I bet when you started your business, you wanted to serve people and make a difference in the world. I can certainly bet that it wasn’t for the money.
Undoubtedly, there are days where you feel super pumped and motivated, driven by a vision bigger than yourself.
And then, there are those days you don’t feel so hot…
You feel lost.
You feel like you are spinning your wheels.
You feel defeated and… maybe even lost your passion.
And now, you feel like you are a slave to the very thing you created.
You hit an income ceiling, feel burnt out and secretly don’t want more clients.
Table of Contents
1. Remember Why You Started Your Business
Think back to your original intention for the business and what motivated you to start your business.
You must have leaped into the entrepreneurial life for a reason.
You couldn’t have let go of the comfortable 9 to 5 lifestyle with a stable pay cheque just to end up feeling like a slave to your business.
So ask yourself, what did you envision you would create?
Also, if you don’t remember, it’s not too late to give your business a new purpose.
I know for myself, I took my leap in starting my business – not because I’m born an entrepreneur- but rather I felt it was my calling to help other purpose-driven entrepreneurs who want to create a positive impact in the world, but don’t understand marketing or how to implement systems to take their business to the next level.
I believe, when executed right, businesses can create dramatic impact in our world. I saw a vision bigger than myself that motivated me to become an entrepreneur. So I challenge you to recover your why! You’ll see a difference in the way you talk, walk and even smile.
2. Focus on What Lights You Up
We all have our brilliance, gift and talent and that makes us special in this world.
What motivates you to wake up in the morning?
What makes you feel the most fulfilled?
What do you like to spend your time on?
As a business strategist, I feel the most fulfilled when I connect with driven entrepreneurs on a deeper and meaningful way, while helping them progress in life and business. When I’m in my zone of genius, serving and interacting with entrepreneurs, I come alive and my work gives me the confidence to overcome any obstacle. When I’m hiding behind my computer, I feel the most disconnected.
It’s a matter of knowing yourself. By finding what lights you up in this world, you’re not only helping yourself, but also those you serve.
3. Create a More Efficient System
Now, you may think you’re a solopreneur wearing multiple hats and you don’t have a team or a system, but trust me you do. If you have suppliers, vendors, professional services or freelancers you work with, then you have a team.
If you have a contact form on your website and the emails you get from the contact from, then you have a system.
You just may not have a large team or an efficient system.
Rule of thumb for determining what to delegate vs what to do
Tim Ferris, productivity guru and author of The 4-Hour Workweek, shares in his podcast that he likes a basic understanding of the task involves and test drive the process first. Once he understands and builds a system, he can choose to delegate. He believes when you add people to an inefficient process, you make things worse. He performs tasks that produce the highest yield and ones can’t be replaced. For example, he finds that he is replaceable as an investor yet irreplaceable as a writer, so he stopped being an investor and devotes his time writing.
5 Steps in Creating Your System
Step 1: Collect data
Download RescueTime app on your Google Chrome to track where you spend your time when you’re on your computer .
Step 2: Review data
Allow RescueTime a few days to collect your usage. You can review your report or dashboard that shows you where you spend your time.
Once you’ve determined where you spend your time, you can start to know which systems you need to create.
As you can see from the graph above, as an entrepreneur, you probably spend the most time on communication and organization, like answering the phone, replying emails and scheduling, which explains why you feel spread thin.
Some questions to ask if you spend a lot of time on emails…
What is the nature of these emails?
Can you call the person to save you time from writing?
Can you eliminate the email altogether?
Can you forward it to someone else to get it off your plate?
Can you set up email templates based on emails you frequently send?
Some questions to ask if you spend a lot time on the phone…
What is the nature of these calls?
Can you eliminate the calls and redirect them on your FAQ page?
Can you have someone else pick up the call?
Can you create a pre-screening questionnaire?
Step 3: Map it out and design your system
Remember that the sequence matters, because your customer will have different feelings at different stages.
For example, they may feel guilty after buying from you. So what can you do to prevent a refund?
Step 4: Test drive, get feedback and improve your system
This part is the most time-consuming part and most people get overwhelmed by this, but have patience and know that your experiment is all for the name of science.
It’s easier to get feedback from friends and family, but the feedback you should care the most about is your audience.
When I tested variations of my system, most feedback were positive which gave me a false sense that I had a good system and I was so glad when I heard constructive feedback. In other words, keep on testing and push for constructive feedback.
Step 5: Decide who will perform the task
You may want to do everything yourself.
I am also guilty of this.
I was very good at hiding behind my computer working on my website and whatever task I can justify as being ‘working hard’.
But one thing I was always clear about is that I don’t have the eye of a designer, so I hired designers to help me with the visual components of my brand.
And my photos are taken by a friend and a professional.
I find that solopreneurs refuse to outsource or hire, because they want control, so let me say this bluntly…
STOP being a control freak!
I know it’s hard to trust someone else can perform the task as well as you.
I’m definitely not saying hire anyone, but you can develop a training manual for your system while looking for the right person to do these mundane tasks.
You need to define what your role in your business is.
Are you the entrepreneur creating a system and executing on the vision for your business?
Or are you a business owner working in your business?
Remember you run your business, not the other way around.