Recently one of my family members mentioned something to me that really hit home and literally made me stop in my tracks and reassess my last few months. A statement I know I will not long forget. A statement I hope will be a positive influence for the next few years.
So what was this statement? She simply said, “Do you still enjoy your business? You used to always be so happy and now you look stressed all the time.” Yikes! Now at first I was a little insulted and immediately defended myself. But after a few days, I realized she was right. I was letting my business run me. I had gotten extremely busy, which is a good thing and I am so grateful for, but I was working day and night. I was also allowing a few clients to dominate my business, without getting the compensation I should have. Most importantly, I was truly overwhelmed and not doing the right things-the things I enjoy the most.
Isn’t it funny how outsiders can see things you are too close to realizing? As we are in the thrones of running our business and keeping up, we often get so caught up in the day-to-day activities, we forget the big picture.
So what steps did I take to get back my power? Here are just a few:
- I put better time-tracking systems in place. I needed to truly realize how much time I was putting into different tasks. That alone was eye-opening. I realized on some tasks I was not making close to what I should.
- I made some client changes. This can be hard, but sometimes it’s necessary in business to review your current clients and make sure you are still a good fit.
- I wrote down what makes me the happiest in business and with that made changes to what I was doing so that I was doing more of those things. I highly recommend this. When you are having fun and doing what you do best, the results will show. (How did I forget that?)
- I put procedures in place to grow my own business. As business owners we often get so caught up in client work we neglect our own businesses. It truly happens to the best of us. Therefore, I made several changes to ensure that my business continues to thrive. I scheduled in time in my calendar to promote my books and to promote my coaching programs. I also made a to-do list for future months so I don’t just take this step now for a few weeks and then get back into the same ole’, same ole’.
- I work with an accountability buddy. And most importantly here, I am honest with them. This is huge. What they are able to make me see is some of my own character defects and how they might be holding me back. This too is one of those eye-opening experiences where you go, ‘You know you are right. I need to work on that.” And then take the appropriate actions to do that.
Now don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love my business and where I am today and am so grateful for all of it. However, by taking inventory of what I was doing day in and day out, I was able to see where I can make changes and improve upon it. And that is truly what we want in business.
Diana Ennen is the President of Virtual Word Publishing, http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com and co-author of So You Want To Be a Work-At-Home Mom: A Christian’s Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business with Jill Hart and also VA the Series: Become a Highly Successful Sought After Virtual Assistant (Kelly Poelker). Article is free to be reprinted as long as bio remains.