It often amazes me how passionate small business owners are about their business yet how little time they set aside to work on improving the overall business and their wellbeing.
All their time is spent beavering away in the day-to-day operations of the business. This may be a major contributor to why so few small businesses last more than five years.
Consider what Abraham Lincoln said:
“If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my ax.”
Most small businesses spend no time on the ax. They are caught up in all the tasks because they have no one to delegate to. The week’s roll into months, the stress levels rise and the owners look up and wonder how they got to where they are – and not where they wanted to be.
Small business owners must consider the bigger picture. They must set aside time to look at ways to break this cycle. Not only will it benefit the business, it will benefit their wellbeing and those close to them.
Michael Gerber, author of the E-Myth, put it well:
”You might say that while going to work on the business, people begin to realise that it is a powerful metaphor for going to work on their lives. And that, I believe, is the heart of the process; not efficiency, not effectiveness, not more money, but to simply and finally create more life for everyone who comes into contact with the business, but most of all for you, the person who owns it.”
So how do you achieve this?
• No one can give you more hours in the day. You simply have to decide what is important for the long-term success of your business and plan your time.
• Establish that this is important. Only then will you put priority on it and only then will everyone else around you also accept it is important to you.
• Start with 10 minutes a day, an hour a week or half a day a month. Whatever you decide put it in the calendar and commit to it.
• Plan to get away from the office, computer, and phone. Disappear, turn off the phone, clear your head and focus… you may really enjoy it!!
• A very effective way to do this is to do the process with a mentor or another like-minded business owner. It forces you to both be available.
• Remember, the process is enjoyable, motivating and gives you a break from the day-to-day pressures.