As a small business owner, you’re a member of a pretty rare species. Your professional services firm – whether it offers consulting services, legal representation, or dental treatments to its clients – represents your higher-than-average level of internal motivation to make a difference for others.
However, this same internal drive can often be fatal for entrepreneurs: instead of finding prudent ways to set boundaries between their budding business and their personal life, many business owners try to meet challenges with brute strength until they’re so burnt out that both their professional and personal lives start heading downhill. Believe it or not, there are more effective ways of handling your business! Consider the following strategies:
(1) Ruthless Time Management and Personal Organization
Even the CEOs of multibillion dollar organizations with thousands of employees are often surprised when they realize how much of their work schedule is spent on useless tasks and activities. Conduct an exhaustive and honest audit of your typical month and find out which meetings and habits you can eliminate and which ones you need to emphasize or introduce. Find out how efficient you really are and then do everything it takes to boost that number – the key to successfully running a business has less to do with the number of hours and more to do with how thoroughly you milk every minute you schedule for yourself.
(2) Overhaul Your Hiring and Task Delegation Efforts
If you find yourself taking on more and more tasks and responsibility for your business operations without a significantly high level of corresponding business growth, it can only mean one thing: you’re not doing well in your leadership or management capacity. Juggling a number of roles is not a sign of entrepreneurialism – it’s a sign of inefficiency and wasted time. Not to make any hard guarantees, but there is probably a project manager or marketing expert or accountant out there who can handle aspects of your business just as well as you can. Hire talented people and then trust them to do the very tasks they’re supposed to be qualified to do! Believe it or not, this will actually be better for your business’s bottom line and your efforts to expand than many entrepreneurs realize.
(3) Upgrade the Quality of Your Personal Life Too
Just as you need to focus on making every minute of your work schedule more productive and efficient, you also need to focus on the quality of your free time. When you have time to spend with your family and friends, really focus on those people. If you find that you’re unable to do this without thinking about problems at work, it may mean that you’re still not doing a good job of managing your work time and business partners or employees. The interesting truth is, when the quality of your personal time goes up, you’ll actually go back to your work more refreshed and ready to work than before. For a lack of better words, you need to work hard and party harder if you want to deal with the pressures and opportunities of business ownership more effectively.
Olivia Lin writes for Lifetime Smiles Dentistry, an Austin dental practice. Olivia enjoys keeping a strong work/life balance.