Ok, this is not a blog about being self-employed, but I do suggest to everyone they start their own business either full-time or on the side. That being said we are not discussing that today. Yesterday we discussed how developing your own mission statement can be a quick tool to assist you in maintaining focus and direction in your life amidst a sometimes chaotic world. Companies and organizations do this everyday. It helps them decide if the actions they are taking and the words they are saying fit who they want to be. That’s great but you are not a corporation. You do not have shareholders, a research and development team, a budget and bottom line to adjust right? Not so fast. Looking at our lives as a business has some real, logical advantages. First we must decide we are the president and CEO of our own lives. The control and ultimately the decisions fall to us and we should not leave them to the mercy of other interested parties. Think of one of the most successful companies you can come up with. How long do you think that company would last if it tried to cater to every outside interest? That being said, companies have to coexist with others in the business world and the same is true between individuals. Each person, whether they choose to view it like this is in charge of their own company. A negative interaction with another company (a spouse perhaps) could negatively affect our bottom line. Therefore although the decisions are made by us, we must be careful to make them while taking into account the considerations of others. Now what about those shareholders? Family, friends, and coworkers are shareholders in our companies. Obviously the closer we are to people and the more frequent our interaction with them the more shares they hold. For example if you choose to spend a night on the town it may compromise your ability to attend the fun festivities at your place of employment the following morning. That affects your boss who has a fair amount a shares invested in your life. Anger that shareholder to often and he may give up his investment in your company. That could cause some major problems. Therefore we must consider major shareholders when making our decisions. Companies, wisely or not, place a great deal of focus on the bottom line. This does seem to make sense as a company who is putting out more than it is taking in can find itself on the short track to ruin. This applies to our lives in more ways than just the family budget although that may be a good place to begin. The bottom line can incorporate a lot of other things. Time with family, joy, charity, free time and countless other things we place value on. Now each company will define their bottom line in their own way. The integrity of a company can also do a lot to determine its success. View your mission statement. Is one of the items in your mission statement to bring joy to others, but you find yourself speaking negatively about people behind their backs? In this case your company, and your life could be in some serious trouble. If the press, we will call them the people in your life, get wind of this you may develop a reputation that you do desire and is hard to shake. This model can be expanded on and could fill a book with ideas, but for today we will end it with this. Grab your mission statement, decide who the main shareholders in your life are. How much are you doing to keep them invested in your corporation? How is your bottom line looking? When we view things this way we can often be a little more honest with ourselves and make decisions that may be hard to do when we are to emotionally attached to the situation.