Why You Need to Read This Book

It has taken me less than 3 days to finish Small Business Big Life by Louis Barajas. It’s one of those “you have to read because it will change your life” books. Even if you’re not looking to start a business, you should read it because it helps you understand your values and how to live a life in line with your values.

It’s been a rough transition: finishing the Peace Corps, coming home, and trying to figure out what the F to do next. These past few weeks have consisted of sleepless nights, fast-falling tears, and restless thoughts.

So I went to my public library, found this book, and got a pen and paper and completed the following activities. I highly recommend you do the same but if you don’t go to the library, at least follow the activities below.

On page 79 of his book Louis asks you to complete the first activity that helps you define your values. Grab a pen and paper now and list seven of the most important values in your life. What are the things you care about most? (DO THIS!!)
Then, next to each particular value he asks you to write down some words that define the value to you.
Afterwards, he asks you to rank those values, 1 being the most important.

My Values are:

  1. Family (roots that ground me, unconditional love)
  2. Health (physical, mental, energy, spirit, self love)
  3. Travel (explore, freedom, happiness)
  4. Friends (support, safety,  strength)
  5. The Planet (living healthy, making a difference, protection, purpose)
  6. The Ocean (calmness, peace, serenity)
  7. Children (Hope, passion, calling)

In activity two, he asks you to look at your Life Focus Areas. What are the parts of your life that you put your time and energy into? What do you focus on in life? Make a list of 9 or 10 and then write a few words that represent what that focus means to you.

My Life Focus Areas:

  • Physical (fitness, body, teeth, health)
  • Spiritual (wellness, kindness, putting out good vibes, karma)
  • Financial (Self sufficiency, independence)
  • Relational (family, friends)
  • Professional (educator)
  • Personal Development (confidence, decisiveness, being a good human)
  • Recreational (travel)
  • Material (clothes, home, purchases)

“So your life focuses aren’t like your values where you can rank them, but rather they are more of a wheel. It is very important to learn how to balance your life focus areas,” (pg 83).

Louis  then asks you to put a number from 1-10 next to each life focus that represents what level you are at currently in the particular area. 1 means you use very little energy in that life focus area and 10 means you put a a lot of energy into the focus.

My “Life Focus Wheel” looks like this:

Intellectual 6
Material 2                 Physical 7
Recreational 9                        Spiritual 5
Personal Development 6                                      Financial 2
Professional 7             Relational 4

Then he asks you to look at your Life Focus Areas and connect them to roles you play in your life. You can also write down roles you’d like to play.

My Roles:

  • Daughter
  • Granddaughter
  • Sister
  • Girlfriend
  • Friend
  • Business Owner
  • Writer
  • Yogi
  • Teacher

Then on page 87 of Small Business, Big Life he has you think about how important each role is to you. Being a daughter is very important to be so I put an eight next to this role. He asks you then to think about what you would like your role to be like or what your ideal outcome for a role is. Think about it and give it a number value (rate yourself on a scale of 1-10). What’s missing and what’s your strategy to reach your ideal outcome?

An example of what my role is and how I can change what is missing to have a better outcome:

Role How important is it? Define Ideal Outcome Where are you on the scale? What’s missing? Strategy?
Daughter 8 To be better about communicating with my parents when I am away from home. 4 Putting in the effort to make a call Skype twice a week on Sunday afternoons

Doing this for each role helped me see what relationships I wanted to make stronger and what steps I have to take in order to succeed in the roles I’d like to play.

These three activities were really helpful for me because they helped me learn how I can balance my life. I’ve been going through an emotional roller coaster since the end of March. After seeing how some aspects of my life were being ignored, I feel a sense of calmness because now I know what I have to do to live a life that resonates with my values! I was able to clear my mind and create a plan for what I would like to do next.

I really hope you try these activities out and read his book! It is inspiring. READ IT 🙂


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