How much time are you spending at work versus at home? If you’re like the typical American small business owner a vast majority of your day is spent either at work or thinking about work. Many of us are married to our business. How can we work less but not sacrifice income? How can we work less and earn more?
Working long hours isn’t what we signed up for, is it? We start businesses for the freedom that they offer, creatively, financially, and regarding our time.
Earning more but not (yet) working less
As my business grew, I found that I was spending longer and longer days working. In the startup phase of growing my business, I literally lived at my work; I lived in our boutique hotel. Talk about a short commute!
It was not a-typical to begin work at 8:00 AM, when guests started to trickle down for coffee, and finish at 9:00 o’clock when most everyone had been checked in. I loved every minute of it but these hours were not sustainable.
I did not start out working these long stays, it crept in as business grew. I found that we were earning more, but I was not working less. This is very common with business owners. Honestly, people don’t start businesses with the dream of working 13-hour days. Quite the opposite!
I was able to reverse the 13-hour workday, but not overnight. I loved what I was doing but the hours were not sustainable if we were to continue to grow.
Unless we are aware of where we are spending blocks of time, we run the risk of our business becoming a ball and chain. We run the risk of becoming very imbalanced and losing touch with the rest of life, including family and friends.
What’s the sweet spot for being most productive? How can we make the best use of our time? Where is the balance between our personal health and our creativity? How can we make space for creative thinking that fuels business growth?
A most excellent book that helped re-frame my thinking that rest was a four-letter word was actually a book titled Rest. It’s helpful to read about other high achieving individuals and how they spent their workday.
These people were highly creative and sometimes under extreme pressure. People like Winston Churchill, JRR Tolkien, Stephen King, Frank Lloyd Wright, Thomas Edison, and Ray Bradbury. These people are all highly accomplished, yet they both understood, and practiced, the art of rest. In many cases it was a daily nap! They figured out that lengthy workdays were actually counter to creativity and productivity.
I share a personal story in this video short video that you might get a kick out of! Maybe you can relate.
Earning More while Working Less
In order to be able to reduce our work hours we must maximize and streamline both our productivity and income wherever possible. Small businesses cannot afford to waste resources and certainly cannot afford to waste revenue opportunities.
It takes money and growth in a business to be able to afford to hire people to help run your business. There are three vitally important areas to look at to make sure you’re maximizing income. You can download your Business Health Check Guide here to get started.
There will always be a push and pull when growing a business. There’s always pushing to try to throw you out of balance and you’ve got to pull back to work to keep that balance.
We can get there. Picking up a book like Rest (here is a list of my favorite leadership and team development books) to help re-frame thinking, and taking a look at places in our business to maximize revenue are excellent places to start.