Updated: Feb 16
When you are a business owner, it can be tough to switch off and have a proper break without worrying about the ins and outs of the operation you have built or the financial pressure you might be under.
Working and overworking can become part of what you do: "Oh, I will just finish this over the weekend", "I just need to do this, and I'll be done", "I may as well", "I'd do that when the kids are asleep at 9 pm, it won't take me long!" or better still "I'll wake up at 5 am so I'm on top of things."
I am sure you could tell me more about your habits and what you tell yourself!
Over the pandemic and supporting so many people on various levels, I have seen that we have become highly reactive to our business and what is happening to it on a day-to-day basis, so we throw ourselves in without a second thought.
I write a lot about delegation and the fact that the structure and operation should never depend on one person. If that person leaves or goes on holiday, and the business depends on them, that will, in the long run, make growth plateau. You will constantly feel that you are doing the same things repeatedly, which can be pretty deflating when it gets you the same results.
Working on the structure and procedures, as well as focusing on your time management, delegation processes, and communication becomes the soft skills of leadership you must adopt to overcome that overwhelming feeling and allows you to be proactive in your business. That's what we do here at The Delforge Group with all of our programmes: it will enable you to have a work-life balance and a company that works for you rather than you working for it.
So why is it so challenging to create such a structure, and why do we find it hard to stop the way we fundamentally work?
Working can simply be an addiction; you have nurtured your business for so long that it's hard to see how it can function without you in it 24/7. Working can be part of your life and ingrained into your system so much that having that free time can be very destabilising, but most of all, trusting the people and processes around you can be difficult, especially with the state of recruitment. I hear it repeatedly, but it can become an excuse to feed the work monster that lives inside you. I also have seen it when the owner is on the brink of burnout or even in the middle of it but unable to see how they can work differently.
It is why I love 1-2-1 coaching so much as we can help you break those habits but ultimately, it is down to you and the habits you form that will make the change that will help you grow in the long run.
Ultimately, you need to want to change for the change to happen and deliver a different outcome. Remember that even by changing the small things, you are on the path to a different you; it is crucial to assess and revisit what you can do to change.
The first step I advise is to have a weekend away from the business altogether, a week if you can, look at the business ideally with another person there (senior management, friend, husband, wife etc.) and assess and reassess the numbers, what works and what doesn't as well as how you can involve different people or companies to take the load off.
Crucially, having your time off booked for the year ahead and having a work and personal phone will allow you to adopt a different mindset but, most importantly, seek help if you find it too difficult to change. Support will help your perspective and allow you to change your behaviour for the better.
Working can be part of our lives rather than be our lives, and that's usually when the magic happens….