I sighed. I stare at the task on my to do list. Again. It wasn’t going away, and yet I couldn’t seem to get the project done. Every time I worked on it, I got frustrated. Things weren’t working out the way I envisioned. This just wasn’t my strong suit. Sigh. Push it out to next week. Again.
I love using Todoist.com for all my tasks, but it’s frustrating when Chris keeps bragging about all the “points” he earns for completing all my tasks and I have OVERDUE glaring at me. I click the handy-dandy button that delays the due date another week. I rhythmically tap my pen on my desk. Maybe it’s time to get help with this design project.
<Fast forward 2 weeks.>
A new email comes in and the friendly message reads: “Jen, I have the proofs for you. Let me know what you think!” I open the PDF and grin like a fool. It looks so GOOD! And I didn’t have to do it! We hired a graphic designer and WOW this guy knows what he is doing! I write back: “I love it! Approved! Send it to the printer.”
Jumping over to Todoist, I gleefully check off the huge project that had been weighing on my shoulders for months. I grin.
These are the huge benefits of hiring a team:
When I build a team in my company, it’s imperative that everyone knows their role and what they should work on. My favorite tool is www.todoist.com. I can use hashtags to keep projects organized. I can assign tasks to myself or a team member and then set the date for a deadline. Every day, I get an email reminding me of upcoming and overdue tasks. I can even earn points for completing my tasks! Todoist works on my Apple Watch, there’s an app on my phone, and it’s beautiful on my computer. It synchronizes automatically, so I can stay on top of tasks wherever I am. Best part? The basic version is FREE! The upgraded version is only $29 per year. Totally worth it! If you’re building a team or collaborating on projects, check it out.
I know you’re already a Rock Star business owner. But you don’t have to do this all alone.
Build a team--and gain your sanity back!
It's true. You are a busy business owner who needs a break. You need to step away from everything and re-focus, re-energize, and re-connect with your spouse and family.
If you feel like stepping away is absolutely impossible, we need to analyze WHY.
1. Do you have trustworthy staff in place?
Does your staff know exactly how to handle every scenario that comes up in your business? Do they have permission to act and solve those problems? Are they used to you stepping in and solving things? Or have you enabled them to solve problems just like you would?
2. Are you still doing all the work?
Depending on the size of your business, you may still be doing all the work or delivering the service/product. This is, of course, how every business begins. However, in order to grow, you have to start hiring staff and delegating so you CAN get away.
3. Are you constantly playing catch-up?
I talk to many business owners who just can't catch up. There are always emails and problems and projects that are unfinished. If stepping away from your company for a week breeds panic because you would fall even more behind, you need stronger systems in place. You are only one person. You need support, staff, and systems so you can see the big picture and stop putting out all the fires.
I am not trying to discourage you. No, I'm trying to shine the light on areas you can improve. I'm trying to allow you go to on vacation!
If you can paint a vision of what you want for the future, you can attain it.
If you can see it, you can chase it.
If you know where you are going, you will get there.
If you can imagine yourself packing up, leaving your company in good hands, and able to unplug for a week, then you can decide to do whatever it takes to get there.
It's all about staffing, training, and systems.
If you regularly get away from life and business, you can attest how powerful it is to get perspective and return to work more energized and refueled to take your business to the next level!
This week, our family is headed to Florida for some time in the sun and fun together. When I get back, I'd love to talk to you about joining my coaching program. If you're desperate for solid systems that allow you to go on vacation (multiple times every year), let's talk.
Dear busy business owner,
You deserve the highest level of support possible.
Hiring that new team member, hiring a house cleaner, or hiring a nanny is not a luxury. It's not something that other people can afford, but you can't. No, if you are building a succesful company, it's not a luxury--it's a necessity.
You didn't start your own company to work non-stop and never take a vacation! Imagine working for a boss that never gave you breaks and never allowed you to have time off. Ludicrious.
When you are your own boss, you need to be kind to yourself. And the only way to ease your burden is to hire the highest level of support around you. Imagine having amazing team members that understand your vision and who are invested in helping build your company. Wouldn't that be amazing?! You have to actually visualize that person and what it would feel like to have them on your team before you can hire them.
Now imagine if you were able to soley focus on income-generating activities. Could you do more marketing? Get new clients? If other team members were managing the day-to-day operations, would it free you up to bring new income into the business? Hiring the right team means their efforts, plus your freed up time will pay for their salary! Make a list of the tasks you could delegate or train someone to do. Make a list of things you wish you could do--but never get to becuase there's just not enough time. Keep the list very specific and on your desk. Now make a list of the qualities and personality traits of the people that you want to work for you. Be as detailed as possible!
This last summer, we moved into a new house. Before we fully decided to move, I wavered on the decision. Should we stay? Should we move? I wrote pros and cons lists and prayed (a lot) and finally Chris and I came to the unanimous decision that it was time to leave. I made a list of all the things I wanted in our new house. I had about 20 items listed. Then, I ruthlessly and relentlessly scoured the MLS, looking for homes. When I found one that I liked, I jumped in the car and drove by it. I attended open houses. I talked to realtors. I searched high and low for the right house. It seemed nothing was right for us. And then, out of the blue, a house became available. When I drove by it, I was stunned. It was exactly everything that was on our list! Down to the exact neighborhood! I jumped on the opportunity and within days, it was done. The house was ours.
Everyone around us (including our kids) exclaimed, "Woah--that happened FAST!" But they didn't see the agony and searching that had occurred for the previous 6 months. And the reason it could happen so fast is that I knew exactly what we were looking for.
You can't find what you're looking for if you don't KNOW what you are looking for! If you wander around aimlessly, you'll continue to waste time, waste energy, and probably end up lost. But if you STOP and define exactly what your goals are, make a list, and keep that list close, then when you find it, you'll know it's right!
If you know you need to hire more help to lighten your load, make a list today of exactly what you are looking for. If people have failed you in the past, use that experience to know what you do and don't want this next time. Please don't give up on people just because you've been burned. Decide to learn from the experience. Make your list. Get very specific. Then go hunting for that person! Don't stop looking until you find the exact fit.
When I look around our house, every day I am amazed that we live here. It's exactly right for our family. I'm so glad I had the faith to believe I would find what I was looking for. It was worth the journey!
Dear tired soul,
You really don't have to do everything. You don't have to stretch yourself so thin. You don't have to fill in all the white spaces until there's no margin at all.
You really don't have to say "yes" to everyone who needs you.
You don't have to shoulder everything on your own.
That project that is driving you crazy?! You don't have to do it. Nope. You can let someone help you. You can hire someone. You can delegate it.
I know you're strong. I do. I know you've done this before and it's easier and faster to just do it yourself. I get it.
I know you've been burned by hiring people and then they leave. They get a different job. They go a different direction. They have left you in a lurch. I get it. I really, really do.
I know it's scary and overwhelming, but you really can hire someone again. It's scary and vulnerable, but you can do it. In fact, you must.
You can't keep going like this.
I see you. You're so tired. You're so exhausted and depleted. And you just keep pushing through.
It's time to make a change. It's time to take a new road. You simply can't keep going like you are.
The stress will eat you alive. Your health will start to fail.
You can't live on caffeine and limited meals.
You are the author of this story. You are not a victim of circumstance. You can rise above. You can make a list of what you WANT and what you DON'T WANT and adjust accordingly. You can make a plan and execute it. You are STRONG. You are amazing. Look what you've done to get this far! You are a warrior and an overcomer. You can overcome this.
It's time to put your foot down. You don't need to keep going like this. It's time to make a change. It's YOUR time.
You've got this.
And if you need help, you just let us know.
Do you have a deep aching for something that's missing in your life? Maybe it's traveling or moving to a bigger house. Maybe you wish you could just jump in your car and drive and drive and never come back.
I get it.
There was a time in my life that I was so tempted to just leave everything behind and go start over somewhere.
If you feel frustrated and even angry, LISTEN to those emotions. Those are cues that things need to change. Use that deep determination to accomplish your goals. Do the next right thing. The next task. Put one foot in front of the other. Persevere. Don't give up.
No, there's not a magic pill to fix everything.
Goals are accomplished by just doing what you can, with what you have, where you are.
I know you know this, but we all need encouragement and a reminder sometimes.
Did you know? Teddy Roosevelt's men were in the middle of war when they requested more men! More ammunition! More supplies! He replied with the now-famous words, "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." I love that. We all have tools right in front of us. Opportunities. Skills and talents. Your big dreams are slightly disconnected to your next right step. You NEED the big goals, yes, but you need to know the next 3 tiny steps that you need to take on your journey. Look down. What's right in front of you? What can you do right now today? What are you procrastinating on? What are you avoiding? Go do it!!
Maybe you juggling everything on your own. Are you getting burned out from working all the time?
The only way you'll ever get to the next level is if you delegate, simplify, automate, or eliminate certain tasks. You simply can't continue on at this pace. You can't do it all alone. Reach out for help. (Yes, it takes time to get help for that project, or to hire that assistant or nanny. But it's WORTH IT.)
Use your deep aching and longing for change to create a determination that you WILL succeed. And you will. Use your frustration and anger to propel you forward! It's there for a reason! You are MADE to do the things you long for! Those desires are in there for a reason.
I believe in you! You can do this. One foot in front of the other.
Just one step at at time.
Hi, I'm Jen Hickle!