I had an interesting Easter long weekend in mid-April.

I’m originally from Montreal and now live in Toronto. As a result, most of my immediate family, sisters, their husbands, parents, nephews, nieces, and grandmother, all live in Montreal. My wife and kids try to make the trip at least twice a year to visit our out of town family, which includes my wife’s parents who live in Ottawa.

So in mid-April, we made three trips.

One to Montreal, the second to Ottawa to visit with my in-laws, and the third to Halifax to help my daughter move into her second-year college home.

I’m lucky enough to still have a grandmother. She’s 96 and still lives independently, although as of the last year needs extra help around the house. Unfortunately, I hadn’t seen my grandmother since September 2018, and I noticed a significant difference in her mental capacity between September 2018 and April 2019. Ironically, she still has her health and, to some extent, a spring in her step. It seems to be her mind that’s slowly going.

I’m also lucky enough to have my in-laws, two wonderful people who I’ve known for over 30 years. Earlier this year, my mother-in-law had a health scare that could have ended in a disaster.

It’s not often that I come to realize my own mortality. Every once in a while, though, something happens, that makes me appreciate life. Something happens that makes me realize that I’m not going to live forever. I had one of those moments the other week when I saw my grandmother and mother-in-law.

Although I already knew this, it reaffirmed the following:  you can have all of the money in the world, but what good is all of that money if you’re not living and appreciating life?

I know too many business acquaintances and friends who are going to dig themselves an early grave if they don’t slow down.

When I ask why they’re still driving so hard, the answer is invariably about the money. They measure their self-worth by the number of zeros they have at the end of their net worth.

But what’s the bigger vision?

As a CEO/entrepreneur, we are often more aware of where our business stands and how our business is doing then with how WE are doing. We spend more time thinking about the future of our business, and job, then we do thinking about and taking care of ourselves.

If I asked you the question … what is your business’s vision, you likely know the answer to that question. If you don’t know, then you need to spend some time thinking about your business vision statement and where your business is headed.

BUT the focus of this blog post isn’t about your business’s vision. It’s about your personal vision.

If I asked you the question … what is your personal vision, you likely have no idea what I’m talking about.

In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey writes that people need to ask themselves a series of 10 questions:

  • What is truly important in my life?
  • What would I really like to be and do in my life?
  • What are my greatest strengths?
  • What are my talents, possibilities, and true potential?
  • If I had unlimited time and resources, what would I do?
  • What are my deepest priorities?
  • Which relationships do I wish to be lasting?
  • Who is the one person who has made the greatest positive impact in my life?
  • What must I do, and how must I manage my life, to constantly nurture these vital relationships?
  • What kind of person do I wish to become, and what are the principles I would like to live by?

I spent some time last fall asking myself the above questions and, in the end, wrote a personal vision statement that now not only sits very prominently on my desk but is also what I use to guide many of my decisions.

Here’s what I came up with:

“To have fun in my journey through life, to inspire other entrepreneurs to reach their full potential, to spend quality time with my family and friends, all while living a balanced life.”

My personal vision statement gives me permission to say no to the things that are distractions and yes to the things that are part of my personal vision.

How often do you really step back and ask yourself if the roller coaster you call life, the direction you’re headed in, is really the destination that you’re intended to aim for?

You need to take care of yourself FIRST.

You need to take care of your mental health FIRST.

You then take care of your business SECOND.

STOP. Think about that.

YOU ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR BUSINESS.

I heard Steve Jobs speak this line at a Stanford University convocation speech:

“If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you will be right”.

Unfortunately, Steve Jobs is no longer with us. I’m sure he would trade every last dollar to be back on this earth.

What is your vision?

What does your tomorrow hold for you?

Will you live your life with regrets and, only after it’s too late, stop and realize that you should have defined your personal vision?

Ask yourself every day: How are you living? Ask yourself these questions, define your personal vision, and it just might be for you, like it was for me, a life-defining moment.

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Want to know more about me and read some of the other interesting small business growth, profit and wealth stories I’ve written.

Here’s one of the first articles I wrote:  My Journey Post Business Sale as I Sail Into a New Harbour.

Are you a younger entrepreneur? Here’s another interesting article I wrote:

My Response to an 18-Year-Old Who Wants to Become a Millionaire by the Time He’s 30.

My goal is to help entrepreneurs scale their business, improve profitability, and then, use those profits to create massive wealth. Subscribe to my blog to receive my latest thought on scaling your business and creating wealth.

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