Yep I’ve got a confession to make, I think I am addicted to my business!
I am pretty positive I am not alone, whenever I’ve met with other business owners I see that same passion (insert addiction) I see in myself and can’t help but crack a smile. Funny thing is if you had asked me before I started my journey towards business freedom as to whether I would actually find working on, in and around my business as some form of enjoyment, I would have thought you where completely nuts. Yep punch the card, strap on the jacket I would have thought you were completely certifiable. I probably would have been that guy smiling politely while starting to back away slowly. But as that wonderful book by Michael Gerber called the E-Myth once wisely informed us, we’ve all unknowingly been bitten by the Entrepreneurial Bug, and for better or worse (as my wife would tell me) there is no absolute cure.
Now the problem is I don’t actually see this addition as healthy, like just about anything in life, excess of any one thing whether money, friends, jobs or time is never good. And just as it is in life the same adage ring true for business, if you spend too much time in, on or around the business its not healthy. I would even go so far as to say I think it is detrimental.
See the problem is when we spend so much time working in, on and around our business we tend to look at everything microscopically, and when you are constantly looking at this up close it becomes so easy to get bogged down in the nitty gritty, that we just end up putting out fires, even if we do manage to take time to work ‘on’ our business you still inevitably get caught up in the workings rather then the overall view, and lets face it there is a reason commanders in a war aren’t on the front lines.
So I thought I would put together a list of the best ways I’ve found to get myself out of the office and actually working ‘on’ my business rather then in it:
1. Accountability Buddy
I am a massive advocate for an Accountability Buddy, but like most things in life the key to it is finding the right one, don’t be afraid to call it quits if your personalities don’t work together. A great accountability buddy should be someone who really helps you get back on track and focus on what matters within your business. The great ones really keep you accountable, and likewise you’ll keep them accountable, just make sure you set aside time to physically leave the office and meet up with them at set intervals, meeting up at your office just means you’ll still be bothered with phone calls, people walking in, wanting more information etc. Great accountability buddies understand its a two way street, you’ll both need to give and take, and the best buddies leave nothing on the table. Be prepared to ask honest questions of yourself and your business, and be willing to share everything you know.
PRO TIP: To start with map out exactly how frequently you want to catch up, for me personally I’ve found every 30 days works well, but find a number the works for you both. When you’ve locked in a time frame enter them all into your calendar / diary for the entire year, do it straight away so you never miss one. Then when you meet up with your accountability buddy set up a 30 day action plan and list off two things that you must get done by the next meetup and share them with your buddy. I then call my accountability buddy every Friday at a fixed time for 10mins only (make the conversation as quick as possible) and ask them how they are going on each of the two item they have on there list, then they’ll ask you. I guarantee you are going to get stuff done because come every Friday you don’t want the other person to feel like your a dead weight.
2. Take a break (Go on a Holiday)
Ready to have your mind blown? Well as crazy as it sounds one of the most interesting things about trying to actually work on your business is, wait for it…you need to take a break from your business!
I know, I know stay with me Hank.
As I sit here enjoying a holiday house we booked out for a week in the Blue Mountains, you can’t help but feel so relaxed. You don’t have emails shooting in, phones ringing, or people chasing you for direction. You just have this peace and quiet and its in these moments that you seem to achieve clarity around your business as a whole rather then its parts. Honestly its completely refreshing. To get the most out of the experience be willing to relax, don’t sit there and try and force ideas. I’ll generally take a couple of business books I’ve been meaning to read, a notepad and pencil, and an iPad with a inbuilt keyboard (not connected to the net). I know it sounds too simple but it really works, and you’ll find you’ll be able to get heaps done on your business in a really short space of time when you have zero distractions.
PRO TIP: I can not stress this enough say it with me…Turn off your emails. If you are anything like me you’ve fully embraced the modern day comforts of technology that include being able to receive email on just about every device you own. My advice is disable them all while you are on holidays. No email will be so pressing that it needs your immediate attention, if it’s urgent they’ll call you. I’ve fallen pray to exactly this before, when I get an email from a client who was unhappy about an aspect of a job that was completely out of my hands. Two days into a 4 week holiday all I could do was dwell on it the ENTIRE time. Do yourself and more importantly your family a favour and switch off the emails.
3. Business Conference
I guess most people might screw their face up at the idea of attending a business conference but if you attend the right one there completely liberating. I’ll admit I’ve only experienced it being involved with two separate organisations, the first was a free event run by the KPI group, and the second was when I became apart of Business Blueprint and went along to their quarterly conferences. The feeling of being in the same room as 200-300 other entrepreneurs equally as keen and excited to be working on their business as you, is almost euphoric. Call it Woo-Woo, but there is honestly nothing I can do to describe it, its just one of those feelings you have to experience for yourself.
PRO TIP: Don’t ignore the elephant in the room and actually network with people, even if you aren’t an overly out going person look at trying to walk around the room and introduce yourself to people. Don’t do it in a spammy, selly kind of way, or walk up and hand someone your business card immediately, talk with them, introduce yourself and actually listen to them. Be you first and foremost be your business second.
4. Coffee Shop Working
Sometimes all we need to do is recharge the batteries, and this doesn’t have to mean something expensive or long winded, a change of scenery is all that needed to flex the ole business brain.
Get up 30 minutes early one morning take yourself and a notepad down to a coffee shop that looks inviting and just relax. Yep revolutionary I know! Its honestly this simple, you need this time, you aren’t in a small business of your own because you love working every moment of the day. It gives you some freedoms, embrace them. Set the time aside every week and do 30mins on your business away at a local coffee shop, you’ll be amazed at the results!
Schedule this in on your calendar every week (seriously go do it right now), its far too easy to say you’ll do it an never actually get around to it. And if you’ve read that previous sentence and skipped the word calendar, you’ve now found out what the first thing you’ll be doing when you go to the coffee shop this week is 🙂
Ahhh what is that word ex-er-cise…does not compute. Well it needs to start computing because its been proven that those individuals who exercise are more productive throughout the day. It doesn’t mean to you need to rush out and grab a gym membership or anything that serious to start with. How about just getting up 30mins early twice a week and go for a walk. For me and I am sure many others exercise is a great way to clear out my mind, because when I am doing exercise my mind is on my breathing, or how many push ups I’ve done, or something else less trivial, and this has a wonderful way of helping you clear out your mind.
Although exercise on this list is pretty easy to dismiss you’ll be amazed at how good you’ll feel, and how much more you’ll get done. Not only will you start to feel better and look better but your body will release endorphins which have the bonus effect of making you a happier person, so its really a win, win…win.
After reading that list hopefully you are now well on your way to becoming a business ninja. What other method have you found really effective at getting you to work ‘on’ your business, rather then in it, comment below and let me know!
P.S. how awesome was the E-Myth I still find myself telling new business owners to read that book.