You start your business, you make enough money to support yourself, things are pretty awesome. Day after day you’re putting in ALL the hours possible into your business (because that’s what you did in the beginning, and it’s become the norm). But now it’s starting to feel different. You notice things aren’t evolving like they used to, you’re starting to feel like you physically (and maybe mentally) can’t keep up this pace for much longer, that nasty word “burn out” starts creeping into your vocabulary.
If you’re like me, it’s probably because your business trades time for money, and once you hit a certain level you run out of available hours to trade.
Once your realize this you might start freaking out. All of those BIG goals all of a sudden seem impossible. How are you going to afford that new house? How are you going to take that dream family vacation? How are you going to retire your husband? How are you going to spend a few months in Spain and then move back to the Pacific NW in the same year? (Okay, that last one is mine.)
How do we get past this plateau without sacrificing every single family get together or girls’ night out?
There are a few ways, but for the past year I’ve been focusing on this one:
Stop being such a control freak, tone down my “I can do it all by myself” attitude, and start asking for help (which is very hard to do when you’ve been this way your entire life).
There are also a lot of ways we can ask for help.
The one that works best for me is:
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL.
I say “hire a professional” instead of a more general “hire someone to help” because I need to trust the people that are helping me just as much (or more) than I trust myself. I need to really lean into them for support. I don’t want to be stressing out about whether or not they know what they are doing, or worrying about what kind of quality of work they are going to produce. I want professionals who are equally skilled and passionate about their work.
This doesn’t mean that the work they do has to be directly related to your business.
For example, hiring full-time childcare is probably the greatest contributor to growing my business this year. (She’s more than a professional, she’s pretty much my personal angel.) Having childcare has allowed me to work many more hours, which has brought in more money. I was then able to hire a housecleaner, which opened up more hours and brought in more money. And most recently, I’m joining forces with someone who is going to be helping me directly in my business so that I can finally make moves to grow my business. (It’s kinda crazy how it all accumulates.)
How can you apply this to your business?
What are some things you can hire out and let go of? You can start super small. Even if it’s just hiring a gardener for few hours each month, that’s still hours you didn’t have before. Use that time to work on your business, learn a new skill, or just rejuvenate yourself so you don’t burn out.
And here’s a short bio about my newest professional angel, Harrison:
Before joining La Sirena, Harrison spent nearly five years honing his design and traffic coordinating chops at comiXology, an Amazon company. Prior to that, he worked with several small businesses and assisted in launching one, doing everything from managing, ordering and inventory, training staff, sales, copywriting, SEO, fabrications and repairs, customer service… you get the idea. Harrison knows what it’s like to be a part of a small business, and this is where his passions lie. More Davids, less Goliaths. This is said with gusto.
Harrison’s heart is set aflame by: Sequential art. Typography. SNES-era RPGs. Pork in its myriad in-carne-tions. Puns. Hoppy, resinous IPAs. Wearing a denim jacket while listening to Thin Lizzy. Coniferous trees. Breakfast foods. Long, meandering bike rides. ‘The X-Files’ and ‘Twin Peaks.’