How to Create the Life You Want as the World Opens Up

Many entrepreneurs are facing decisions about what they want back in their lives and what they don't.

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By Jeffrey Shaw

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Are you having mixed feelings about things getting back to normal now that lockdowns and restrictions are being lifted in many places? Does the term "new normal" make you cock your head to the side like a cute puppy but in more of an "I'm not so sure what that is" sort of way?

As entrepreneurs and captains of our own ships, it wouldn't be surprising to question whether the tide is going in the direction we want it to as things open up. To have that uncertainty met with doubting ourselves because getting back to normal is what we've claimed we wanted all along can add to the confusing emotions many entrepreneurs may be having right now.

Let's be honest. Isn't one of the primary reasons you chose to be an entrepreneur was to take control of your destiny? Well, it's destiny decision time. Now's the time to make a decision about how much of what existed prior to the pandemic you want back, how much you don't, and what your future looks like.

Related: Real Leaders Don't Listen to Others -- They Make Their Own Destiny

Historically speaking, when the rate of unemployment goes up, so does the rate of entrepreneurship and self-employment. It makes sense — higher competition to fill fewer jobs makes entrepreneurship more appealing. But what I don't hear a lot of people talking about are the countless number of people who may be fortunate enough to still have their job, but are questioning whether it's the job or lifestyle they want any longer.

Then there's the hardworking entrepreneur, perhaps who's been in business for years, who may finally be reconsidering the implication of the 80/20 rule. This is the widely accepted rule which states that 80% of your income comes from 20% of your customers. This rule also implies that you're wasting your time on eight out of ten customers. But does anyone have time for that? Now, many entrepreneurs will be far more careful about whom they chose to work with and the work they chose to do.

This is destiny decision time, the time to decide exactly what you want your future to look like. There's no time to spare. Although we've had more than a year to think about this, so much time was devoted to sorting through the shock, pivoting and figuring out how to keep your cat off the keyboard on a Zoom call. We haven't really given too much thought to the future. Now it's here.

Related: What Is the Real Future of Work?

A convergence of conflicting emotions all lead to a destiny decision. What do you want your future to look like? There's never been a better time to take the best of the past, disregard the rest and set yourself on a course to creating the life, business, schedule and destiny you want.

Here are some questions you might consider asking yourself:

  • How many hours do I want to work and how much time do I want for leisure?

  • Is there a different way to use my time?

  • Who are the ideal clients that don't just pay me the most, but are the easiest to work with and I get the most satisfaction in serving?

  • What's the work I most enjoy doing?

  • Compared to pre-pandemic, what do I want back and what can I do without? If needed, what's a happy medium?

Don't let this opportunity to decide on your destiny get too far down the road, or it may be hard to turn it back around. We don't want a new normal — AKA mediocrity — and a life of passive acceptance. Now is the perfect time to re-evaluate and set your life and business on the course you want.

Related: Say Yes to Your Financial Destiny

Jeffrey Shaw

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Small business coach

Small business coach, Jeffrey Shaw is the author of The Self-Employed Life and LINGO, as well as an in-demand keynote speaker. He's the host of the top-rated podcast, The Self-Employed Life and a LinkedIn Learning instructor. Shaw's TEDxLincolnSquare talk is featured on

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