Just about every day I talk to other business owners and they share the up’s and downs of ownership. We talk about recruiting, hiring, training and retaining staff and how there is a list of things that they want to do, dream of getting to one day, or simplydon’t believe they have the time to do. It seems like an endless treadmill that can lead to exhaustion, resentment and frustration. I have experienced this phase of ownership and it can be so challenging! Along the way I have learned some tools that got me on the path to more freedom within my businesses, so I’m sharing these tools because they really worked for me.
- First up, do a brain dump or thought download at least once a week. Get all the information, ideas, plans and follow up out of your head and down on paper. Holding on to multiple priorities all in your mind all day long creates stress and anxiety. By writing it all down as a regular process, you can then read through and organize the thoughts. Once you’ve written it all out, sort and group similar items, decide what is urgent and what can wait, then book the plans in your calendar and delegate items that you don’t need to do.
- Next, take a look at your employee onboarding and training. Do new hires get detailed information on the business, the job, and the culture and values? Schedule and plan for training staff for their roles. Think of your training as an investment in your business future. It’s not enough to know this, you must schedule time to teach your team exactly what is expected, exactly where resources are located, exactly what deadlines are set. Avoid frustration and time consuming mistakes by investing considerable time in new staff.
- Anticipate absences, time off requests, and times when staff plan on leaving the company. Instead of going into a tailspin of anxiety when someone asks for time off or submit their resignation, have a plan worked out in advance. Who will cover for whom? Who will help train new staff? Who might be able to provide short term coverage? Don’t take on all the vacancies on your own! If you don’t want to sub a group of classes or add office hours to your weekly schedule, create a plan, hire substitutes on retainer, cross train team members or be prepared to make major shifts should someone need time off or leave the company.
- Schedule your own office hours and stick to them. Choose your hours and commit to stopping on time, spending longer hours on a consistent basis isn’t going to earn you a bonus badge of honor. Likewise, schedule your “off” days where someone else is in charge or on call. You may never feel that you can rest if you are the only one on call. I take Thursdays as my day off each week and I guard it heavily! No meetings, no calls, no Canva, no emails, no chat messages, no dropping by to check on things. It is truly my day to be free and I look forward to it.
- Stop glorifying the grind, the hustle, the pain! Don’t give in to the temptation to join the crowd of business owners that accept only one lifestyle as the norm. Being underpaid, overworked, run down and exhausted isn’t the only way. As the business owner, it’s our job to care for ourselves because no one else has this responsibility. We do it for ourselves and we do it to model realistic expectations for our families and staff.
There are times in every business owner’s life when we fall back into bad habits or“the grind” no matter how successful we are, so remember that - just because you struggle in some areas, it doesn’t mean you are not a success. How many times have you been complimented on something you’ve done, only to criticize yourself? Take it easy on yourself - celebrate the small victories and keep working. I heard a great quote on a Podcast - “Success is facing failure after failure without losing enthusiasm.” It is through trial and error that we learn and grow, so fail fast and grow strong my friends. - Ginger
Ginger Haithcox is a born leader. She graduated with high honors from Douglass College, Rutgers University with a BA in Religion, and a minor in Cultural Anthropology and completed an array of dance, performance, and production courses at Raritan Valley Community College.
Ginger is a consummate professional, collaborative team player, and creative colleague that consistently delivers programs and products of excellence. In addition to the above, she’s the principal owner of Haithcox Business Solutions, which offers mentoring and support services for aspiring entrepreneurs.