The Biggest Joke of all time – Work Life Balance…
Editor’s Note: This article is part of a bigger series on supercharging the growth in your business. To start at the beginning click here – Nine Critical Strategies to Grow Your Business in 2020!
In my last article we discussed what to do with all the profits you’re making… We talked about investing in your business, spending profits, investing profits, and even giving your money away!
Plus, I shared my three favorite ways to Invest my profits. (To read that article go here)
Today, I want to shift gears and share with you the biggest fraud that’s been hoisted on the minds of many business owners.
What’s the FRAUD?
It’s the idea of work life balance.
All I hear, all day long… from wellness gurus… and self help counselors… and every business consultant you meet… all they talk about is achieving work life balance.
I just shake my head in disbelief.
The self appointed gurus will tell you to take time off… go get a hobby they say… spend more time with the family they say… take a vacation they demand.
All great suggestions… but they are solving the wrong problem.
First, let me serve up a steaming pile of truth… for a business owner THERE IS NO WORK LIFE BALANCE.
Let me say that again.
THERE IS NO WORK LIFE BALANCE.
If you’re a real entrepreneur, you’ll never find work life balance no matter how hard you try.
As a business owner, you’ll find your business is an obsession.
You’ll be thinking about it while you work out.
You’ll obsess over it in the shower.
Spending time with the family, great, but your mind will be on the business.
Heck, I’ve found myself on vacation thinking about my business.
Business is an obsession, it’s a desire, it’s a piece of you, and it will suck up all your time if you let it.
Just get over it.
Don’t be weak. Use this focus to your advantage…
Work hard to grow your business… and if that means putting in 20 hour days, then so be it. Trust me, over time your passion and focus will shift.
I used to work 20 hour days on one of my businesses. Now the business is lucky if I focus on it for 20 hours a month!
Focus and obsession are great for growing a business. And a few months (or years) of hard work won’t kill you.
Here’s how to do obsession right…
How to Take a Vacation
If you’re running a new business, here’s how to take a vacation… DON’T.
Seriously. If you’re starting a business and feel like you can’t pull yourself away… if you feel like the business will implode because it’s so new… then make a tough decision and don’t go.
Build your business. Make a sacrifice.
See, tough love.
That said, if you’ve been hustling for the last few years and are ready to take a vacation… if you feel like you need a vacation… then take one!
But let me give you some education on how to do it right.
3 months before you start your vacation, start looking with a critical eye at your business.
Look at everything that’s going on and every step of the process… and ask yourself if it needs to be done. Ruthlessly cut out anything that’s not a fit.
Kill the busy work.
Kill the activities that take hours and hours of time, but produce very little.
These should be easy to identify. Just ask yourself, Why are we doing this… and what would happen if we didn’t do this anymore. You’ll find a shocking amount of busy work has developed for you and your team.
Then when you’ve cut your process to the bone… you have to move onto step #2…
Make sure the right people are working on the right things.
Review what everyone on your team is doing… and make sure the right people are doing the right things.
Have a tier 1 sales person? Make sure they’re not spending hours pulling performance data, or dealing with invoicing.
Have a technical person on staff? Make sure they’re not doing assistant level projects.
Don’t have an assistant to take on those roles… get one.
The hardest part of this analysis will be when you look at your own workload.
Remember, you want to take a damn vacation and not be overwhelmed by the process. You don’t want to be crushed by your workload.
So, take a critical look at everything you do. Analize every process… review every step you take. Then ask yourself, why can’t someone else do this???
Earlier I mentioned the true goal of an owner is to work themselves out of a job.
You need to find good people to do everything you do.
Take your current work activities and break them down into detailed parts, and start training someone to take each and every project over.
As an owner you can’t be doing customer support, product delivery, shipping, and financials… at scale, your business will collapse.
You need to start outsourcing work… and start outsourcing ASAP!
I hear from business owners all the time… no one can do as good a job as I can.
Know what… you’re right.
But, many times, you need others to do a “Good Enough Job”.
If you don’t start thinking like a business owner… you’ll never get out from under your current workload… and you’ll never be able to take a vacation.
But your work doesn’t stop there.
The third step is to ACTUALLY outsource your work.
It’s one thing to analyze your processes. It’s one thing to identify where you can pass along the workload…
It’s something entirely different to actually sit down and do it.
How can you accomplish this seemingly impossible feat?
Like Nike says: “Just do it”
Here are a few simple steps…
First identify what process you want to outsource.
Be specific… really specific. If you try to outsource a 3 month long process you follow to do something and it has over 1,000 steps… well, you’re headed for failure. Remember, you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time!
Break down into small chunks what you want to process.
Then document the crap out of it.
Maybe you want to produce written documentation… maybe you want to produce how-to videos (my favorite).
Regardless of what route you go, remember these things…
Document each and every step. Assume the person knows nothing! Go into incredible detail. Remember to explain not only WHAT to do, but WHY. Finally, include a way to verify that the person has been successful.
Is that all?
Now that you have the process documented… pass it along to someone, and WATCH THEM DO IT! Seriously, take some time and watch them do it. Then have them do it three more times.
Then you can assume they’ll be at least competent at what they do.
Then the final step – Check up on them every so often.
Make sure they’re following the steps and doing everything right. Guess what, if they can’t do the job in the right way, either you need to change and improve your training and documentation… Or you need to find a more competent person to do the work.
Harsh, yes… but true.
Alright, enough for today. I know you want to find balance in life… but the reality is, Balance is an illusion. And you’ll realize it while you’re sitting on the beach NOT thinking about your business.
What’s up next?
Knowing work life balance is impossible, you’ll start being laser focused on what’s in front of you.
Let me help you get laser focused on your marketing… Nothing is better than text marketing. Imagine refining down your entire message into a single sentence.
That’s text marketing, and it’s powerful!
In our next article we’re going to wrap up this whole guide by discussing the future.
To go to the next article: Click here