Written by Lisa Zuba
Does this messy desk look familiar?
Do you feel as if you are acting as CEO, CFO, CTO, CMO, Administrative Assistant, Shipping Clerk, Social Media Manager, etc….all in the same day?
It’s a common problem of entrepreneurs: you do most everything yourself.
Here’s what happens:
- Overwhelm. You feel like you cannot take on one more thing or you’ll burst. This causes you to be in a crummy mood.
- Indecision. You have so many things coming at you at once, you can’t make a decision. And when you do make a decision, you lack confidence in your ability.
- Time. The concept of time takes on a mind of its own. Suddenly you have no more time. That’s right. The first words that come out of your mouth are, “I’m so busy!”
The result: (You only need to pick one for it to screw up your business.)
- Stagnant sales. You can keep it going each month, but you’re not growing as you planned. You’re missing out on tons of revenue.
- Clients who are less than ideal. In private you might say, “pain in the ass.” But much of this is your own making. You never figured out who your ideal clients are anyway, and you do business with just about anyone. You never took the time to train your clients in how to do business with you.
- A big freakin’ mess. (See desk above.) The only way to keep up with business is to work 12, 13, 16 hours a day. Your relationships suffer. You continually put off exercise.
Why do you do it? Because you believe you can run your business better than anyone else.
“No one cares as much as I do.”
“It’s my blood, sweat and tears.”
One of my clients has a financially successful business. (I’ll call him Joe, but that’s not his name. Or, her name. All identifying descriptions of clients are always hidden.) He’s owned and operated his company for 10+ years. Joe has more business than he can handle. One reason is that he doesn’t turn down business. He takes just about any prospective client that comes his way. His bank account is full. His investment account is robust.
It sounds good, right? Not exactly. You know what Joe says to himself as he’s leaving the house in the morning?
“Another day, another dollar, and the same old thing.”
Joe is unhappy. He’s tired of working 12, 14, or 16 hours a day — and on the weekends. Joe’s wife is disconnected from him and their marriage. Joe’s kids, now grown into teenagers, pay little attention to him.
Looking at Joe from the outside — his successful business, the big home, fancy foreign cars, the summer home in Maine where his family spends a month without him — it all looks pretty good. Enviable even.
Except it’s not.
It’s unsustainable. Yes, maybe Joe will run the business until he retires. He’ll keep chasing after new clients to replace ones that leave. Perhaps even his wife won’t divorce him. But his health suffers because of the stress, and there is little joy in his life.
That’s not a business or life most people would envy.
Outsource, Delegate, Hire and Get Some Help!
Joe and I worked together to figure out his non-genius work. The work that doesn’t matter if he or his employee or VA or contractor does it. Once we identified his non-essentials, Joe outsourced and delegated it.
Can you relate to Joe’s story? Are you doing it all?
While it’s true: no one cares more about your business than you do, it’s a flawed logic to think that’s a good reason to do it all.
Here’s what can happen when you quit doing it all:
- You focus on your ideal clients. These are the clients who want and need you, can pay for you, and appreciate you. The clients who will be around for the long-term. What I call clients for life because you develop relationships with them.
- You have more strategy time. Instead of filling your mind (and desk) with clutter, you can now do the important big-picture thinking. Strategy thinking is essential for growth.
- You awake each day with new-found enthusiasm for your business. It’s a wonderful to feel joy for your business rather than dread about what you forgot to do, need to do and don’t want to do. Prospective clients will pick up on your excitement and want to do business with you!
- Your sales increase. Substantially. When you focus on strategy, executing and directing your business plan with enthusiasm, your income will grow.
- Time for self. Get to the gym. Connect with loved ones. Get active in your community. Go on vacation!
Do you remember the dreams you had when you created your business?
You can realize them!
Where do you want to be at the end of this year?
Do you have the courage to let go and detach from the tasks that are sucking the life out of your business?
If you want help, I’m here for you. Consider joining a Mastermind group. I’ve got one forming in September. Drop me a line if you’d like some info. Click here to contact me.
Messy Desk photo by: Laurie Avocado
Heads photo by: Randy Adams