The House You Build

Last week I suggested that the means you use to build a house will become the ends you have to live in. You are building a house, and someday you’ll have to live in it.

Rather than chasing their values, too many people end up deferring to the accidental value of saying, “sure, I can do that.” They aren’t intentional about deciding what they’re building, or how they’re building it. They aren’t saying no because they haven’t found a bigger yes. They aren’t likely to end up with something they’ll want to live in.

So, how do you determine what ‘house’ you want to live in? This week I sat with three aspiring entrepreneurs to help them wrestle to the ground what they want most. Beyond the cool product or business idea they have, they need to (and often feel lost in trying to) wrestle this question to the ground: why are you doing this?

If two seasons from now, you got to move the needle on one thing, what do you hope moved? What’s the line that you hope moves up and to the right? Is it income? Flexibility? Open doors? Impact?

Step one: Write these questions down.

  • Why do you want to do this? 
  • How will it help your family? 
  • How does it advance your own calling?
  • What is the ideal future state in a few years?
  • What is it that you do that will bring the most value?

Step two: Tell someone which question was the hardest to answer.

Step three: Write these questions down.

  • What do you imagine would get in the way?
  • What will be easy to say yes to?
  • Anything you know you want to say no to?
  • Where would you want the most help?

Step four: Tell someone which question was hardest to answer.

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