Your initial reaction may be “of course I’m running my business, it’s all I do!” In which case I would argue that you actually fall in the latter category.
As business owners and managers, work is often intimately connected to all areas of life. You dedicate your time, thought, finances, passion and emotional energy to pushing toward a healthy and successful business.
How to know if your business is running you.
What I mean by “your business running you” is a point where you as manager/owner feel like in order for your business to be successful, you must compromise boundaries or give more of yourself to its operations than you want to give. From this place, the business has control over you rather than the other way around.
If you are consistently overwhelmed, bombarded by a growing and endless to-do list, unsure of the current state of finances or operations, working too hard with little direction, putting out fires rather than executing strategy, and perpetually functioning out of scarcity… then your business has got the reigns over your life.
If I had to guess, this is causing some other problems for you too. Your relationships with friends and family may not look the way you’d hoped. Your free time may be spent just trying to get enough life back in you to face another week, rather than doing things you really enjoy or want to do. You’re spending more time working in and on your business than enjoying the life that you hoped it would afford you.
There’s a tension here. The business leader does have responsibility for continuing to move the business forward, but without healthy control over the business it won’t end up offering its leadership the opportunity to thrive instead of just survive.
So, what do you do if your business is running you?
The first step is to get a good plan in place. This may take some time and a little extra work on the front end. It may feel counterintuitive to add more to your plate that isn’t required to keep the day to day going. I’ve been there and I feel you. Part of the planning process may be to say that you are going to put some work in this month that allows you to set aside time for planning well the next month. It’s okay if this can’t happen tomorrow. Change doesn’t happen overnight.
Planning allows you to tell your time where it’s going to go rather than spur of the moment demands telling you where to go.
Additionally, get an outside perspective. If you are being run over by your work, then you likely don’t have the objectivity to see outside of what you already know. Inviting an outside party in can help you learn new strategies, identify blind spots, get perspective and find freedom.
From a Biblical perspective, consider how God has created us as people. We are not self-sufficient, nor are we intended to do anything on our own. God created different people with varying talents, perspectives and abilities to strengthen each other and function together as one body. We were designed to need another’s input into our endeavors.
At Crossroads, we are passionate about playing this role in businesses. It is energizing to help fellow business owners find freedom and experience a fulfilling work and life. If you’d like an outside perspective and help to develop a practical plan for your business, we’d love to help. Set up your first appointment free at https://crossroadcoach.com/contact/.