After eating my body weight in potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie over the past few days, I started thinking about what I’ve been doing with my time and how my business has evolved over the past year.
I’ve experimented with finding a balance between offering 1:1 custom coaching and group coaching programs.
I’ve tried to find a rhythm with delegating tasks and optimizing parts of my business to work in a more fluid and automated way.
And most importantly, I’ve had dozens of conversations with service business owners over the past year and there’s a dangerous theme that keeps coming up.
See if this sounds familiar…
You’re good at what you do and you give a lot of time and energy to your clients. In fact, you care so deeply about your clients that you can easily slip into “over-giving mode.” An extra support call here, honoring another request to modify a payment plan, there.
And the next thing you know, you’re spending a ton of time and energy accommodating everyone and you start to feel the slightest bit of animosity towards your beloved clients and your business.
If this sounds familiar then you’ve likely slipped into what I call “over-giving mode.” And “over-giving mode” is a very dangerous place, especially for us people pleasers who want to do more good and serve, serve, serve – sometimes at the cost of our own sanity, health, and family.
We can get so focused on serving others that we become a bit numb to our own desires and maybe even disconnected to the reason we started our business in the first place.
And when the day comes that we realize we can no longer keep offering our high-value work in the way that we want to offer it, something sad can start to happen.
We start to lose our mojo. And if you’re a little impatient like me, you might start experimenting with your business in new ways. Some of them might work. Some of them will flop. And some of them will help define the path forward.
But the unintended consequence of experimenting with new ideas is that it can feel like you’re starting over. And that’s a lot of what the past year has felt like for me. It’s been both good and bad, glorious and not-so-much.
And that’s part of the raw beauty of being an entrepreneur. Lots of ups and lots of downs. While never losing sight of the bigger vision and being open and determined about how you’ll get there.
Time: The Most Precious Resource We Have
In my conversations with dozens of business builders over the last year – both those who have ‘made it’ and currently run successful businesses as well as those just getting started – many are gambling with their most precious resource, their time.
Many choose to spend their time locked in their business. They tell me how they are doing it for their kids, for their family, or to have more money.
Yet, they’re not playing smart. They are playing by someone else’s rules but not their own.
If you’re spending a lot more time away from your loved ones because you think that’s the only way to grow your business or provide for them – I’m going to urge you to reconsider.
When the unexpected happens, what will you tell yourself? Will you still believe your current story? Will it still have made sense to neglect the time you could have had with your family? Will the “hustle at any cost” attitude justify your choices? Or will you regret the time you spent away from your loved ones?
I’m not suggesting that you don’t need to work hard. Hard work and a commitment of time and energy are requirements, especially at the earlier stages of building a business.
But I firmly believe that designing your future business NOW is far better than waiting for someday and for the perfect future to arrive.
Start doing NOW what you ultimately want to do later.
Have you ever heard someone approaching their final days say “I wish I had more money in my bank account?” Isn’t it more common to hear “I wish I had spent more time with my family and loved ones?”, “I wish I had loved and treasured my spouse or kids more?”, or “I wish I could have had more meaningful moments with my family or friends.”
Why wish? Why put things off?
Building a sustainable, profitable and scalable business isn’t about following “proven systems” so much as it’s about getting complete clarity on what your ideal lifestyle looks like and then designing your business around it.
It is possible to have an incredible impact on your clients, industry and community and still have a full life.
Here’s what it really comes down to: If you’re completely honest with yourself and you recognize that you’re playing by someone else’s rules…that you’re delaying what you want by telling yourself the lie that you’ll have more time when you make more money, have more clients, or when you’re more well known, then I hereby give you permission to realize that YOU ARE MAKING A CHOICE.
You are at cause in your life and you get to choose how you use your time, what you do with it, and what impact you want to make.
What value do you want to create? Who do you really want to serve? How do you want to show up in your business? There are many things we can’t control in life. But in business, there are many things we can. It’s your choice. You make the rules.
You have a choice. You can keep going down the same path or you can change. If this message resonates with you, you can invest 60-minutes of your time to explore another way.