The key to success is to work hard, we’re told. But they’re only telling us half the story. The often quoted saying should be amended to “the key to success is to work hard for a while and then enjoy the results.”
If you set sail on the dream of providing for your family through small business ownership and all you packed was the ability to work hard and keep working hard, you may be sailing towards frustrating and stormy waters. And I say that because I don’t believe the saying, “hard work is its own reward” should apply to what we do. A suitable reward for what we do is a decent amount of time enjoying the fruits of our labour with our family in a home very much like the one we always wanted. Put simply, you can’t feed your family with compliments about how long you can “stick with it”, how much toil you can endure, how much of your weekends you are willing to sacrifice on a regular basis.
Your family has everything and nothing to do with your business
We talk about the idea of owning a “Cashed Up Business” quite a lot. But to be crystal clear, we’re not talking about trading the life you should be living for cold hard cash. Your family time should never form any part of a business transaction or requirement. That’s yours, it’s sacrosanct and precious.
But sadly, it’s becoming easier is to get caught up in various versions of “work hard, play hard” and “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”. After all, there are few better feelings than knowing you are working tirelessly for your family and providing them a good life. Too often though, it comes at the heavy, heavy price of togetherness and a balanced lifestyle.
This may sound extreme and even out of reach for those already living within a cycle of long hours during the week, weekend admin tasks and very little sleep. But what’s the alternative? There has to be one because “no one ever laid on their deathbed wishing they had spent more time at the office.” No one!
Challenge yourself to chop your working hours in half
And here’s a bold and confronting challenge that I also like because attempting it will force a change of thinking. Cut your work time by 50%. What? Not possible? Take a long hard look at your work week as it currently stands. While you’re visualising that, please seriously consider the following questions and answer them honestly:
- Are you busy doing tasks you could pay someone else to do at a fraction of what your time is worth?
- What percentage of your time are you spending working in your business as opposed to “on” it? I know this gets thrown at you a lot but I’m asking you to think about the actual percentage split. 60/40? 70/30 in favour of operational tasks?
- Are you able to fully “switch off” from work when you’re back spending time with your family?
- Do you have documented processes and procedures? This enable your people to take over operations with no drop off in customer/client service should you decide to take off with the family for a few weeks.
Running a truly “Cashed Up Business” according to the definition that we are comfortable with is all about enhancing the lifestyle you currently have and bringing the dream closer to reality. This can happen for you and we would love to talk with you about the “how”.