When it comes to the crunch, we spend more than a third of our day at work and I believe for business owners, it’s probably more than 33% once you factor in all the components of running a business. It’s important that you love your business and what you do and do what you love and as Steve Jobs wrote:
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.”
So, here are my tips on how to love your business and enjoy going to work every day:
1. Choose something you’re passionate about
For some of us, we are flung into a job, business or trade which just happened and we’re not happy. I knew a painter who hated the work. He was excellent at it, but it was never something he wanted; rather something his parents pushed him into and he did it for more than 25 years. When you’re going to open a business, give careful consideration as to why you chose that particular industry or type of business.
2. Delegate the ‘yuck’ tasks
When you’re caught up in doing tasks that you hate, that can really impact on your day. Some tasks have to be done (things like bookkeeping, sales, debt collecting, filing) but whilst you may hate that task, another person may actually enjoy it. I do know people who enjoy doing debt collecting. Stick to the tasks you are going at, and like doing and if you have got the opportunity to delegate those less than pleasant ones, well why not. After all, you are the boss!
3. Make decent money
Be realistic, if you’re running a business you’re not overly excited about, but it’s making you great money, well you might just love it a little. Having a fiscally successful business will go a long way to adding appeal to your business. As to how to make a lot of money, well that’s a big part of what I do as a business coach. Sorry, can’t give you all those tips in a short single blog … but I can say that if you have some great goals and strategies in place, then achieving those outcomes is going to be more likely to occur and occur sooner.
4. Take time out!
Too often business owners are just ‘go, go, go’. Especially in the first year (and even decade) they won’t take holidays. This is particularly disappointing as often people say they want to get into business because they want financial freedom, time with family and flexibility. Yet, years on, they are still locked into never having holidays or working during their entire holiday. I can recall when my children were little and I was on Easter holidays with them, I was on the phone a good chunk of the time. They said “Mum, stop working, we’re on holidays!” and they were right. The problem at that stage was that the business mobile was MY mobile. When I got back, I got a second mobile phone and left the ‘office mobile’ with my receptionist. Thereafter clients didn’t have my personal mobile (in that business) and my team were able to look after all the calls. Even now, I might take a laptop for some emails, but I am disciplined; and it’s only ½ hour early each morning when I’m away on holidays. When I travel, I purposely don’t have mobile phone voice call services, so I can’t talk to people. Taking time out!
5. Remove toxic clients or staff
At times in business, we talk about grading clients. What does an ‘A’ grade client look like versus say a ‘D’ grade client? The ‘A’s and ‘B’s are those who love us, make us good money and are probably our raving fans. We love working with them and in some instances, they even become friends. Our ‘C’ grade clients are somewhat neutral; they can be nurtured up to become a ‘B’ or they could potentially drop down to a ‘D’ status. So the ‘D’s are painful, cost us money, always complaining and cause us the most grief. D also stands for ditch. We need to ditch our ‘D’ grade clients and move them out of our lives. The same goes towards staff. At times a very painful team member may need to be managed out. It needs to be done properly, but it can be done.
6. Celebrate your wins
We all have wins in business, some are big, some are small but they exist. The win can be anything from getting a new client on board, or perhaps winning an award, or having a better bottom line on your profit and loss statement. Whether it be an appreciative ‘thank you’ from a client or something else, don’t forget to stop and give yourself a pat on the back. If you have team, be sure to give them a pat on the back as well and extend to them your appreciation of their efforts.
7. Sh*t happens
Shit (excuse the language) does happen and there are three things we should do about it. Firstly, solve the problem. Secondly, you need to think about what you learnt from that situation. Can you improve your systems, or staff training or processes in order to avoid (or substantially reduce) that situation occurring again? The third thing is to let it go! Holding onto something just eats away at your soul. You become focussed on the negative and become caught up in that scenario. Sometimes as a business coach, I’ll make a suggestion and will get a strong “NO!!!!!” for that idea. When I dig a little deeper I discover something happened and that’s a block for that client. Let it go!
8. Ask for testimonials
Receiving a lovely testimonial has two effects. Firstly, they are great to use in your business. However, they also have a side effect; they make you, the business owner, feel good. When someone writes to say how much they appreciated your service, or how great you are, then you can’t help but feel good.
9. Stop – Reset – Refocus
On a regular basis, you need to stop and reset and refocus where you are at. This isn’t really time out where you should be just having a break from your business (mind and body). The reset and refocus is about assessing where you are at. What’s working for you, or not working? What needs to be done to improve the business? Once you have clarity around goals, what is the strategy to ensure those goals are attained? Having some reset and refocus time in the business allows you to ensure you are on the right path and doing what you want to be doing.
I hope these tips have helped you see that you can have a business you are happy to be working in. If you hate (and I mean seriously hate) your business, then perhaps it’s time to consider building it up to sell or finding an alternative which somewhat takes you out of the equation. If you need any assistance with finding clarity in your business, planning and strategy sessions or business coaching, then I’d love to help. Coaching is not just for businesses in trouble3 but is excellent for businesses who are starting out OR who want to improve or grow. Just give me a call on 0411 622 666 and we can chat about your needs.