Are you driving your success or is your success driving you? Meaning are you too busy managing your success and keeping up with day-to-day customer demands that you no longer have the ability to pursue new ideas and opportunities? Are you stuck working IN your business instead of working ON your business?
That’s how success becomes a trap. It forces the unprepared entrepreneurs to shift their focus from the big picture to the daily minutia. Instead of leveraging the systems and hiring and training people to grow your business, you are dealing with crisis after crisis that require YOUR immediate attention (OR ELSE).
In essence, your success becomes a trap, one that forces you into the day-to-day busy-work and doesn’t allow you to pursue new ideas or even capitalize on potential opportunities because you are too BUSY running your business (or rather running to keep up to your business). Your busy-ness is the result of short-term success, but it’s at the cost of your long-term growth.
How to Create Space for New Opportunities
Ask yourself: WHEN are you going to do what needs to be done to give your new ideas a chance? The answer is not between 11:47 pm and when you finally crash from sheer exhaustion or when you find a bit of downtime from your busy season (because we both know that isn’t going to happen).
The key to overcoming the success trap is creating space to pursue new directions, find unique ways to innovate or capitalize on potential opportunities:
Compress Time – The first step in creating space for new opportunities and ideas is to compress the amount of time you spend currently working in your business. That means shorter, more productive meetings, shifting away from manual tasks, implementing systems, and delegating the day-to-day operations management to your team.
Dedicate Space in Your Calendar – Remember, creating new time is only the first step. The next step is committing to pursuing new ideas and opportunities by dedicating time in your calendar. The purpose is to prevent your newfound idea time from getting pushed to the bottom of the to-do list when the day-to-day stuff picks up speed.
Drop Bad Clients – Now you need to free up your time from other insidious time vampires: bad clients. Chances are you have a few bad clients who likely cost you more in time and support resources than you make in profit. Dropping your low value, high demand clients not only creates time for new ideas, but allows you to deliver better service to your best clients.
Say “No” to the Extras – The last place to look for idea time is all the extra responsibilities we take on. That means saying no to all those extra requests and responsibilities (even if it’s just for the short term). Remember, it’s not your job to hold down the universe – it’s time to pass the torch to someone else for while.
Think Leverage – You can’t clone yourself, but you can create systems and hire people to help you manage the growth. Think of your business as a series of steps that start with generating new leads and end with order fulfillment and logistics, and ask yourself how can you make these steps function more smoothly (without your constant supervision).