration causes people to sell their businesses prematurely or worse, shut their doors.

When you pay attention and look closely, the result of going on the entrepreneurship journey “blind” is not pretty.

It most definitely isn’t bliss.

I believe ignorance and lack of self awareness are the real reasons behind the ridiculously high rates of small business failures.

I’ll be honest and admit I’ve experienced numerous breakdowns along the way, questioning whether I have what it takes.

While some still believe “ignorance is bliss”, I believe it’s much more helpful to see and understand the bigger picture. So we can better prepare and give ourselves a greater chance to reach our desired destination.

In the last 12 years, I’ve gone through mountains of business, marketing and personal development materials and spent a king’s ransom on courses, programs and mentorships.

Most of what I learned felt short when it came in contact with my in-the-trenches reality.

The strategies I learned and implemented never measured up to the results that were sold to me.

Something ALWAYS felt missing.

And for a long time, I couldn’t figure it out.

No one could help me connect the dots and see the bigger picture.

All I wanted was to design and build an Exceptional Business in alignment with myself, be the business owner and leader I aspired to become, and live a life worthy of my own respect.

First and foremost, my business needed to be in service to myself and my own wellbeing.

Secondly, I wanted my business to be in great service to others so it can contribute to the collective human experience.

Ultimately, I wanted a business I am damn proud of when I look back on my life as I close my eyes for the very last time.

I’ve been looking for a map that I can trust and rely on for years and decades to come, because I was searching for something that’s steeped in fundamental truths of life and universal principles of business.

But I never found the map I was looking for, until I finally connected the dots for myself.

The roadmap I created is a culmination of 24 years of experience and observations I made both as an employee working in numerous uninspiring jobs and companies (with uninspiring people) as well as a business owner and consultant.

It’s carefully mapped through the lens of my entire adult working life so far with the experiences I’ve gain and the observations I’ve made through living life in the trenches.

In order to build an Exceptional Business, it’s a big mistake to only see your business from your own vantage point as the business owner.

It’s critical to also see it from the perspective of your customers, colleagues and team members. You’ll also need to bring your own self awareness to how you’re showing up as a leader.

If people are not having a great experience working in your business or interacting with your business either through collaboration or through your products and services, then what’s the damn point?!

The Exceptional Business Roadmap is a roadmap I wish I had when I first embarked on the entrepreneurship journey in 2010.

It would have helped me navigate the world of business and entrepreneurship with a lot less suffering.

It also would have helped me develop the awareness I needed to better prioritise and utilise my resources without wasting so much time, money and energy.

If you want to build an Exceptional Business and to experience the freedom you desire…

There’s an undeniable truth you must acknowledge, internalise and accept first…