How are you doing financially? You can probably give me a number, right?
How’s your family life? That’s harder to measure.
How about your faith? Uhhh … .
When you ascend to the Tinker Phase of entrepreneurship, you might find that you need to restore some balance to your life. If you’re like me, you’ve been thinking about your business so much for so long that you can’t think about anything else.
Here’s a tool we use with entrepreneurs in Tinker Phase. It’s called a “self-check-in,” and it comes from Bonnie Skinner of LevelUp Coaching.
First, measure how you’re doing in each of six categories (we call them “The Six Fs”). Create a scale from 1 to 10 for each. Define what a 10 means to you, then define what a 5 means to you—and so on.
Fitness—This is your physical and emotional capacity to meet your challenges. Are you ready? Can you manage your stress and your physical output demands—and your response to both? Can you last long enough to finish the race?
Finances—Do you have the capital necessary to invest in your big goals, and are you prepared for the increased financial risk at this stage?
Freedom—Do you have enough wealth to create choice? Are you free to spend your time and money in constructive ways? Do you have enough positive constraints to ensure you stay focused?
Family—This is the sum of all of your relationships. Are you surrounded by the right people? Do your relationships make you happy or angry or sad? Who surrounds you, and where are they taking you? Where are you taking them?
Faith—This handle represents the belief that order exists amid chaos, that we are not helplessly falling, that we have control over our destiny, that happiness is attainable.
Future—Do you have a goal? Do you have a clear vision of what you’d like to achieve next? Do you have a plan to get there? Are you focused?
A Quarterly Exercise
Every quarter, rate where you’re sitting in each of The Six Fs.
For example, if Fitness is a 9 but Family is a 3, take action to improve your Family score in the next quarter. Schedule dates with your spouse. Book a family vacation. Set up a “no phones” rule between dinner and bedtime, etc.
Your life can’t be broken into two simple pieces of “work” and “not work.” You are a complex person living a complex life in a complex world. Your world can become imbalanced.
But you, as an entrepreneur, work best with concrete goals: The best way to bring your life back into balance is to set goals for everything in your life.