Many small business owners struggle with doing everything themselves
Many small business owners struggle with having to do many different functions in their business. You may find yourself filling the roll of bookkeeper, IT technician, being the head of marketing and director of sales all at that same time. When you first start your business, doing everything may seem like an efficient way to get everything done, but at some point this will become overwhelming.
“I know what to do, but can’t seem to be able to get it all done”
It’s only a matter of time before you will find yourself unable to get certain tasks done. As small businesses coaches, we will ask our clients this: “If you were an employee of your small business, would you be getting a raise or getting fired?” Most will answer that they would likely get fired immediately. Some small business owners will leave administration work and prospecting goals on the back burner. On the list of things-to-do, those jobs may fall into the ”I’d rather not” or “I have better things to do with my time” categories. Do you find that you talk yourself out of doing those tasks, convincing yourself into taking an extra day off before doing them, or accepting the “I don’t feel like it” excuse? If so, you have begun to start what can develop into a debilitating pattern of destructive behaviors.
Why is this happening?
You’re not losing your mind and you’re not lazy. What is probably going on is that when you started your small business you were focused on learning as much as possible so you could generate income. The amount of motivation you had to succeed was powered by a real need for money and a desire to learn as much as you can to make that happen. After you get into a routine and have some income coming in, the stress of everyday business lowers and it’s easy to have a change in motivation. The desperation motivation is gone and now even the tasks you found easy to complete at the start may be more difficult to accomplish now.
Motivated by desperation
Although desperation motivation will work well for a period of time by kick starting your small business, once the business is working, it can begin to de-motivate you just as effectively. This starts an up & down cycle that we describe to our coaching clients as the business/sales roller-coaster. This roller-coaster ride in your business will leave you worn out and possibly sick to your stomach.
Change your motivation and move forward
Breaking the cycle of desperation motivation can be tricky, but here are the most powerful steps you can take to build your business:
- Find the price of staying where you are at: Look into the future and imagine the cost if you stay stuck where you are at. Take the time to feel it through and notice how it changes your thoughts. Use these emotions as motivation to produce what you want in your small business
- Change your focus: Where you focus is where you will end up – so instead of focusing on the negative downward cycle, start looking at where you want to go. Push past the temptation to focus on the reality you may be in (such as the lack of money, no new clients or heath and relationship issues). All of these can be deferred to a later date. The best thing you can do now is focus on making your small business thrive. Increased income usually eliminates most of the other problems.
- Set your objectives and track daily actions: Without an objective for your daily work focus, you can become distracted and may find yourself busy on things that are not going to produce the results you want. By tracking what you are doing, you can find out what those distractions are and take measures to stop them. One of the first exercises we will get our coaching clients to complete when it looks like they are on the roller-coaster is to track what they are doing every 15 minutes for a few days. If you try this you may be surprised at what you find out.
- Get an accountability team: We all tell ourselves mis-truths (the thoughts that keep us stuck in our thinking). That’s why an accountability team is critical to your success. They help you go through the changes in thinking that are required for your success. The resistance to the stories we tell ourselves helps to jar or shock the pattern of thinking we’re in.
- Review your results daily, weekly and monthly: Every plan to grow your small business will require continual review. Without review, you will find yourself completely off course and not achieving the results you want. When you review, you can find out what is working, or what may be holding you back and what changes need to be made.