Five years ago, looking to jumpstart my path as an entrepreneur, I participated in a CEO Accelerator program. The class met for six weeks covering a compressed MBA curriculum with 12 non-competing business owners.

Recently as I was organizing my home office, I came upon the very first worksheet we filled out in class. It was a basic goal-setting chart. The first set of goals had to be personal in nature, and the second, for the business. I had completely forgotten what I had put down for my personal goals:

  1. Own a Single Family Home

  2. Have a Second Child

  3. Build Up Savings

At the time of the class, my husband, son, dog and I were living in a small condo we had bought right before the housing market crashed in 2006. From the day we bought it, it had lost tens of thousands of dollars in value. It took over six years for the house to recover back to the price we had paid for it. At times, it seemed like our starter home was going to be our forever home. But, in 2013, we managed to sell the condo and buy a single family home on a street we had always loved; filled with kids, great neighbors, and, a home office (for me) overlooking our backyard. It was the ideal place to re-start the business and our lives.

Fast forward to 2017, and, after two miscarriages, I am writing this post as I watch my baby daughter sleep…

There are days I can be so hard on myself. I wonder if my career is moving fast enough… Should I have made more films by now? Should I be making more money at a corporate job? Am I the best parent I can be?

But when I re-visited the goal worksheet, I nearly cried realizing how much my life has changed in five years and how badly I wanted what I have right now. Goal setting works, but not if we just keep ratcheting up the pressure on ourselves by moving the goal post further away while never looking back.

The biggest lesson I learned from that accelerator class wasn’t about marketing or management, it was the idea that your business is there to help facilitate your personal goals. Once you know what you want out of life, build your business to sustain that.

Originally published at