Before you begin a business plan for your business it is helpful to consider your WHY!  You can do this by defining your Life’s Primary Objective.

Your Life Primary Objective (LPO) is all about putting your life first! You define your LPO by examining your life, not your business. Your business is simply one of many important aspects of your life. Your LPO is the essence of your purpose in life. It is a brief statement summarizing whatever it is in you that is the source of your vitality, your commitment, and your passion.

LPO is not New Age pseudo-psychology.  It’s pragmatic.  It’s real world, and it’s a proven way to put your life in perspective. It anchors your leadership and your decision-making with a solid understanding of what is, and what is not, important.

It’s About Your Life

Your Life Primary Objective is about leading a life that is consistent with your innermost desires, core values and beliefs. It’s a life that ‘feels right’ every day, and gives you a deeper sense of fulfillment and meaning with every year that passes. You live this life intentionally rather than randomly.

In that simple statement lays the key to living a happy, fulfilled life, one that is meaningful to you, in which your business plays a significant role (connecting your LPO to your business through your business plan Vision Statement) but not the only role.

Money, status, power, competition, possessions, celebrity—none of them are the real driving forces in your life. They can all be important in their own way, but in themselves they aren’t driving forces in your life.

Your LPO should be your innermost driving force.  It’s the source of the vitality, the commitment, the vision you need to get the most out of your life while creating a remarkable business in the process. It is that which, more than anything else, gives you a sense of direction and purpose, motivates you to your highest levels of energy, and sustains you over the long haul.

If this is not the life you are presently experiencing, you need to discover your LPO.

The Elusive LPO

The vast majority of people aren’t in touch with their LPO. It’s there, within all of us, but most of us simply haven’t made the discovery. At least not yet.

Is it really that important? Well, yes, it is.

I liken the LPO to your Company Mission Statement in your business plan. Your Mission Statement (See Chapter 8 – Business Planning in CHAOS; How Business Leader Can Master the Power of Focus) answers the question, “Why does this business exist?” In effect your LPO will answer the question, “Why do I exist?”

Understanding your LPO gives you the ability to live intentionally rather than accidentally, to shape your life rather than live whatever life happens to you. In fact, that’s the only reason to bother discovering your LPO. Otherwise, you can simply live randomly, take your chances, and settle for whatever joy and whatever pain comes your way.

Your core values, beliefs, and desires shape your LPO. But most people don’t understand their core values very well, and many have false impressions of what they may be. We’ve all known people who have worked for some high level of

achievement only to find that, having reached it, their success is hollow, somehow unsatisfying. We’ve also known people whose lives, whether successful in the conventional sense or not, experience deep satisfaction and a joyful contentment. The difference is that, in the first case, success was not consistent with their LPO. In the second case, their LPO was served.

It seems odd that so many people are unaware of their LPO because we all have a built-in barometer—our feelings and emotions. Why is this important? Because if we pay attention, our barometer will help us understand how to better be in touch with our innermost being in either negative or positive ways which will ultimately lead us to our LPO.

We just have to listen.

LPO is More Pragmatic than You Think

LPO is not the latest self-help gimmick. We’re talking about you and what you really get your kicks from. We’re talking about a fundamental part of you, that thing that propels you through life joyfully.

Your search for your REAL LPO can be booby trapped. Money, status, power, competition, possessions, celebrity—none of them are the real driving forces in your life. They can all be important in their own way, but in themselves they aren’t driving forces in your life. They can be red herrings that distract you in the search to understand your LPO. Your LPO is something deeper, more fundamental, more ‘you’.

How Do You Determine Your LPO?

There is a process that will provide you with a clear understanding of your LPO, but it is intensely personal. While some people will breeze through it easily, others will be challenged and go through bouts of confusion and self-appraisal before they understand what their LPO is all about. However, virtually everyone learns from the process.

The end result is to create a force for guiding your life and the important elements within your life, among them, your business.

It’s All About You

Your LPO is unique to you. It’s about what you truly want for yourself. It’s not about the obligations you have to others, and it’s not about what others expect of you.

Think only about yourself and what you want your life to be like.

That’s difficult for many of us.

We are accustomed to putting others first or taking responsibility for them. Isn’t that what a parent, a boss, a friend does? For the moment, let go of all these responsibilities and ‘shoulds’. Indulge yourself and think in terms of your own self-interest. Think in terms of dreams and fantasies. Reach for what you want.

Feel free to let your wishes soar without embarrassment, self- consciousness, or concern for the expectations of others.

Look for the ‘Fire’

It takes careful thought to discover your LPO, the one that fits you uniquely, the one that provides a sense of direction and purpose, and the one you feel in your gut. It’s easy to come up with something that sounds good and that should be a good LPO, but it doesn’t really motivate you. It would be a mistake to go through the thinking and the worksheets provided just to arrive at a LPO that seems okay, but in your heart-of-hearts just doesn’t have the fire of your most heartfelt purpose in life.

Look deeply and honestly into yourself, figure out what you really want from your life, condense it into a brief statement, and use it as an internal guiding light as you plan and manage your business.

The LPO Discovery Process

The LPO is a matter of discovery, not invention. You don’t create your LPO, it already exists within you. The LPO Process is a way of discovering what is already there.

For most people, the process involves new ways of looking at themselves and their lives. It asks that you question your assumptions about life and your own core values. It requires that you use your feelings—your internal barometer—to guide you. It is an intensely personal experience, a process that gets you in touch with what is truly and fundamentally important to you.

You start the LPO Process by making lists of what you want and do not want in your life. Then you apply your thoughts and your feelings to the lists, narrowing them down to the most important do-wants and don’t-wants. Next, you identify what gets in the way of your LPO, and finally, you do some writing which results in a brief statement of the essence of your LPO. The process can be intense at times, but it’s almost always rewarding. And it’s one of the most valuable things you will ever do for yourself.

It’s a five-step process:

Step 1) List the things that you DON’T want in your life

Step 2) List the things that you DO want in your life

Step 3) Set your priorities and break through barriers

Step 4) Write your own eulogy

Step 5) Write your LPO

I’ll tell you more about the specifics behind these 5-Key Steps in an upcoming post.  Stay tuned…or just grab a copy of my international bestselling book below and go to pages 14 – 16 to learn more and use the Worksheet starting on page 24.

Having defined your Life’s Primary Objective, now the framework is in place to build your business plan to enable the business to deliver that portion of your LPO it is responsible for.  If the business plan is already created and you are actively engaged in it, after defining your LPO go back and revisit the business plan and be prepared to make changes to the direction of the business to enable you to be true yourself while running the business.  Then work diligently at implementing the business plan with FOCUS on, and Accountability for the activities that will truly delver the success you are looking for and watch how much more satisfying operating your business becomes.

WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP?

James Burgess, Focus31, CHAOS- FREE Business Planning1. You can find out more about what a business plan is and its importance with the international best-selling book CHAOS; How Business Leaders Can Master the Power of Focus. Get your FREE copy HERE

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3. Not sure why you need a small business plan? REGISTER for a FREE FOCUS Discovery Consultation where you will talk business, your business, with international best-selling author James Burgess

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