Updated: Apr 13
Running a business is hard work, anyone who tells you it isn't is lying. It's hard work mentally more than anything because you're constantly thinking of what needs to be done, what you didn't have time to do, or thinking of ideas and how you're going to execute them.
Even if, like me, you restrict your working hours so that it doesn't affect family life, it doesn't make it any easier, unless, of course, you implement strategies which mean you don't have to think about these things.
You might be thinking that's not possible, and if you are, that's because you're currently standing in your own way. You're the person who gets stressed because you don't have the time to do this or do that, to start this project or finish that one. Sound like you? It's time to rewire your brain.
REWIRE YOUR BRAIN
So what do I mean by rewiring your brain? I obviously don't mean it in the literal sense, instead, it's about looking at things differently. Let's say, for example, you're a videographer, but you're so busy, you find yourself slacking when it comes to editing your videos. This can have a huge knock-on effect on your business. Perhaps you don't get paid until the final cut is approved? Clients might be chasing you up, adding to your anxiety. Even worse, unhappy clients leave unhappy reviews and you can forget about word-of-mouth referrals.
You already know that you are struggling to divide yourself into multiple roles. You know you can't be the person who is filming videos, editing videos, chasing invoices, sorting admin, and working on the business. The biggest problem you have at that moment is that you are struggling to edit your videos. Because that's the biggest problem you have, your brain automatically starts to think about how you can solve this problem, but that isn't the problem you should be trying to solve.
The only person who is going to do an amazing job of editing those videos is you. The only person who is going to enjoy doing it is you. The only person who is going to want to do it with a passion is you. Therefore, it's not about finding someone else to edit your videos for you, it's about freeing up your time to allow you to do it yourself.
Instead of viewing the biggest problem, you have as the disease, you need to rewire your brain and see it instead, as the symptom. Whatever is causing this symptom to become a bigger problem, is the disease. In this case, it's the peripheral work in the background. It's the admin, the invoicing, the mundane must-do jobs that everyone is telling you that you need to do, in order to build a successful business.
By trying to do all of those things, you're neglecting the one thing you really love doing, the one thing you set out to do when you started your business. Therefore, it's about figuring out what is causing you to lose so much time, you're not able to edit those videos. That's the stuff you need help with.
Letting Go of Your Ego
Now that you've figured out that actually, if you just let someone else write your blog posts, chase your invoices (God forbid they see what's really in your bank account), or respond to your emails, it will free up your time to spend on the one thing you really need to be working on, it's about letting go of your ego.
It's not uncommon for business owners to stubbornly hold on to the menial tasks because they feel that anyone else wouldn't know how to pitch their emails or find the same tone as them. Some business owners feel it's necessary to keep things personal, and therefore don't want to have someone else answering their emails in their own name, and if they pretended to be you, it wouldn't sound the same, therefore, they keep sticking at it without ever asking themselves, why does it have to be so personal? Why can't you admit to having an assistant who can just as easily have a personable approach, in their own style?
Naturally, especially when things aren't going well, business owners are reluctant to allow people into their invoicing systems, they don't want to pull the curtain back on the fact they only have £100 in the bank. Let me break this to you gently, nobody cares. Somebody taking care of your invoicing is only concerned that they are doing a good job, and will get paid at the end of it.
Ultimately, it all comes down to letting go of control. Do you really think Sir Richard Branson opens his own emails or takes care of his own accounts? Of course not, in fact, Richard Branson himself had his own assistant, Penny Pike, and she saw with her own eyes how Sir Richard achieved so many amazing things because he delegated so much of his work.
I know, it can all feel confusing, so ask yourself these fundamental questions:
What's your biggest pain point right now?
Why is this a pain point? Is it really the problem, or is something else causing it to be the problem?
Do you want to be a sole trader or sole freelancer? If so, don't bother reading on.
Do you want to grow a successful business? If the answer is yes, how do you propose to do everything yourself?
If you know you need help, what are the fears that are holding you back? Write them down and then answer each one or better still, pop an email to me with your fears, and I'll give you the answer to each one for free. (email@example.com)
Be honest with yourself, are the things you're holding on to and the processes you have in place important or set in stone? Can they be changed to allow someone else in to support you?
After all this, you need to look back at your business and be honest with yourself, and stop blaming external factors. The reason you're in this mess, the reason you're stressed, is because of you and your actions. Stop meditating and thinking it will get better.
You need to take actionable steps toward releasing your stress and you can only achieve that by looking at the points above. Remember, without time you can't scale. You can only grow, by letting go.