Is it time to take back control of your business?
It’s ridiculously easy to wake up one day and find that our business is now running our life. In fact I think it happens all the time and I’ve certainly been on the receiving end of that.
We realise we’ve fallen into some very bad habits. I was working ridiculous hours in my business (and I mean ridiculous 6am to midnight, 7 days a week), I said yes to everything so I was totally overcommitted. I had no real idea if I was making money or losing money because I was too busy to make the time to figure it out. I was eating badly, having no exercise and I was fairly delusional about my life at the time.
I knew I had to do something about it - so I started changing the rules and the way I worked to wrestle my life back. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved my business and all that it enabled me to do at the time, but I wanted to feel more in control. So I did the following:
1. I stopped working on weekends.
I drew a line in the sand and I made the commitment that I would no longer work weekends. My first Saturday off I sat on the floor for an hour at 6am, wondering what on earth I was going to do with the rest of my weekend. I had completely forgotten how to have time off.
2. I stopped wasting time.
Because I was working all the time, I had developed the nasty of wasting a lot of time. For example on Thursday's and Friday's I told myself that I would be coming in all weekend anyway, so I basically did nothing productive on these two days. I just turned up and wasted time and paid the price by working all weekend.
3. I doubled my rates.
The reason I did this was because I finally had the time and energy to look at my business--and realize that there was no way I could ever make money based on the rates I was charging. I sat down with my clients, explained why I was doubling my rates and what was in it for them (better service, better advice and a much bigger commitment from me to them).
4. I declared a moratorium on doing pro bono work.
At the time, I was doing a lot of free work, helping all kinds of charities by offering marketing advice. Sure this made me feel good, but it was clear that if something didn't change, I was going to need the charities I was supporting because I would be homeless.
5. I decided to do a better job
I knew that I had been 'calling it in for years'. Even though my clients were happy enough, and there seemed to be lots of work, I knew that I was really only give most jobs fifty percent of the attention they deserved. And that wasn't good enough.
6. I stopped wasting money
Once again because of the crazy cycle I was in I really had no idea what was going on in my business. When I took a step back, and created the right head space, it soon became very clear that I was wasting a lot of money in my business.
7. I engaged two personal trainers
For me one personal trainer wasn't enough, so I engaged two. They dragged me up and down hills, into pools, beaches, sporting ovals, gyms, as well as Yoga classes. I lost a pile of weight, but most importantly my mind cleared, I had an interest outside of my business and I feel good, about myself.
8. I asked for help
I knew that I needed help, so I reached out and asked for it. I asked my staff to support me, my family and friends, my clients, everyone and anyone, and to a person, they did. Their support and encouragement helped me to change my life forever.
Individually the changes I made were significant. But when combined, they became exponentially more powerful. Everything in my life changed and whilst I still work a lot, I work very differently. I love what I do, I have a great life and my business grows more successful every year. I have no doubt that it's because I replaced a lot of bad habits with some very good ones. And best of all, when I look down that tunnel and see a light, I know it isn't a train heading my way.
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About the contributor:
Andrew Griffiths is Australia’s leading Small Business author with 12 books published and currently sold in over 60 countries. He is widely acknowledged as one of the leading minds in the Small Business space. He is a regular columnist on Inc.com out of New York, a Small Business commentator for CBS, a Mentor in the highly acclaimed Key Person of Influence programme and much more. Touting his own unique style of street-smart wisdom and inspiration, Andrew really is one of a kind. Website:http://www.andrewgriffiths.com.au