“Raise your hand if you went into business with ambitions of having more freedom”. I recently attended a presentation to business owners and the audience was given this instruction. All but a few of the 700 odd attendees had their hands in the air. “Now keep your hands raised if you believe you now have that freedom”. No gold stars to those of you who guessed that most of those hands came down.
It’s a sad truth that most of the self-employed are working longer hours than when they weren’t the boss, and in a lot of cases, getting paid less. Surely this wasn’t up on your vision boards.
So, what went wrong?
The above is a massive question and I’m not even going to pretend that I can answer it with a blanket statement of ‘believing and achieving’ but what I do know is that working your ass off, week in, week out is not sustainable. Working 50+ hours per week over a long period means one of two things:
Your business is massively growing and this is all a part of your plan to build quickly
You work very ineffectively.
If you fall into point 1. Good on you. Consider this an electronic high five. However, if you are a point 2er, then we need to talk.
Working ineffectively indicates that you don’t value your time. Now, take a seat (unless you have a standing desk, because frankly, those are freaking awesome) because I have a couple of hard truths for you.
I can guarantee you are not the best person for every task in your business. You may be a gun at sales but cringe at the thought of financial forecasting. I want you to think about two questions:
What am I great at? This is also likely to be what you enjoy doing and get a lot of satisfaction from.
What is the highest and best use of your time? If you think that copying, scanning and data entry is it, then stop reading before I lose my shit.
Now, take the top 5 – 10 most valuable tasks and outsource everything else. I want you to look at those other tasks, understand how much time they take and work out how much they cost your business (if you do them yourself). Your value is in doing the most important stuff and send all the other crap to someone who can do it for a fraction of the cost.
No body knows and cares about your business like you do so start thinking and acting ‘like a boss’ and dedicate your time to living the life you initially intended.