Does it feel like the business of starting (or growing) a small business is a 24/7 job? The reality is that it often is in the early days because it’s what your business needs to get growing. But somehow, the late night sessions, the weekend overtime, and the (obsessive) holiday check-in’s don’t end once the business is established.
Sometimes, the problem lies with you. As the hyper-viligant entrepreneur suffering from post-start-up crisis management mode, it’s hard to shift down a few gears, to switch off the intensity habits that are likely responsible for your success to date.
Other times, the problem is with the business. Because everything started with you, it continues with you unless you take conscious steps to change it. So instead of having more freedom and flexibility, you end up with less (and that’s not why most of us started a business).
How to Dial Back the Demands (and Up the Freedom Factor):
#1: Just Let Go — Challenge yourself to let go of (at least some) of the daily details. If your business has reached the stage where it can sustain itself, it’s time to start outsourcing the tasks that you find yourself getting bogged down with.
#2: Work Smart — Don’t limit your growth to what you can manage on your own. Instead, delegate the daily doing, and shift your focus to pursuing higher level opportunities, like strategic partnerships and new sales channels.
#3: Build Systems — Create simple systems for managing the tasks you continue to do yourself. It can be as easy as creating a word document for regular email correspondence or automating some aspects of your social media marketing.
#4: Evaluate Profitability — Be a little ruthless in analyzing what is and isn’t working in your business. That means figuring out exactly what projects, products and yes, even customers are worth the time and effort it takes to manage them and ditching the rest.
#5: Schedule Holidays — Block off at least one week per quarter as vacation time, and force yourself to take the time off (whether or not you go somewhere for a vacation). This not only gives you the time you need to recharge your entrepreneurial energy, it forces you to follow through with #1 and #2 above.
#6: Turn Off the Tech — Get in the habit of turning off the technology and just being present with family and friends. You will find that once you start leaving technology behind, you won’t miss not having it every second of the day (plus, it’s like a mini holiday for your brain).
#7: Ask for Help — Don’t be shy about reaching out to your network for help, especially if it means you can get to your goal faster with less effort on your part. Just be sensitive to the difference between ask for help and asking for free consulting.