Last week at around 11am on Tuesday morning I found myself standing on Hyams Beach, piccolo in hand, with not an unread email in sight. At that exact moment I realised that I’d cracked it – the elusive three-day work week. It only took me six years of working my butt off to get here. Say what? Six years!
If you’d had told me that six years ago I would have slapped you down and told you that I’d scale this thing quicker than you could say ‘unlimited global roaming’.
I set out just like you – big dreams, global ambition, and an absolute certainty that I’d be travelling the world laptop in hand running my self-made empire while sitting beachside, sipping on an oversized margarita. The reality though, was that while said laptop certainly featured, it was mostly in my living room, and usually until 10 pm most nights of the week, and let’s be honest here, most weekends too.
So, this year flipped things up and I made a promise to myself that went a little something like this; “You will work to live, not live to work. Otherwise, I will fire your ass from your own company.” Here’s what I changed, how it changed me, and how I hope it can help you.
1. I Quit Glorifying Hustle
I’m going to be the first to put my hand up here and say guilty as charged. Flick through my social media channels and they read like a tribute show to the almighty Hustle God’s. You’ll find quotes, manifestos, and every other type of hustle paraphernalia you could imagine. Now, don’t get me wrong, building a business takes work, and a lot of it, but if you’re always focusing on the hustle that’s the only thing you’re going to get, more hustle. So try replacing the almighty ‘H’ word with its more contemporary counterparts ‘ease’, ‘flow’, and ‘spaciousness’. Wow, that feels better already.
2. I Hired Like My Life Depends On It
Because let’s face it, it did. A wise person once told me that you can only ever be moving towards your goal, or away from it, but you’re never in the middle. So unless your goal is to be working in your business solo forever (in which case you wouldn’t be reading this blog), you pretty much need to be hiring right now. Where to start? Start with the things you hate doing. Truth is that you probably not any good at them anyway. Bookkeeper, Account Manager, Admin Superstar, these should give you a few hints on where to begin.
3. I Called In The Experts
Okay, time for a truth bomb. Neither you nor I are an Accountant, Bookkeeper, Sales Rep, Marketing Guru, or Inventory Manager (and if by chance you are one of these, you are certainly not all of them). This means that if you’re still doing your own books, or trying to design/develop/produce, while still managing clients, you’re probably well out of your skill set. Seriously, it’s time to pull in the big guns. These people are crucial to the growth of our businesses and they have serious super skills. Accountants actually spent 4-6 years minimum learning how to make the finances in your business work. Pulling these guys in will not only feel like the weight of the world had instantly been lifted off your shoulders, but they’re damn good at what they do, and your business will grow exponentially as a result of having them onboard.
4. I Committed to Playing To My Strengths
Without getting all Tony Robbins on your ass, I can pretty much guarantee that you have 1-3 super-skills, max. So here’s the secret to mastering the entrepreneurial game (I’m talking Steve Jobs, Richard Branson style). You need to know your strengths and put yourself in a position to use them every single day. Forget pretty much everything else (or even better, find the best in the game to do it for you). This is a serious hack that separates the good from the great in the entrepreneurial world.
5. I Set Up The Systems That Would Set Me Free
Scientists say that we have about 70,000 thoughts per day, and that 95-99% of them are the same. For folks like you and me that means that we have the same thoughts about our business around 69,797 times (the remaining few are saved for where our next coffee is coming from). So if you’re finding yourself doing the same thing over and over again, I promise you that it can be systemised. Free up the brain space, honestly. It might feel like a step backwards, but it will project you 100km’s forward. Better yet, it’ll ensure that you’re bringing your A-game to your client experience every single time. So ask yourself, if you stepped out of your business for a month long soirée in Bali and I stepped in, would your systems support your business? If not, get busy.
So as a self professed ‘Hustle Hero’ and a dedicated devotee of burning the candle at all the ends, I by no means claim to have this all dialled in, just yet. But I’m willing to try and I hope that you are too because, let’s face it, those white sandy beaches just look better with more margaritas in hand.