Freedom is one of the core values of most Americans. When founding father and passionate orator Patrick Henry proclaimed the words “Give me liberty or give me death” at the Virginia Convention in 1775 he created a sentiment that is as strong now as it was 240 years ago.
Most small business owners started their own company because they had passion around an idea they thought they could make money at and the gumption to pursue it. No doubt the concept of being their own boss and setting the pace for their own destiny played into the decision but, unfortunately, day to day pressures began to change their perspective. Instead of enjoying the freedom they hoped for, it has become a grind and they have by default become slaves to their own business.
When my daughter was 4 she used to try and push my wife’s patience. She would say something like “I don’t want to clean up after myself, You’re not the boss, I’m the boss!” My wife would gently respond “well actually in this house mommy is the boss. “Nooooo”, my daughter would say, “you’re not the boss, Daddy’s the boss!” My wife would respond, “Well, daddy has asked mommy to be be the boss so could you please clean up the mess you have made?” “Noooooo, Daddy’s not the boss, God’s the boss”. The conversation would continue until my daughter would finally decide to clean up rather than have a “talk with Dad” when he got home.
While this humorous memory still makes me chuckle, I wonder how many business owners really know who their boss is. Do you own your business or does your business own you? Are you the boss or has your business become your boss?
Here are 3 ways to reestablish your freedom as a business owner?
1. Rekindle your vision
Take some time away to consider why you established the business and what you wanted to accomplish. Dream about the future. Write down at least 3 goals that you can implement in the next 3 months that will bring you closer to your objectives. Repeat this process at least twice per year.
2. Assess how you spend your time
Make a list of what you do each day and how much time you spend on each activity. If you can’t think of everything, then make a log and track your time for a week. Once you have the list, go through it and put an S by the items that you believe are strategic to the business. Then, add things that you would like to be doing but don’t have time to do. Finally, go back and add a D to those items that could be delegated and write in who or how these tasks could be done differently. When I owned an operated a seasonal adventure business I made the difficult decision to be closed on Sunday’s. While this may have resulted in some short term loss of business it played a huge part in maintaining family harmony and keeping our team energized throughout the season..
3. Develop your Team
Start having fun again by focusing on the activities that you enjoy. To do this you will need to develop a team that can assist you in running the business. Take the list you just created and begin with one item and one individual and train them to do it perfectly. Then move to the next item, and so on and so forth. It may take more time to begin with but after a month or two you will be amazed at how much easier life at work will become.
Nobody wants to be a slave to their business. Over the next several weeks I will be addressing topics that will help you achieve the freedom that you desire in your business.
Schedule a free rapid assessment phone call here. I look forward to connecting with you soon!
Forward One Business Coaching
Dwight Grant is a seasoned businessman with over 30 years of leadership experience. He lives in CO where he enjoys whitewater rafting, mountain biking and spending time with family.