You Only Get What You Ask for From Life

May 02, 2018

Assuming you've been keeping up with this blog, are you resonating with the messages and following the advice along the way? By now, you should know your true purpose and gifts to the world, have a vision for the business you want to create and maybe you even have created your business entity and started some basic marketing. However, before you get too far along, I want to take a step back this week and ask you some questions about what you've created in your business vision. Too often I find that people limit their visions to what they think is possible for themselves instead of focusing on what they truly want to create. If you haven't already heard it, the classic poem, "My Wage" by Jessie B. Rittenhouse is appropriate at this point on our journey.

I bargained with life for a penny 

And life would pay no more.

However, I begged at evening

When I counted my scanty store.

For life is a just employer,

He gives you what you ask,

But once you have set the wages,

Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for menial's hire,

Only to learn dismayed,

That any wage I had asked of Life,

Life would have willingly paid.

Translation - you only get what you ask for from Life. So, let's dive in and ask some questions about what you have created so far and ensure that you are 100% aligned to your vision.


Do you want to commute a long way or just a few minutes to your place of business? I can't say that I've ever met anyone who loved committing. Some of us justify it with things like audible books so we can at least learn something with all the time that is devoted to commuting.

What about you? Do you enjoy the minutes and hours spent daily jostling for position on the road, riding the train or subway, or taking a bus across town? What would be your ideal commuting situation? Work from home, work around the corner, work in the city center where "the action" is? Personally, I can't stand commuting especially in the 21st century when virtual work tools are reliable and cost effective.

Whatever option you feel the best about, set it up the way you want. You only get what you asked for from Life.

Solo or Team?

What about having other people in your business? Do you want to run the show, or are you more suited to a team or partnership of some nature? There are many great businesses backed by great managing teams, and there are also many great businesses headed up by a single person.

At one point in my career, I worked for KPMG Peat Marwick. This was and still is one of the biggest partnership businesses in the world. It obviously works well, but you must be willing to work the political games that go along with big partnerships. I was well down the track to partnership at KPMG when I decided it was not the right business model for me.

Whatever option you feel the best about, set it up the way you want. You only get what you asked for from Life.

Work Environment?

Depending on how you answered the last question, you may have some flexibility on where you work. If you have the option, are you comfortable and productive working alone at home, or do you prefer an office environment?

I have a friend who has her own business and could easily work from home every day because she has a beautiful workspace set-up at home. However, she loves interacting with people throughout the day when she takes breaks or it goes to lunch. So, she rents an office in a shared common space set-up that gives her the opportunity to interact with people from other businesses in the shared space.

Some people say they can't work from home because there's too much distraction from personal things to do around the house or noise from other family members. Over a decade ago, my wife and I were looking for a new home and found a home with a separate casita, which is basically a studio apartment including a full bath. We weren't sure about this set-up at the time, but we decided to go for it. We are so glad that we did because now I run my business full time from the casita. I can be out in the casita for hours on end and have no idea what's going on in the main house. There could be a party going on, and I wouldn't know it. Now that I've experienced this type of home office set-up, we will never not have this in our future homes. We like it so much, maybe we'll get two!

You may be thinking, "I can't afford that type of home." Maybe not at the moment, but if this sounds like what you would love, then take action to set it up the way that you want. You only get what you ask for from Life.

Business Time?

How much time do you want to put into your business every day? How many days a week do you want to work? Because of the way we are trained by the school system to get good grades and get a good job, some people think these are ridiculous questions. Some people even struggle with guilt if they're not working full days, five days a week. However, if you could set it up the way you want, what would it look like for you?

Some people are so passionate about what they do, they do it in a way that becomes part of the natural flow of their day and they can't tell where their business life begins and ends. For example, I have recommended Tim Ferriss's The 4-Hour Work Week in the past. If you know anything about Tim, he's really working his passions all of the time! The premise of The 4-Hour Work Week is that you could theoretically set up business systems that will require your minimal attention so that you could free up time to pursue other interests. If this appeals to you, then go for it!

Whatever option you feel the best about, set it up the way you want. You only get what you asked for from Life.

Non-Business Time?

How much time you want to step away from your business to be with family and friends, pursue hobbies, check off items on your bucket list, or contribute to charitable organizations? Remember back at the beginning of the year, we talked about 7 areas in life that all people can pursue. It's not all about business, even if sometimes our culture wants you to believe that it is.

Last year, I collectively took off about a month and a half to spend time with family, go sailing, take personal retreats, and go to personal interest conferences. The fact that the image in this section of the post is a bunch of boats in the tropics is not an accident. If you know me, this is my first choice for business downtime, and I'm working on some ideas to incorporate tropical sailing into my business too! Stay tuned for details on that!

What about you? How much time do you want to take off a year from your business? Set it up the way you want. You only get what you asked for from Life.


Last but not least, what do you want to get paid for the value you are bringing to the world? If you are pursuing a product based business, then you will need to look at the competitive landscape, determine how to differentiate your value and price accordingly.

If you are pursuing a service based offering, you will still need to look at the competitive landscape, determine how to differentiate your value and price accordingly. However, please don't price yourself by the hour. If you do, you're back to trading hours for dollars. Services can be packaged into value bundles and priced according to the value of each bundle.

Whatever option you feel the best about, set it up the way you want. You only get what you ask for from Life. Have I said that enough in this post yet? One more time - YOU ONLY GET WAHT YOU ASK FOR FROM LIFE. So, ask wisely and have a great week!



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