So, your business is growing? Are you beginning to feel a bit maxed out for time? Wanting to regain some semblance of a life outside of work?
Maybe it snuck up on you – how busy you are. It did me, it crept right in.
Riding the first wave of starting a business is a fun adrenaline rush. Most entrepreneurs are surfing the wave of excitement in the beginning. If it were any other way, run for the hills. We should be excited!
What happens when your business is growing and you’re finding that you don’t have enough time for yourself, your family, friends, or just recharging?
This is a good stage in the growth of your business. If you are going to continue to grow, as the owner and leader, you will need to grow and change alongside your business. You need to adapt and change from doing it all yourself to parsing out of tasks, hiring, delegating, etc.
This will be a three-part series on hiring and taking back some of your sanity during this fun time of growth!
Begin by thinking of your business as a child. When you first “birth” a child, s/he seems almost entirely dependent upon you. And you love it. Your soul is fed and happy. Sleep deprivation is difficult but you’re high on love. All you have to do is to look at that little while sleeping and you’ve fallen in love again. This is just like business. You’re probably sleep deprived, but you don’t care. It’s so much fun; you’re in love with what you’ve created!
As you care for your child, s/he grows like a weed. When you care for, nurture, and feed your business, it is growing too.
The next stage of development (child and business) comes with a need for some autonomy and independence. Healthy growth for your child requires it (we don’t want kids living with us forever, feeding them, bathing them, no, they need to exit nest). Healthy business growth requires some independence as well – both for you, and your new employees.
If you find your business entering the “teenage stage” where you’re wanting a bit of separation, some autonomy, some healthy boundaries, and you want to continue to love one another, then now is the time to do some hiring.
Not sure what to give up in order to gain some independence for yourself?
Set a timer for 5 minutes. Turn off your cell phone, shut the door, silence whatever reminders you may have popping up. Five minutes of uninterrupted time.
Now, without re-reading your list, write down the answer to this question:
What are all the things I do in my business?
(You can also do this activity again, asking the question, what do I do at home?) Write down all the day-to-day tasks you find yourself doing. The answer may include bookkeeping, restocking, ordering, organizing, scheduling, cleaning, or a myriad of other things. Don’t look back at your list while you’re creating it. Just brainstorm. It doesn’t matter at all if you’ve got repeats on your list. Go.
I brainstormed 20 for myself. (If you want to see my list, shoot me an email email@example.com)
Next, circle, highlight, or bold the items you do that are most important; the items that only you can do.
The items that bring in business. You could also answer the question: What activities do I do now that don’t bring in business?
Either way, you’ll end up with some items that are not highlighted.
I highlighted all but four items on my list.
These are the items that you and I can be parsing out, delegating, or hiring for! It’s the perfect place to begin.
Understand that these items may take just a little bit of your day. You might think, gosh, it’s not much, I can do it. You sure can!
Know that these little items quickly add up to non-productive time spent by you. This is time spent that is not moving your business forward. If you’re finding you need more time to yourself, more balance, and less work, then take a small piece off your plate. When you do, your business will grow faster because you’re actually focusing on the things that use your time the best.
After you’ve done the exercise, please email me your results. I would like to know if my questioning and steps have taken you through the process correctly to elicit the tasks you can shave off your schedule.
Email me your list or your results! My desire is to see how this exercise helped. firstname.lastname@example.org
Your place for continual improvement and inspiration!