The Price of Conforming ~ Lifestyle Versus Growth ~ Which Will It Be

Uncategorized Jul 07, 2014

I’ve been a business owner of a financial management and compliance company for 17 years, and a pretty successful one at that. I’ve taken the lessons of what not to do from my previous employers and established my own business philosophies. In summary, I ran my business my way, free from the suffocation called Corporate America.

Most said I was running a “lifestyle” company, a company I define as one that has intentional growth to meet my personal standards, character and lifestyle. According to the masses, a lifestyle company could not grow. As a business owner, I would not realize capital benefits when it’s time to work on my exit strategy. I was told by many that I needed to decide on being a growth company if I wanted to take my business to the next level.

To be a growth company, I would need to seperate myself from the day to day and add managing layers to oversee processes. I would need to remove myself from communicating directly with employees on the ground in order to maintain autonomy within the organization. I would have to engage a legal team to ensure the company’s interest in its customers was protected instead of investing in the interest of my people. I would need to engage a Board of Advisors in order to help guide growth. I would need to incorporate more policy enforcement in order to ensure productivity. I would need to think of myself as seperate and distinct from my business. In essence, see myself as an employee with fiduciary duties. I would need to chase the money in order to realize longevity.

On my quest to grow my business, I followed the advice given by others who appeared to be successful business owners. I decided to “grow up”. This is when my company changed and so did my life. On the day I made the decision to run my company as a growth company, I stepped into conforming to the ways of Corporate America and started establishing and following rules that, I later realized, contradicted my personal philosophies.

I started to feel restricted, convicted, imprisoned and suffocated… the rules I allowed to enter into my space. As I started looking around, no one was having fun at work, to include me. Many feared results and I found myself dreading Monday through Friday. Yes, productivity was at an all time high, but morale was at an all time low, to include my own. I realized my company no longer shared my personality. We had, in fact, become two seperate entities.

There are two key philosophies that have guided me in business. The first is leadership sets the tone. As I looked around the company and realized happiness no longer existed, i asked myself what that meant for its leader. In my dissatisfaction of what we’d become, i had set the tone for the company. I wasn’t happy and neither was anyone else.

The second key was never chase the money. Chase your passion instead. If you chase your passion, money will follow. However, on our quest to grow, we found ourselves chasing the money. Before long, we had an increased collection of services we were not interested in offering with a large collection of customers we did not like. In the end this meant we did not perform well. Chasing the money for sake of growing had us in an uncomfortable situation.

After a lot of soul searching, I had a revelation. You don’t need to ask permission to do life your way! Do you boo! (as my children would say). Bring life back into your work and back into your company. Silence the voices that are encouraging that you follow their standards and put your standards back on the table.

Wow! How freeing that revelation was! Slowly but surely I brought life back into my company and in me by bringing lifestyle back! The world that I call my reality is much more freeing and relaxing. I now compete on my own terms while engaging a much happier workforce. Growth has taken on a new, more intentional form for my financial management and compliance firm.

This revelation also became the birth of Anavo Transformation Solutions, LLC. This new venture allows me to help other business owners grow on their own terms. By coaching business leaders from the inside out, we are changing the face and tone of Corporate America. Playing on your terms to suit your lifestyle while realizing growth is our objective.

Contact me to find out how we’ve changed the playing field and the positive impact that shift has had on business. Go to and sign up for our free newsletter.


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