According to one source, 53% of small business owners ranked their happiness at 9 or more…
Moving into this next stage in life, let’s make sure you’re in that 53%.
To do this you need to create a clear vision and start taking steps to make it happen.
What goes into creating that vision?
Keep on reading to find out.
What leads to happiness
Before creating your vision, I’d like to make sure we’re on the same page about what leads to happiness.
To do that I spoke to Ruth Tongen, a Certified Professional Retirement Coach, who has worked with over 5,000 people who are readying or living in retirement.
“It starts with the vision of where you’re headed and why you want to go there,” she said.
“You want to make sure you’re moving forward into what you do want and start building from that picture. Something that’s going to be more life sustaining going forward.”
This is what leads to happiness – making sure you’re on the path to your larger vision.
Now that we’re on the same page, we’ll move on to creating your vision.
Creating your vision
There are three pieces that Ruth focuses on to help clients get clear on their vision.
She shared them with me and now I’ll share them with you.
One of the common characteristics Ruth sees in clients when they first seek her guidance is they have a lack of clarity.
Up until this point in life, their life has been dictated by their career. That’s taken up a large chunk of their time.
As they move into retirement, there’s that big gap that needs to be filled.
To help people navigate that gap, she’s created a framework around three key areas to help them make a plan.
Key area: Structure
After working for 20-40 years, it’s likely you’ve established a structured routine.
Waking up, eating breakfast, commuting likely took place at the same time everyday. Same goes for other daily activities.
That structured routine is no longer there. Now’s your time to establish a new one, and then move into it gradually vs. all at once. This serves to keep you healthy as you transition.
The question Ruth says to ask yourself is, “What kind of structure am I going to put in my days in retirement?”
You can then follow that up with, “How does a business fit into that?”
Pause for a second and answer that. I’ll wait before we move onto the next key.
Key area: Connection
In your previous career, you were surrounded by coworkers constantly.
In retirement, that social interaction is no longer there.You’ll also need to consider the weight you put on your spouse and other family members in getting that connection.
If you’re starting an online business, and have invested in a course, it’s common for there to be online support groups to get that connection. And you will need 2-3 consistent in-person connections outside your family.
How will you get your connection?
Key area: Purpose and meaning
“It’s important for somebody moving into retirement and looking at what they want to do with their life that it also has to be meaningful,” shared Ruth. “I will say it tickles your innards.”
That meaning might be the business unto itself or it might be what the business allows you to do. Meaning is key to staying engaged and healthy moving forward.
What is the purpose and meaning behind starting your business?
“Those three keys are how I start working on priorities as a backdrop and everything else we’re going to form from there.”
“It’s important for somebody moving into retirement and looking at what they want to do with their life that it also has to be meaningful.” – Ruth Tongen
To help uncover your values, Ruth says to start out by writing down all your values.
The next goal is to narrow those to the top 3-5.
Once the list is down to the top three to five, you can become very clear about how you’re going to organize your life and business behind them.
“When we think about our brains, we really can only track with three to five directions,” she explained. “So by forcing one to narrow into that, they become much more impactful in living within those values.”
If you have an extensive list of values, Ruth suggests grouping them and seeing if that group may be called something else.
This process is similar to uncovering your values.
She says to start generating a list of your passions,the things that really light you up and you love to do. Come up with at least 10 and narrow it down to three to five.
If you have an extensive list, use “forced choice” , where you take them in pairs and choose one over the other, then move through the list pairing them.
“Your values and passions may end up being the same things,” explained Ruth. “Often your passions are expressions of your values. That’s the sweet spot when we’re trying to develop out that meaning pieces of our priorities to understand where values and passions dance with each other.
Values and passions are means to be clear you are moving in alignment. The point is that you build a business that allows your work to be in alignment with your life.”
Tying this all together
Now I walked you through Ruth’s process for creating a vision of where you’re headed.
Step 1: Establishing your priorities through answering the following questions:
- What kind of structure am I going to put in my life in retirement? How does a business fit into that?
- How will you get your connection?
- What is the purpose and meaning behind starting your business?
Step 2: Determining your top 3-5 values and how you’re going to organize your life and business behind them.
Step 3: Determining your top 3-5 passions. Develop that sweet spot where your values and passions dance with each other.
Based on how you answered the above, you can put together the vision of where you’re headed.
Your next steps
Phew. That was a lot to get through.
What I’d like for you to do next is leave a comment on this blog post.
In your comment, let us know what’s your vision for where you’re headed.