I am 30 years old former model entrepreneur. I have been having my business for 1,5 now. I do everything myself and I work usually from 12 till 16 hours a day every day with no weekends.All my time I invest in my business and since I get more cliends I get more work. I tried to hire people but they don't do the job as well as I do myself and I loose the client. I tried to teach and motivate them but it seems like you gotta be likable and have a talent to be successful in it, so I decided to do stuff myself. For this 1.5 years of hard work I started to feel like I am exhautsed and turning into machine and no massages or gyms help me to get energy and inspirartion back. I started to make money but I feel apathy for pretty much everything. How do you guys keep your motivation high and stay focused? Mayve I just need to find the same minded partner and make business with someone who will motivate me?If so, if there is any web resurses where I can find someone brainy and business driven? Thank you so much in advance. Diana
One of the hardest things for a business owner can do is delegate to others. You can hire employees, but hiring subcontractors can be a better solution. It is a leap to give control away, I know, but it is necessary for your mental health. You cannot keep doing it all. I know from personal experience.
The smartest thing you can do is decide at what point it makes sense for someone else to do the work. Most people figure this out using a dollars per hour number, and it is far lower than you might think. Typically around $11-16/hr. And that number should probably be $20 or $30/hr. If it costs that much or less for someone else to do it, you get them to do it. I don't care that they will only do it 80% or 90% as well as you do; for your sanity you have to get them to do it--and get YOU used to getting them to do it.
Yes training will be a bit time-consuming in the short term, and you will have to probably go through a few people to get the right subcontractor you can trust, but it is worth it in the medium and long term.
Now as to other issues in your business. I primarily work with consultants who need to boost their Price, have more personal Power, and increase their Profit. These are all linked, and I bet you are charging too low a figure.
Think about fulfillment--customers don't come in one at a time in nicely paced intervals over the month, do they? No, they come in bunched together. All at once. Like baby birds in the nest with mouths open that need feeding RIGHT NOW; and so all your fulfillment has to be done at once.
I am going to give you two reports that will change your perspective and your results, if you apply the instructions inside.
The first is on Pricing:
The second is on Profit:
And listen to these podcasts explaining the ideas further:
All free to you.
With both Pricing and Profit working for you, you'll find Power. And by Power I mean walking into a meeting with a prospect and not giving a damn whether they choose to work with you or not--and YOU are in charge of that decision.
I could easily, and do, charge $1500 and up for the information I am giving you in these reports, plus the personalization for the client.
The net result of applying the information in these two reports will be to get the right kind of clients to pay you well...so you have plenty of profit left over to pay for subcontractors to do the tasks you shouldn't be doing...and have you taking on ONLY interesting, unique projects that will advance your reputation in the marketplace plus your personal skillset and knowledge. That will excite you, no?
Having a packed calendar and splitting your energy between too many clients is crazy. I have done it. You end up drained as you are now. It can be fixed. To do so, you will have to start talking to a different level of clientele, separate the time it takes you to do the work you do from the money you make to do it, and not give away what you know as free consulting.
That's a real change.
And so are the results.
Get back in charge of your business with this expensive course I have just given you.
I ran a consulting company for over three years. I ended up divesting myself of that business earlier this year. We were ranked as one of the 250 fastest growing companies in our sector by an industry analyst two years in a row (2012 and 2013). I was working hours even more extreme than you for the first year.
We did great work and grew very quickly so it was hard to keep up with the growth. We made mistakes and we alienated some customers as we grew. Yet, I knew early on that I would need to hire people to help me grow. I tried to document as much as I could about our systems, processes and procedures. That way I didn't have to spend as much time training replacements.
The trick is in finding good people to work for you. If you are hiring people and they make your life more difficult (clients are upset, etc...) then you need to change your hiring strategy.
Your company has a unique way of doing things. Judging from your description, it's a very stressful and high demand environment. If you are going to hire someone then you need to hire someone who is a good fit for that kind of environment. Try and find someone who has been an entrepreneur in the past and don't be afraid of making mistakes that alienate some customers. If you didn't make mistakes you wouldn't be human. Just try to ensure those mistakes don't put you out of business.
My advice is as follows:
* Take 10-20% of your day and document what your doing. Draw diagrams if you need to, but make sure you understand the work to be performed.
* Hire People based on their passion not their skills, and train them.
* Work hard to ensure you create a relaxed work environment for the people who work for you. It takes much more time and money to retrain new people than to retain people.
* Take responsibilities for the failures of your people, offer training not blame to keep them working hard.
* Plan to take a trip after new people are in place to do the work. Think about where you want to go and imagine yourself relaxing.
* See a doctor about the stress and apathy, this kind of stress takes a toll on a person, it might be necessary to get on something like blood pressure meds to keep you healthy.
I have found that working with a virtual assistant has allowed me to use my time on the talents that come naturally and easily to me as well as earn money. With a VA, I can hand over the tasks that she can do more efficiently than I can. I believe that delegation is a very powerful productivity tool and not a shortcoming. I have written this column to help people know when and how to delegate duties: http://tinyurl.com/mwqajtx
Take care of yourself!
Thanks for sharing your experience and situation. I always appreciate entrepreneurs who tell it as it is rather than constantly glamorizing the dreams. As a fellow entrepreneur who does everything, it is definitely exhausting to handle. Every problem, issue, and solution is under our control. That extra hour of work can be fully utilized to move things forward. There must not be any harm in working a few extra hours then? Right? Wrong!
If you're in this for the long term, you need to make this journey sustainable.
1) Understand and internalize the power of breaks: You need them every hour (e.g a walk), every day (e.g. meditate/exercise), and every few months (e.g. vacation). Although you may think you can work at 100% efficiency all the time, it degrades very quickly. Breaks are conscious activities that give your mind a break from everything.
2) Form a support network: Find peers and mentors that you can engage with on a regular basis. Share experiences and realize that you're not in this alone. Everyone is in a similar position and each has something to contribute.
3) Get inspired: You ask this in your original question but wanted to address points #1 and #2 regardless. It's important to rekindle your passion very often. Talk to your partners and customers in an intimate setting over coffee or dinner. Understand how you are addressing their needs and what your service is now enabling them to do that they couldn't prior.
I would be happy to share more insights and examples of each of the above points. Just remember, you are not alone and you can do it! Best of luck and feel free to reach out.
I've run a business myself for 10 years (which I started aged 20) so I know exactly how you feel.
It can be very hard to stay motivated, especially if you go through some hard times, or if you can't seem to get the right staff.
What I'm about to advice may sound strange, but actually taking time out of your business to do fun things and hang about with other people in your industry (or even other like minded business people) often spurs me on. You get to hear new ideas, as well as business tactics which you may have never thought about to really boost your business.
It sounds like you're working too hard. Sometimes you can be more productive by actually taking a step back and looking at removing the things which take up most of your time.
Start right now making a list of activities that you can delegate, even trivial things. Set aside time for yourself. You are in it for the long haul not the short term. Schedule "me time" every single day.
Don't stop taking massive action.
Best of Luck,
Michael T. Irvin
My books are available exclusively through Amazon Books. Check out my book "Copywriting Blackbook of Secrets"
Copywriting, Startups, Internet Entrepreneur, Online Marketing, Making Money