The Success Trap

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Do you ever feel like you’re too busy?

It may sound like a very good problem to have, but being too booked up with client work can reduce the time we have available for big picture planning.

Any successful growing business needs time for introspection. It’s important to be able to evaluate what’s going well, what’s not going well and how close you are to meeting any outstanding goals. Business owners who don’t make time for this kind of planning often find that their business drifts forward in a direction they wouldn’t have chosen.

This is perhaps a good time to revisit the concept of working in your business versus working on your business. On an every day basis most business owners spend 90% of their time working in their business. This generally covers all client work, meetings and appointments. This is really important work and generally where the majority of money is made. But that remaining 10%, the time they spend working on their business, is also vital.

Without time to work on your business you would quickly find that you lacked strategy, plans or goals. Your marketing would be likely to suffer, as would your client communications. You may even find that you lose track of the reason you started your business in the first place.

In order to avoid this success trap, it’s wise to ensure you make time to work on your business, even when it’s difficult.

You could do this by:

Scheduling a regular appointment with yourself

If you struggle to find the time to work on ongoing business planning, it might be a good idea to set a regular recurring appointment for yourself in your diary. A couple of hours once a fortnight could really help you to keep on track with your business goals without having too much of an impact on the rest of your workload. Choose a time that’s typically quieter than others (perhaps a Friday afternoon?) and commit to keeping the appointment.

Finding a mentor, coach or accountability partner

Some business owners find it much easier to  stick to big picture planning if they involve a third party. What kind of third party you choose to work with will depend on your personal preferences. Some business owners have excellent mentors they can turn to, while others get great results by pairing up with another business owner for a mutually beneficial partnership. If neither of these options are for you, a business coach could support you to stay on track with the work you need to do on your business.

Delegating some of the work you do in your business

Are you worried about how you’re going to find the time? Take a look at how you currently spend your working hours and think about which of the tasks you do really need you to do them. A lot of business owners spend hours every week working on financial, administration or marketing tasks that don’t necessarily need their expertise but take up valuable headspace regardless. Could some of these tasks be delegated to a virtual assistant, bookkeeper or freelancer?

Automating certain tasks

You may find that there are some tasks that you do that could actually be automated. This includes paying recurring invoices, responding to certain types of emails, sending out digital resources, and some kinds of social media posts. Looking at options for automating could free up as much as an hour or two every week.

When was the last time you set time aside to dedicate to working on your business? If you’ve been caught up in the success trap, now is the time to check in with your business plan and ensure things are still moving in the right direction. Not sure where to start? Setting some new goals for moving forwards could be a great jumping off point.

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