This year my business has really been expanding. It seems that I’ve finally hit stride, with consistent clients and income. It’s really exciting, exhilarating… and exhausting at the same time.
In the last two years, there have been many ups and down… excitement, joy, and pride, coupled with anxiety, doubt, and worry.
On any given day or time, it has felt like my emotions are being pulled in a different direction. And honestly, I had a hard time understanding why, until I chatted with a colleague about it.
As usual, I needed to be pulled out of my own head.
Working In Your Business VS On It
When you are working IN your business, you are in a constant day-to-day loop of projects, tasks, meetings, and exceeding the expectation of your customers.
Inc.com says, “If you want to run a successful business you have to know how to play to your strengths. It’s pretty easy to micromanage everything. You may think that you can get things done better and more efficiently than anyone else. That might even be true, but all the time you are spending doing jobs that other people could be doing is time that you are not running your business.”
Although you (hopefully) have an order of operations for your work; a solid project management workflow, clearly defined work hours and planning periods… your workload can really add up.
And when this happens, and you are doing all of the work for your customers, and not yourself, it’s really easy to let your own business needs fall by the wayside.
Especially if you don’t have the documentation or standard operating procedures in place and it’s all in your head. (Nobody can ever take over a task that’s in your head, and not documented!)
You see, even though I help others build their service based business to be more efficient, productive, and optimized. In the process of serving others, I lost my own process and workflows!
(Which, if you recall my workflows are what have saved me in the past!)
I stopped documenting, I didn’t keep track of what I was doing… I just kept going around the loop of picking a task and getting it done. I was stuck IN my business!
The Only Way Out Is Through
After speaking to some other peers and business owners, it turns out that this isn’t uncommon. We put so much focus on our customers, that we forget the needs of our own business.
And I’m going to be the first to raise my hand, and call myself out.
I admit it, I put FAR more effort into the businesses of my customers than I do my own. I spend MUCH more time detailing out their workflows than I do my own.
And how does this serve me?
What it creates is the chaos and overwhelm in my own business… the SAME problems that my customers are coming to me to fix!
So here’s what I’m going to do about this; my call to action!
Before I start my next customer project, I’m going to put my own business first. And I encourage you, to take a break and do the same.
I’m going to to go through my own process, that I used for my clients on my own business.
This includes the same analysis, planning, and actions steps, that you do for my customers. But, this time I’ll make MY business MY customer FIRST.
Creating a System
What does this look like for me?
I’ve recently remapped out my own customer journey and created a 30/60/90 day action plan. It’s set up a project in my project management system. I have created due dates. I’ve even brought on additional team members to support my action plan.
I’m going to focus on documenting specific procedures that I follow for my own business on a daily basis, and get them out of my head. This includes:
- Documenting, step-by-step the repetitive tasks that I do each day/week (such as invoicing, blogging, onboarding clients and setting up accounts).
- Helping myself hire the right people to assist me.
- Be willing to to ask for help and support, instead of doing everything on my own.
(If case you wanted a few more ideas, here are a few more from Ozar.me).
And what I’ve realized? Once I onboard my new team, and teach them my workflows, then I have even more *trained* support. This will definitely help my customers. It’s a win-win!
I’m not in the business to crank out business. I’m here to grow, and help my customers grow in a way the easy, effective, and efficient. Not crazy, disorganized, or in ways that I don’t even practice myself.
So what do you say? Are you ready to take on this challenge?
Let me know what you are going to do to support your business next and we can support each other together!