When Life Comes First, a More Meaningful Business Transpires

The following is adapted from Life Profitability by Adii Pienaar.

Has your business become not only the center of your universe, but the entire universe? That’s a common flaw of the entrepreneurial archetype. However, it’s never too late to make life come first and create a more meaningful business in the process.

The universe is not reductionist. Nor is it limited, unlike measurement, which, by definition, is. After all, you can only measure quantity, and only the quantity of what you think to measure. Measurement is really only feedback on how close you are to a goal or milestone, regardless of other mitigating considerations. And then, looking at the differential between the measurement and the target, you judge your efforts and past plans.

If the universe is not strict, judgmental, and mechanistic, what is it?

It is possible that the context you set is the field of possibility where you plant the seeds of life and nourish their growth and harvests. What is your universe of possibility? What is your context, the field where life will grow?

You will find it where quality of life is welcomed and intended, where the seeds you plant yield meaningful experiences, wisdom, challenges, joy, and discovery. Lived meaning emboldens and encourages us; it nourishes and comforts instead of sapping us.

What if your life was set in the universe of possibilities and given a context of meaning and fulfillment right now? Not later, after you’ve spent your life in the reduced circumstance of a business driven by measurements commanding your actions.

Life is supposed to be whole and wholesome, worthy of your humanity and that of those you love. Your life is naturally holistic and synthesized, realizing all of yourself and the dreams that fuel your ambitions. Just like your body cannot be understood by referencing only a leg or a toe, your life cannot be understood only as a function of your business.

The most meaningful experiences you will ever have are mostly not with work and not with colleagues. If you stop filtering all your life through your business, you have the chance for a purer life. And if you start filtering your business through life, you have the chance to make it add to your life instead of taking from it.

This is important because, even if your business is wildly successful, money is not going to achieve your life’s goals. Just measuring the monetary success and saying, “Hey, my bank funds are growing significantly every single month!” is a very limited way of trying to ascertain where you are in your life. Taking a life-first approach not only sets the proper context in your universe of possibility; it opens your eyes to new ways of measuring success.

Life first means, for instance, that when you run a marathon, yes, you want to run at a certain time for a certain distance. You have to measure that. But having the discipline of running every single day, finding that it centers you and that you feel great afterward — you do great work afterward — that’s much, much harder to measure. And those kind of measurement-resistant feelings and experiences we enjoy as we live — those are what we’re going for. You need time for them, space for them, and your business must yield to them.

You don’t have to give up your ambition, and you don’t have to give up your entrepreneurial journey. You just need to expand your ambition to include your life lived now. Tweak the itinerary for your journey so that it goes beyond being yoked to your business, traveling head down, and missing all the enjoyable sights.

You want your life to profit by your efforts. By making your business yield to life, your business can yield life profits. It will do this by the way you ask it to perform going forward and by judging its performance not only by traditional measurements but also by how it has helped you live.

When life comes first, a more meaningful everything transpires.

For more advice on running a more meaningful business, you can find Life Profitability on Amazon.

An entrepreneur and founder of two global multimillion-dollar companies, Adii Pienaar prides himself on the commercial and life profitability of his businesses. Adii’s personal journey enabled him to discover a rich, fulfilling life that coincides with a sustainable strategy for success in the workplace. His concept of life profitability is now gaining momentum in the business world. A native of South Africa, Adii lives in the winelands of Cape Town with his wife, Jeanne, and their two children.

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