Bring Back that Lovin Feeling to Your Business
When I first started my business I was new to the business world and full of ambition. The biggest excitement of my life would be hearing the phone ring and speaking to clients or potential clients. It was like Christmas morning to me hearing that phone ring. I would wait for it and relish in it. Fast forwarding to many years later, and the phone is ringing off the hook. Not only do I find myself needing to adapt to the changes and fast paced life of owning a business, but I also have to force myself to revisit that feeling of excitement I had in my early years.
Now a days, when I can easily get caught up in the day to day grind of trying to manage the business and making it all work, I can forget how important it is to still appreciate those calls. I find myself thinking, ugh can the phone stop ringing for one hour, even one day! How can I manage all of this AND have some relaxation and peace of mind.
I was sitting in my office the other day needing a minute to myself, when my three phone lines were ringing and hundreds of emails in my inbox unread. I had to stop for a minute and try to bring back that old feeling of appreciation within all the chaos. This is a GOOD type of chaos, this means success and work. But it is so easy to forget these things after so many years.
So I started to really think about how I have managed growth and chaos, and techniques that I know I need to start using to manage it as well. I think it is important to share with others. I know I am not the only one who owns a small business, others may be just starting and some may have had their business for years. Either way, we are all in the same boat, trying to balance leadership and growth, and our own mental stability throughout it all.
The first and most important thing to do, and this is for anyone who works and balances a busy schedule, is to slow it down. It is great to multi-task and quickly run through your work, but that can also allow room for error and cause a lot of stress. Slowing things down, getting things done but taking them one step at a time. Getting through whatever work is pressing and urgent and then allowing time to get to the rest.
Don’t forget to take some time for yourself! Yes I am busy and there is always work I could be doing or need to be doing. But sometimes I just won’t do it as well as I would if I feel rested. So take a day or a half day every now and then. It cannot hurt once a month to have some “YOU” time. This always helps me clear my head and get a fresh look at things. When I do this and spend time with myself or my family I am reminded of my drive to be successful and provide for them. I can also see clearly when I take a moment to myself that yes I am stressed and busy, but I am also doing what I love and what I have always wanted to do. So no complaining!
Another great idea… have a party! When I realized how busy we were and how hard my staff and I were working, I realized that we should be celebrating our success together! I threw a party for my employees and their families and we celebrated all of our accomplishments together. It is so important to work hard and play hard, employees need to know they are appreciated, and so do I! Getting together outside of the work day and outside of the office and appreciating each other’s work is one of the best ways I connect with my employees.
And of course, when I am caught up in all the chaos and feeling very overwhelmed, I take a look and even print out my financials, and I can be proud of what I have done. There is no better motivator than seeing that your hard work does pay off. So actually let yourself SEE it.
And the last technique to all of this, is find resources and ways to make your life LESS chaotic. Maybe it is time to hire more staff. Brush up on your skills, I went back to school when I realized there were some things I could be better at, and having such knowledge would make my life a LOT easier. Revisit technology, make sure that this is working correctly and enabling you to get work done as opposed to stopping your daily flow of things. Technology is fantastic when it is working correctly, and if it’s not it can really effect work flow. And sometimes, just tell a client no! Obviously in a professional manner, but I always have to remind myself not to take on too much. If something cannot be done then don’t make promises to do it.
Business owners and employees alike can use the strategies to alleviate stress and chaos at work. But it is also important to welcome chaos! Chaos means growth, and growth means success.. And that’s why we’re all here right? Be happy with the busy day to day grind, because if the phones weren’t ringing there would be bigger problems to face.