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When we ask you what your vision is for your business and your life, the most common responses are something like “I want to grow a business I love, earning enough money to travel, pay off my house, send my kids to the best schools in the area” etc etc. We encourage you to create a vision board so your “why” is front of mind. When you experience disappointment or roadblocks on your journey, we say that if you have a big enough vision, that will keep you inspired to not give up. Sometimes that works but sometimes we make other choices because we think it will be easier.

Mark Manson, author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck says that everyone wants to feel good all the time, to have a carefree, happy and easy life. It’s easy to want that. After all, feeling bad sucks. It’s more fun to put pictures on our vision boards and imagine a perfect life and a perfect business – kicking goals year after year. As a parent, we want our children to have an easy life too. We don’t want them to struggle, as we have, from time to time. We want them to sail through life. We know the reality is a different picture though.

Mark poses a couple of interesting questions that most people don’t consider when setting goals or creating a vision for their future. “What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?”  Because, he says, "that seems to be a greater determinant for how our lives turn out".

He gives an example: Many people want the “corner office and make a boat load of money but not many people want to suffer through 60 hour work weeks, long commutes, obnoxious paperwork, arbitrary corporate hierarchies to escape the confines of an infinite cubicle of hell.”

You may be able to relate to that if you had a corporate job before you decided to start your own bookkeeping business. He goes on to say that, as time passes, and you’re grinding your way up the corporate ladder, you become disillusioned and instead of thinking about what’s possible, you start to think, what else. What else might you do that will be easier than this journey you chose because these struggles are too hard. There’s got to be an easier way. Perhaps you thought that starting your own business was the answer.

In my blog a couple of weeks ago I said that the reality is you can’t avoid struggles because, in Mark’s words, happiness requires struggles. The very act of overcoming your challenges and achieving your goals is what makes you happy. Not the destination. When we get to the destination, we look ahead at what’s next. The question he poses then is, not what do you want, what is your vision and goals but rather, what are you prepared to struggle for?

Quitting to pursue other opportunities to avoid all struggles is a myth. You will encounter struggles with whatever choices you make because, in Mark’s words, everything worthwhile “comes with an inherent sacrifice”. But, when you choose a path, knowing that struggles will come with that choice, overcoming them is what brings you happiness and fulfilment.

Debbie Roberts, CoFounder - Pure Bookkeeping