Updated: Apr 17, 2020
Years ago when I was starting out as an entrepreneur, it wasn't long before I found myself working 80-90 hours a week, neglecting my family, and burning myself out. If that wasn't bad enough, the need for "success" and the reality that it didn't seem to be happening kept driving me back to this stressed-out, no-fun way of living and working.
Thankfully with over 25 years of experience, I've broken most of those bad habits. What I found along the way amazed me. The root issues causing my business to struggle and causing me as an entrepreneur to lead an insane, stressed-out life were actually one and the same. And no, it wasn't what I thought it was. Working harder wasn't going to solve my problem. I needed a series of mindset shifts. Let me give you three I've found that changed my life and saved my business.
Working Harder Is the Problem, Not the Solution
The old adage is true: "If you do more of what you've always done, you'll simply get more of what you've always gotten." Think about this: If you are currently working twice as hard as you did in your old corporate job but only bringing in half the money, working harder won't make you more money, and it certainly won't relieve your stress. It is going to give you more of what you are getting today! Stress and too little money! In the end it will leave you poor, broken and your life will be a wreck. You don't need that! None of us do!
The bottom line is that stress in our lives as business owners has a way of hindering us from seeing the big picture and thinking creatively how to address it. If our work isn't making us money and is causing us stress, we have to shift how we are approaching our life and business. It is time to stop working harder, and start working smarter.
You Aren't Here to Serve Your Business, Your Business Is Here to Serve You
This mindset shift if probably more important than we may initially realize. Until we embrace its truth, we can't flip the script and make the changes needed to get back our life and save our business.
The bottom line is, our business is not us, as much as it might seem to overtake our life at times. It just isn't. Our business is something we do in order to live our life and achieve our dreams and goals.
So stop. Take the time to get clarity on what you want out of life. Then, once you've done that, ask yourself, "What do I have to do so that my business becomes a tool to help me get that life I desire to live?"
Our business can never serve our life until we clearly decide what we want out of our life. That is just the truth. Without that clarity, the demands of our business will simply take over.
Don't Just Do the Work OF Your Business, Work ON Your Business
Once we see our business as separate from our life and as a tool here to serve our life, we can begin to make the practical changes needed to take back our life and save our business. When we are in overwhelm mode, we are typically running from one task to another, doing the work OF our business. To eliminate the overwhelm and make our business hum, we have to start to allocate about 20% of our time and resources to work ON our business. In other words, we have to develop systems within our business so that our business can operate without us always pulling every single lever all the time (even if we are a solopreneur). It is this systematization that allows us to then reprioritize our energy and time toward those things that give us great ROI.
In my coaching, this is a tool I have use with my clients to help them begin to identify what areas of overwhelm are most urgent for them to address. Take a moment and look at it. Which of these areas is your number one source of overwhelm?
It has been my experience as both a business owner and a coach, that it is as business owners begin naming their overwhelm and start to systematically address these areas one at a time, that they start to get their lives back and turn their businesses around.
My Story, Your Story
Once I made the important shifts outlined here, both my life and business changed completely. My work weeks changed from 80-90 hours to around 40-45 hours per week. I think it is fair to say that it likely saved my marriage. The organization I was leading went from being months away from going belly up, to seeing over 20% growth year after year. The same can happen to you.
Your business doesn't have to be a ball and chain that is ruining your life. The root issues hindering your business success and causing your life to be crazy are one and the same. Wrong mindsets and poor systems. It doesn't have to continue to be that way. If you decide to make a change, your business can become the tool that serves your life, and other's lives as well.
If you need help beginning that journey, feel free to reach out to me. I've walked that journey ahead of you and I'd love to help you avoid the mistakes I've made. You may contact me at the following link and we can set up a free strategy session at no obligation. www.bbleadercoach.com/contact