How Not to be Held Hostage by Your Business, Even When You’re Solo
Posted on Jun 1 2012 at 07:26:10 PM in B2B
When you love your business and what you do and rely on it for your livelihood, it’s easy to work around-the-clock. You can always think of hundred things you could be working on at any given moment in your business. Reply to some emails, update your social media, send out some invoices, write a new blog article, work on developing that new service, and so on.
The list never ends and it never will. It’s just the nature of the beast (or the beauty of it depending on how you look at it).
Plus, we learn early on to work hard.
I remember when I was an employee and my employers would praise people for working after hours and on weekends and who never used their vacation time.
As you get wiser, though, you begin to realize all the negative ramifications of working too much! Stress lines, hair loss, irritability, rapid aging, tension in relationships, and loss of fun and a real life…
In your business, when you work too much, too often you lose out on productivity, creativity and the passion you had for your business when you very first started.
It’s hard, though as a solopreneur to really separate yourself from work for too long. After all, no one else fills in for you while you sit on a beach for a week. However, there are many things you can do to keep your business humming along smoothly and still take a breather now and then, even before you hire an assistant to help you.
Here are a few ways to get started.
Prepare to delegate long before you think you’re ready
This is what I like to refer to as “role playing”.
Pretend you can hire anyone in the world to help you right this very minute.
And here they are… waiting to do whatever you tell them to do. Well, what would you have them do?
If you have no idea then it’s definitely time to pull out the old list and start writing down everything you do each and every day. Then start ear-marking the tasks that someone else could do for you; things that have no relation to your unique talent.
This is how you will begin to figure out what kind help you need first when you are ready to hire. In fact, you may find that you can easily contract someone to help you with a few of things now.
One of the first things I personally recommend, if you haven’t done this already, is setup a separate email such as firstname.lastname@example.org and a separate phone number (you can get one free on Google Voice). Then start using these as the main form of contact on your marketing materials to get your prospects and clients in the habit. Then, when you are ready to hire an assistant he/she can immediately take these over for you while you still have your own phone line and email account and will have a much smoother transition down the road.
It’s simple, free, and easy!
Streamline by getting online
This is what I like to refer to as “unchain yourself from the office”.
For example, setup Google Drive or Dropbox and begin saving and scanning regularly accessed files on your computer. That way when you go on vacation or even go down the road to meet a client, you have everything you need at your finger-tips. Both Google Drive and Dropbox give you cloud-based access to your computer files, so even though you saved the files on your computer you can login to your password protected account via website on any device.
This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to give yourself freedom from your office and file cabinet.
Say yes to success by saying no first
What do I mean?
Think about something you’ve said “no” to in the past.
Why did you say no? Chances are you said no with something bigger in mind. We don’t arbitrarily say “no” to people (unless of course you’re a control freak in which case that’ll have to be covered in a whole different article).
Seriously though, let’s look at this example.
Let’s pretend you say “no” to a client that isn’t ideal for you because they want you to come down on your rate, but you’re not willing to. Aren’t you actually saying “yes” to being paid what you know you’re worth?
So, by telling that non-ideal client “no” you’re actually saying “yes” to your success because now you have room for a client who will happily pay you what you know you’re worth and you’ll be happy to work with them while getting paid what you really want to get paid.
So, if you’re a “yes” kind of person who always say “yes” to everything…. then look for some areas where you can still say “yes” but by saying “no” first. Get my drift?
It’s all in how you look at the big picture.
You can read about what else I recommend you say “no” to here
Add an additional revenue stream that’s automated
This one makes you wonder why you didn’t think of it sooner.
This is when you work the same number of hours at the same rate, but makes more money per hour.
Yep. Start offering your services in a package that you can offer online.
Could you write a book, or record an audio or some kind of training program that could teach people a bit about your magic? Something they might be able to do themselves? I’ll bet you could.
And, when you do you can make it available for sale on your website. When someone purchases it, they receive it in digital format automatically and you receive their money automatically.
Seems like a win-win to me.
Obviously, this is going to be a product that will add value to people’s lives. This isn’t intended to be a get rich quick scheme – most people can smell that from miles away and I know you’re better than that anyway.
So, you get the idea here. It’s automatic. Once it’s setup, the process works automatically. You go about your business as usual and when a sale happens your per hour value goes up because you didn’t actually do any work for the transaction to take place.
So, that’s what I have for you today.
I hope these little tid-bits help put a little more freedom back into your personal life no matter how much LOVE you have for your business.
Don’t let your sneaky business take you hostage. You want this to be a long-lasting, mutually loving relationship.