When people start a business they’re full of enthusiasm, they can’t wait to taste the sweet freedom of working for themselves. They know it’s hard work at the beginning and they want to see results.
So they knuckle down and try and get all the basics covered. Often working evenings, weekends etc.
A lot of new business owners are guilty of this. I know, I did the same myself and I see it all around me. The pressure to make it work is overwhelming when you’re just starting.
The problem with that is..
You run the risk of forgetting why you went into business in the first place!
There are many reasons to go into business but it’s likely that freedom is one of your big reasons.
So how do you find the balance?
How to create freedom in your business
Step 1 – Choose the right business
If freedom is what you are looking for then not all business models will work for you. When I work with clients to find their best fit business model I take into account what exactly they are aiming for as well as their skills and passions to come out with something that ticks all the boxes. Bricks and mortar traditional style businesses are unlikely to fit someone with a strong desire for freedom.
Step 2 – Ideally, build the business around your life to start off with
The simple way to create freedom in your business is to consider your personal needs first and put the business is the gaps. Yes, I am going there, it’s about scheduling. If you want to only work 4 days a week block out the other days in your calendar and DO NOT work on those days. Put systems in place so that you don’t have to be there.
The challenge here is actually sticking to it! And of course accepting that your business will grow somewhat slower as a result.
I’ve seen scheduling advice a lot and personally I found it absolutely impossible to implement, at least in the beginning. If I have fire in my belly then I work until I reach a point where I feel comfortable with the results I’m seeing and only then can I ease my foot of the gas.
That may be just me. If you are able to keep things in check from the beginning fabulous! If you just can’t bring yourself to do it even though you swore you could, on to Step 3…
Step 3 – If you were too impatient to do step 2, set a target after which point you will run the business around your life and stick to it
For me personally my business had to work before I could consider not going at it 100%. I had to replace my corporate wage to feel like I could relax. My target was to have my website stable, a couple of great offerings and to have a semi regular stream of clients. Once I reached that I started to ease off. The basics were there. it isn’t easy though.
I still struggle with scheduling and not getting stuck at the computer. It’s hard not to check your mail ALL DAY, even at the weekend, especially when you love what you do. I have to say though, when I have weeks where I stick with my schedule it feels amazing.
I do think it is super important to master putting yourself first. The more successful your business becomes, the more you can afford to delegate. My observation is that it can take years of practise to get this right. But look at the top guys in your industry – they likely have it nailed.
So stick with it to get where they are!
Now, as always, I’d like to hear from you
Do you struggle to keep your business from taking over your life?
How do you handle it?
Have you been able to have a ‘lifestyle’ business from the get go?
Let me know in the comments below…