Do you ever have a moment (or perhaps many moments) when you wonder what the heck you’re doing and fantasize about being in a totally different business?
I’ve been doing a little survey on this form of escapism recently and I’ve learned about the fantasies that some of you other entrepreneurs are having.
One owner of a multi-million dollar company confided in me that he dreams of being a bartender on a beach in Hawaii. He assured me that he would, of course, be the owner of this Tiki-style beach bar.
Another of my clients fantasizes about being a professional dog walker. I asked her, “Really? What kind of dog do you have?”
“Oh, I’ve never owned a dog” she replied, “I just thought it looked so cool to be outside walking dogs for a living!”
And another is fantasizing about working in Starbucks. She thinks it would be fun (at least for a while) to politely smile at customers all day long, concoct unusual coffees and benefit from the occasional tip and free Frappuccinos.
Is she a coffee junkie? No, she only drinks maximum one a day and it’s a skinny latte! How do I know? Because the last fantasizer is me! Yikes, my big secret is out of the closet.
So what do these fantasies have in common and do they help or hinder us growing a sustainable business?
What’s interesting about these fantasies is that they typically don’t show up when everything is going well in your business. They show up during the tough times. These fantasies are designed to get you thinking that there has to be an easier way, that running a business should be simpler and can lead you to convincing yourself that you really didn’t want to go for your dreams after all!
The key to understanding why we have these fantasies is that they act as a pleasant distraction – giving you some momentary pleasure if you indulge them. Their intention is to take your eye off the business of building your dreams and instead go after something that feels “comfortable”. What is certain is that these flights of fantasy will not help you fulfill your biggest dreams.
So what to do the next time you have a Starbucks Moment?
- recognize it for what it is (a pleasant fantasy);
- indulge it for just a moment or two with a smile on your face;
- ask yourself what you’re resisting doing right now in your current business? This is key because that’s where you will probably find your next necessary breakthrough.
Now your turn – I’d love to hear what your Starbucks Moments are! But give me a few minutes because I’m off to grab a skinny latte.