Cat LeBlancKnowing what you want in life can help you choose your business idea.

Actually, knowing what you want in life is an integral part of picking the right idea and business model for you, because I know that the right business idea will help you get the life you want.

Your overall life goals should carry as much weight as your passions, skills, and demands of the market when you’re sifting through your business ideas – and this is as much true for a brand new business as it is for any new offers you create in your existing business.  Because there’s no point in doing something that’s taking you away from your ideal life.

Running a restaurant might sound amazing to you, but if what you truly want in life is to spend your days with your laptop on the beach, that’s not going to work. Likewise, being the CEO of a billion dollar company might have always been on your bucket list, but if your main life goal right now is to raise your kids and deepen your relationship with your partner, that corner office might not get you there.

And it’s not just the type of business you start that should be aligned with your ideas, but also your business model. If you love helping people in person but you have a highly specialized market AND you want to live in the country – also not going to work. You have to prioritize what’s important to you. What do you really want?

Understanding what you want.

OK, so that question is a little easier asked than answered.  What do you really want? You may not have a clear idea. If you find yourself in that spot, try answering these questions for some clarity:

  • What’s the most important thing to you? Don’t think. Just answer. Did you pick family? Free time? Giving back? Travel? Whatever you said, it needs to be a big part of designing your business.
  • How do you most want to feel? I’m totally stealing this from Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map (and others), but starting with how you want to feel is a great way to figure out what you want. For example, if you said “free” then maybe a physical business that keeps you tethered to regular business hours might not be your best business idea.
  • What don’t you want? Sometimes the best way to figure out what you want is to come at it backwards, starting with what you don’t want. Don’t want to speak in front of large groups? Don’t want to be responsible for employees? Don’t want to have to ask someone else when you can take a vacation? Those are all valid ways to figure out what you do want.
  • What do you need to be happy? For some people, it might be a solid 8 hours of sleep, weekly yoga classes, a housekeeper, time with your kids, time with your partner, a million dollars a year net, time to be creative… Don’t censor yourself because you feel selfish or you feel like it’s not the “right” answer. Be honest here about what you really need.
  • What does your ideal day look like? For some people it’s sipping fruity umbrella drinks on a beach, for others it might be working a solid 8 hours at something that inspires you.

For me and for my clients, it’s not just about choosing the business idea that will make the most money or be easiest to get started. Rather, we’re focused on choosing the idea that will allow us to design and live the life we want. Our business supports our life, not the other way around.

Of course, everyone wants to earn money while they sleep.  Most people I know wouldn’t say no to a month-long holiday with a few of those beaches and fruity umbrella drinks thrown in. But we also have to stay realistic. Wanting that sort of “passive” income is fine for a longer-term goal, but on average it takes a year at least of solid work to get to the leveraged income stage.

And that’s OK. Your business idea may not hand you your ideal life on a silver platter from day one! But keeping those life goals in mind will help ensure that you’re definitely making progress in the right direction.

I’d love to hear from you.

How have you designed your business to align with your life goals?

If you’re still in the idea phase, what questions do you have about choosing the right business based on your life goals?

I’d love to continue this discussion with you in the comments below!


  1. Becky on April 5, 2015 at 6:00 am

    I love this: “Your business should support your ideal life, not the other way around.” I had planned to restructure my daily schedule this weekend but this gives me a whole new guideline. Thank you!

    • Karen on April 8, 2015 at 10:54 am

      I love that, too. I also love the “How do you most want to feel?” bit, and the “What don’t you want?” to help define what you do want. I use that one a lot already. Thanks, Cat!

      • Cat LeBlanc on April 8, 2015 at 11:17 am

        You are welcome Karen :-) Thanks for commenting! Cat x

    • Cat LeBlanc on April 8, 2015 at 11:17 am

      I hope you came out with something you feel really happy with Becky :-) Thanks for commenting! x

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