Hands up if you feel like there are days, weeks, months, or heaven forbid, years of going flat out in your business? You know…those periods of time when all you are doing is work, work, work and not much play, play, play. As an entrepreneur, this is a wildly fun & easy road to get on. Let’s face it, you decided to start your own business because you had a passion for serving your people and an intense drive to do it ‘your way .' But there is a dark side to this hunger that you need to be conscious of.
I’d like to share the concept of yin and yang as a perfect analogy for this conversation.
“In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang are concepts used to describe how opposite or contrary forces are complementary, interconnected and interdependent in the natural world; and, how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin/Yang
The positive energy (the yang) you receive from being a business owner can be:
- The flexibility to create your own hours
- You in the design & creation your workspace
- The heart-fueled appreciation of happy clients
- Your salary is directly tied to your efforts & success
- You have control over your operations
- Excitement for new challenges and opportunities
But within the same topic of entrepreneurship, the negative energy (the yin) can be difficult to navigate and start causing you problems within your business:
- The pressure is all on YOU to succeed
- There is a tendency to become obsessed with working
- You can get behind with the administration
- It can be really lonely
- Competition can be fierce
- Sometimes you can’t take a regular pay check when money is tight
So in order to rebalance the yin/yang for yourself as a business owner, I have 7 practical tips to help bring things back in harmony:
1) Do a time audit on your schedule
Take a good look at what you’re spending your time on. There’s a good chance that you are wasting time on things that aren’t giving you what you need (rest, planning, strategy, fun).
Go through your last week and find the pockets where you could carve out a few opportunities for more time. A big time waster is getting online and aimlessly scrolling through social media. If you’re working on it for business, that’s different, but most of us (yes…I struggle with this too) could be getting off our devices and doing something that has more value.
Once you’ve discovered where you could block off productive time…block it off as productive time! Feel free to move things around so you can put those blocks together for more in-depth work, play or rest.
2) Schedule time for business development
This is one of the hardest ‘smart business moves’ to do, especially when you work in the service industry. But I’m telling you, if you would just stop scheduling yourself with clients for a small part of your work week and use it, instead, for working on business tactics, you will see some big shifts happening. If you choose to not follow this advice, you’ll find yourself on the same hamster wheel of frenetic work until you burn out.
Book time to work ON your business, not IN your business and make it a priority.
3) Schedule time for self care
If you’re not going to take care of yourself…who will? Self-care is often compared to putting the oxygen mask on you first in the case of an airplane emergency. You’re can’t help anyone else put on their masks if you’re passed out from lack of oxygen. Same goes for business. Making sure you are having a bit of fun, a lot of rest and nourishing your body are essential elements to keeping you sane, steady and sharp in your business.
Self-care is not the same as selfish. Know the difference and acknowledge it’s incredible value. Click to tweet!
4) Farm out the stuff you’re not good at (or hate doing!)
Most people seem to need someone to give them permission that they don’t have to do it all!
Personally, I hate doing my bookkeeping. Hate it. And of course, because I hate it, I’m not good at it. It’s in my best interest for an accounting professional to take care of it for 2 reasons: she is meticulous and can complete it much faster than I could ever attempt. Second, I’m saving money (I can work in my studio generating money rather that working on my books) and a big headache.
Do what you’re good at…and hire out the rest. You have my blessing. What could you farm out? Personal housekeeping, grocery shopping (order online & get it delivered), salon cleaning, accounting, website creation and upgrading, marketing, social media...just to name a few!
5) Delegate easier admin stuff to reception or Virtual Assistant (VA)
Oh boy. When I do a business analysis I often see owners doing all the administration work themselves. Yup, we entrepreneurs are self-proclaimed control freaks, but really & truly…this is making your life more difficult.
The way out of this is to create detailed protocol documents for your team. This document is a list of exactly what you want them to do in their work day, week and month. Take time to make these protocol sheets, because once its complete (and the proper training of course) it’s evergreen and keeps working for you with minor check-ins along the way for quality. I’ll place a heavy bet that you can have your reception staff take on a few more tasks that would in turn, lighten your load.
6) Relax…Go With The Flow
At the risk of sounding like a broken record…I want you to let go of the frenetic pace you’re working at.
You may be struggling to pay expenses, but the reality is that building a strong business takes more time than you think. It’s kind of like doing a renovation: double the time and cost you think it will take you to complete… oh…and you’ll probably uncover a big ‘ole problem in the middle that you’ll panic about. That’s all part of being an entrepreneur.
If going-with-the-flow is confusing you, this is one of my favourite Abraham videos that describes working at maximum-effort-at-all -costs vs allowing-the-process-to-happen energetically. Stop paddling upstream in your business.
7) Ask for Help
Being your own boss had great benefits, but it can also be a really lonely position. Couple that with the control-freak quirkiness (I can do this myself!) and it’s pretty easy to see how you can get stuck not knowing what your next business move is. If you choose to try to do it all yourself, the only door that tends to be open for you is to the “OVERWHELM ROOM”.
If you have a mentor in your life to go to for help, pick up the phone! At minimum, sharing what you're worrying about will help ease some of your tensions. But it’s amazing what one little piece of advice will do to give you a better perspective and feel the winds of change.
Ask friends or family for help. Don’t worry, they know you’re completely capable…and it sure is nice to get a hand with things around the house (do your kids have a chore list?), maybe someone could pick up a kid from soccer or watch your kids for a few hours so you can go on a date night.
All seven of these tips are intended for you to start thinking of ways of how you can make your life easier in your business. And because you are THE boss, it’s up to you to build your business on your terms…consciously. There’s a reason why my tag line is passion, profits AND a personal life! All three are essential and meaningful for the heart-based spa entrepreneur.