Do you wear “working on weekends and long hours” like a badge of honor?
“Woe is me!” is the battle cry of many entrepreneurs. “Look how hard I am working!”
I used to do the same thing as did many of my colleagues. That is, until it almost killed many of us. Not only were we wearing down by the long hours, we had no personal life.
The reality is, running a business, especially for a solo-entrepreneur, does not require we personally work so many hours that we end up despising what we do.
Nope, running a successful business means we are doing what we love, we are willing to let go of some of the detail work we do through delegation and we make great money. Lest anyone think money is not part of the success equation, you can’t run a business without money. Simple as that.
One of the greatest lies we’ve been told is that we have to work our butts off in order to succeed. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Do we have to work? Absolutely. Yet, it’s about working smarter, not harder.
I’ve owned my business for over 20 years. Early on, I was in the camp of working 14, 16, 18 hour days. I truly thought this meant I was giving my all to my business.
It was when I got very resentful over having a business that I recognized something needed to change. The change came in the willingness to delegate those things that absolutely needed to get done but I had no business doing.
So how do we know what to hold on to and what to let go of?
Before answering this, I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that you absolutely must treat your business like a business. This requires planning, investment, delegation, training, skill building and the willingness to build a team that is representative of what your overall goals are.
It’s amazing how many “wanna be” entrepreneurs think they have to do all the work themselves. It is in this attitude they become a bottleneck in their day to day operations.
This also keeps them in the Failure To Launch mode.
I do understand this thought process. I was the same way.
The shock of shocks came when I found I could (and would) get more done, make more money, enjoy life more and be able to more fully serve my market when I had the right support team in place.
If you’re among those who say, “I can’t afford to hire anyone,” you are definitely locking yourself into a behavior and belief that is not serving you.
It’s not that you have to go from doing everything yourself to managing a fulltime team overnight. Nope, you can grow into it. There are so many great resources available that there’s no excuse not to outsource a bit of the work.
Start with determining what you absolutely must do that you don’t (or can’t) delegate to others. List those things that need to be done, but you may not be the best person to do the task. It could be graphic design, developing your social media systems, scheduling interviews, etc.
I love writing and this is a big part of what I should be doing. I’m good at it, it allows me to position my message and it helps me build my community.
What I’m not good at is graphic design. I have two choices with this knowledge. I can spend a lot of time trying to make something look good, or I can delegate the design work to someone much more qualified than me to produce something that looks great.
Now lest you think, “I can’t afford to hire an expensive designer,” just know there are countless resources available who can do the work for an incredibly small investment.
Ever hear of Fiverr dot com or 99Designs?? Both offer services for very little.
Granted, not everyone on Fiverr is someone you would trust with your business needs, but some of the resources are perfect for someone on a limited budget.
For a few bucks you can free up a lot of time. Time to do those things you absolutely must do and time to enjoy a personal life.
A huge part of running a successful business is getting really honest about how you are spending your time. Focus and discipline are huge factors to consider.
Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re productive. One of the best processes I’ve implemented is what I call my Hour of Power.
This, by far, has been one of the greatest game changes for me.
Before putting on the cape of Woe is Me, get really honest about what it means to run a successful business. Decide what you will and will not settle for. Put pen to paper and map out your success.
A bit of time upfront will free up the energy, time and space to have a balanced life. After all, don’t you deserve this?
What are you doing to balance your time and energy?

Author's Bio: 

Discover success insights from experts around the globe who are out there making a difference and making a great living in the process. Kathleen Gage interviews the best of the best with Power Up for Profits Podcast.