Recently, as I was exploring options for starting a new business, a coach gave me some sound advice.  He said “John, you have to determine your prize and then consider the price”.  Prize and price.  In any major decision, it’s really that simple.  It comes down to these basic concepts.

What’s the prize?

When you are looking at making a big decision, whether it’s taking a new job, buying a house, or starting a business, you have to first figure out what is your prize.  What is it you are seeking?  Is it financial freedom?  Do you want to do something that fulfills a deeper purpose?  Is it just to escape a bad situation?  Whatever you are seeking, these are your prizes.

For me, there were several important ones.  I wanted to work with people I respected and cared for.  I had a deep desire to be in a position to help people.  Additionally, I wanted to get to a point of greater financial freedom.  And I wanted to have more control over my schedule so that we could spend time with our kids who now live outside our state and country.

What’s your price?

Now comes the hard part.  Whenever you make a tough decision you have to consider what the cost will be.  Sometimes it’s taking a pay cut for that job you want.  Perhaps it’s investing money into a new business.  Or giving up on some luxuries in order to achieve your higher goal.

My price included all of these items.  We had to decide to live on a strict budget until we got our business off the ground. We also cut the cord to our cable, and simplified (and eliminated) several comforts of life that we were enjoying that were eating away at our monthly bank balance. I even decided to curtail my golf for the coming year!  (And, yes, that’s me with my hands on the prestigious Wannaker Cup, the trophy for the PGA Championship that will be presented this week on tour).

Prize and Price

Taking a hard look at what you want is an important part of goal setting.  Be specific with your goals.  If it’s a financial goal, what is it?  And how long are you willing to wait for it?  Is it a new business?  How long of a runway are you willing to use to get it off the ground.  (Hint, starting a new business takes a l-o-n-g runway, but many failed business startups planned for something that looked more like a launching pad).

Your goals must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Aligned with your purpose, Realistic and TIme-Bound). You’ve probably heard the word “attainable” used in that acronym.  At FocalPoint we have changed it.  There are two reasons for this.  One, “attainable” and “realistic” are pretty much synonymous.  But more importantly, our goals should align with our goals.   That’s what this prize and price experience is all about.  Are your goals (the prize) worth the steps to achieve them (the price).  If they are, you should definitely pursue them.

Once you have made your list of your prize and price, it becomes much easier to evaluate your options.  It’s similar to a business calculating an ROI.  The difference is that you aren’t (necessarily) talking about dollars and cents. It’s a process of evaluating things that are much more important than money.

If you are looking at starting a business or making some big career change, you may want to engage the services of a coach.  We bring a fresh perspective and help you set SMART goals that will help you reach your dreams and experience the joy of an exceptional career and business.