Creating a Vision Statement that Balances your Life and Business

Creating a Vision Statement that Balances your Life GallowayCollensTOPsunsetREVISEDand Business chazzano game ad

(Frank Lanzkron-Tamarazo, Chazzano Coffee, March 24, 2015)

My wife, Lisa, and I made a mistake. We should have involved her in the business from the beginning instead of allowing her to spend more time with the kids. That’s a difficult thing to say out loud because how could we possibly say that she should have seen the kids less and worked in the business?

The reason for this crazy opinion is that our two personalities balance each other out. I am a spender. I love life, and I love anything that I believe will enrich my life. A $65 Barolo wine, even when we had lots of credit card debt? Sure. Two hundred dollars worth of Jewish music books? Sure — I’m a cantor — I need them. I like the fine things available in life. Lisa, on the other hand, is much more cautious than I am and correctly budgets everything to make sure that we can enjoy things without financial pain.

It would be incorrect to categorize us as spendthrift and miser. We move in and out of those roles depending on what nicholas-schrock-allstateis happening in our lives. Lisa and I agree that while we spent all of our life savings in our coffee business, we should have had more discussions on payroll, marketing, and coffee purchasing budgets.

What Happens When Business Takes Over Your Life?

As the business was growing at an incredibly fast rate, (we grew from three to 200 wholesale accounts in four years), and we were worried about having enough cash flow to keep up the momentum, Lisa’s involvement grew exponentially. Suddenly, she was delivering coffee for over 10-15 hours in a single day to all of our wholesale and retail customers. Lisa would be opening the cafe at 7 a.m. every morning, staying for five hours daily, and then delivering coffee for several hours more. She was exhausted, angry, and upset that she was becoming stuck in the business as a worker instead of an owner of a coffee roasterie.

At the same time, I was successfully pulling myself out of the business and living the life of a visionary. My personal dinos02sidelogo3goals were becoming a reality. I had time to write books, communicate with customers through social media, and go on sales calls or just have great conversations in my makeshift office in the back of the cafe. I was transitioning to the life of an owner — I even had an assistant coffee roaster roasting coffee under my direction. I was living my dreams.

But Lisa made herself temporarily indispensable. Her plight reminded me of that Michael Corleone scene in “The Godfather, Part III” when he lamented that no matter what he does, he can’t get out of the mafia life. (“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”)

How To Become an Owner and Not an Employee

Lisa saved the business money by making deliveries, and helped tame the growing list of wholesale and coffee club sidebar01reader_supportlists. And yes, we began to pay ourselves regularly and our financial dreams began to get closer to realization. But she was miserable.

She loved the days where she went on road trips with the kids and just spent the day being with them. She loved the coffee business that we created together, but when you’re in your 40s, you just don’t want to wake up every single morning to brew coffee for customers.

Therefore, we created a goal for our family to solve this question: How do we afford losing Lisa and hiring additional employees to assist with her responsibilities?

Increase revenue and cash flow — In a commodities business, a way to increase cash flow is finding products that can be sold quickly at a great margin. There are always products that need to be carried because they are quick up-sell items, or they are part of a bulk purchase that saves money in the long run. However, cash flow will suffer if you have too much stock on hand and too much inventory that takes a month to sell.Candlewickshop_May2014

We chose to buy certain single origin coffees that we knew could be sold within a week. We tightened up many of our regular purchases and found bargains. A local cable company wanted to gift us coffee cup sleeves to promote their company? That was great; it saved us hundreds of dollars. We also insisted that all of our wholesale accounts pay on time, and most of them now pay C.O.D. In addition, we kept our prices at the same level that you would expect from a boutique coffee roasterie. This enabled us to stay in business, thrive, and pay our employees well.

Our prices helped us buy new, exciting coffees that are impossible to find anywhere else. This added greater value to the customer experience, and customers bought those new coffee offerings quickly because they worried they would sell out fast. That mindset created a positive cash flow cycle: when my customers are excited to purchase coffee, the Red Door Realty Ad _own_your_dreamcoffee sells quickly; those who don’t get a chance to sample and buy the coffee then make sure to buy the next exclusive coffee.

Tame the payroll beast — We limited employee hours to avoid costly overtime, and we placed one of our full-time employees on salary to ensure that there was a limit to payroll. We often said no, temporarily, to specialty markets that wanted us to demo our products in their stores because it would increase our payroll. As our business grew, and a packed cafe became the norm, we then began the next step of releasing Lisa from the bondage of the, ahem, daily grind.

Achieve a work-life balance — We began to hire a few new employees with the intent of teaching them how to replace Lisa. Allowing Lisa to wake up at the same time with the kids and spend much of the day with them, helps our family.

It’s impossible to have great success in your business, fail as a spouse or parent, and still be happy. You need to include family, personal, and business in the same sentence with every goal or dream to which you aspire.seed_Mayor_Marian_McClellan

You just created a great company, but are you coming home to a happy family life? Your family is thankfully happy and healthy, but are you? Are you working all day long and eating poorly and forgetting to exercise? If you’re not happy and healthy, your family life will soon suffer. You’ll bring home the unhappiness to your family and then your health will suffer. And what happens when your health and happiness deteriorate? Your business will suffer. It’s really a house of cards.

Set family goals – Our goals included allowing Lisa to spend more time with the kids, paying ourselves a good salary so that we could happily support our family, and creating a business that would operate and grow without our daily assistance.

Allowing Lisa to spend more time with the kids was a personal goal for Lisa, but it was our business goal, too. If we gardenfreshADelp us eventually meet our objective.

Form a balanced plan for business, family, and personal goals — When you open up a new business, the goals and dreams for your personal, business, and family life should be part of your every action. What do you want your family to look like or sound like after three years in business? How do you want to improve your marriage? If you create a habit of nourishing all three sections of your life, then when you need to feed one section more than the other, none of them will suffer.

Overcome setbacks – A huge deal comes your way or you’ve just reached the tipping point in your business. Your lovely life with more family time and dates with your wife may temporarily come to an end because you’re needed in the business more. Guess who will complain? No one except for you.

Everyone will understand — your children and your spouse. They know that you’ll be back when the dust settles. And you will fight your way back to a healthier family life and marriage. You’ve built up credibility, so this should be considered just a temporary setback or even a way to strengthen your family. Instead of a fantastical four-hour work week, maybe this new business will end up helping you travel to Hawaii for the dream vacation you’ve been discussing for years.

Create a vision statement for personal, business, and family goals — As a member of the Jewish clergy, I have known many fellow clergy members who live unhappy lives. Or, they’re happy and fulfilled, but their family is ferncareADunhealthy because their father, the clergyperson, is hardly ever home.

Many authors have written about how we should write our own obituary. If you write about what you really want people to say about you, those words will seep into your life and you’ll work hard to create that life. I have been present at many clergy retirement celebrations where the congregation talks about how well the clergyperson served the community “He visited my mother every day for three months before she passed away.” “He called me on my birthday every year for 10 years.” “She was present at every event that the Sisterhood and Religious School sponsored.”

Unfortunately, time travel and cloning hasn’t been perfected. I know as a clergyperson that a family will remain silent on how Mom couldn’t be at the kids’ recital because she was speaking at a synagogue event. Or, they will be silent about how Dad didn’t see his children every day until bedtime, because he was teaching, counseling, and representing the congregation. The clergyperson probably had professional goals of being successful. The kids may be happy and healthy despite their parent’s absence, but you know that he/she is saddened by the lack of time spent with the family. Whether you are a businessperson, clergyperson, or a homemaker, you must wrestle with the three vision statements ctechadof personal, professional, and family.

The wise rabbis of Jewish tradition ask, “Who is wise? One who learns from his fellow man. Who is rich? One who is content with his portion?”

I would ask the following, “Who is successful? One who has lived a balanced life that enables his business to grow and strengthens his ties with family and friends? The successful person is happy personally, professionally, and family wise.”

About the Author

Post by: Frank Lanzkron-Tamarazo

Frank Lanzkron-Tamarazo is the owner of Chazzano Coffee Roasters in Ferndale, Michigan, and the founder of God and Coffee Consulting Co. which provides business consulting for startup cafes and restaurants. His first book, God DDAnew01Cries and An Angel Loses its Wings, was published in December 2013. Two new books, You Don’t Want Dessert, Do You? and What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up? will be published in Spring 2015.

Company: Chazzano Coffee Roasters
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