Driving past the community pool where I spent summers learning to swim, the local library filled with YA books and the movie theater has filled me with a certain nostalgia for carefree summer days and homework free nights.
I’d venture to guess that many (most?) entrepreneurs started their own business with the idea that creating your own schedule and free time is a given. After all, if you want to sleep in, burn the midnight oil or take off every other Wednesday then you can, right?
The problem is that too often entrepreneurs have only succeeded in creating a job for themselves. One that requires your daily, sometimes hourly, attention, can’t be put on hold and never grants sick time, vacation pay or adequate rest.
As a result those long hours that we once enjoyed thanks to the thrill of something new is now a weight around our necks, dragging us down day after day.
No time is it more apparent that entrepreneurship ≄ freedom than in summer.
You might dream of late afternoons with your kids at the pool or a weekly movie matinee to escape the heat but all too often summer for entrepreneurs becomes all about those client deadlines before someone leaves on vacation, “catching up” if you haven’t hit 50% of your revenue goal this year and pushing yourself harder and harder.
There are plenty of coaches and gurus out there who will tell you to get into the flow, live authentically and rest your mind with meditation so I’m going to talk about the secret sauce that will actually shift your reality from one of overwhelm to peace:
Let me first give you 2 very real scenarios from past clients.
Client #1 says to me, many years ago, “I don’t need systems for time off, I need systems so I can accomplish more!” but relents when I mention that we don’t always get to decide our time off. Land in the hospital, need to visit a family member out of state or experience a big move and you might be out of your business for days or weeks at a time.
Years after this conversation the same client welcomes a second child and there are some complications. Imagine the relief when this client can focus on the family, medical appointments and getting the best care for all involved instead of worrying that a podcast goes live with the right intro or payroll is sent out. With these systems in place and running smoothly for years the client can shift focus to where it needs to be most.
Best of all? Neither the business nor family suffer as a result.
Client #2 is a hard working powerhouse, constantly creating, evolving and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. It’s inspiring and yet, there’s the tendency to border on burnout without some downtime. So this client books a vacation to a far and remote place with less than reliable internet. A 12 hour time difference from your team can be complicated and stressful – not ideal when you’re supposed to be relaxing.
But instead of worrying the client can put faith in the systems and the people who send out emails, collect income on payment plans and even promote affiliate offers during this time away. Not only do batteries get recharged but income continues to be generated and this client can step back into the daily business easily – without a list of 100 things “on fire” upon returning.
This reality of reliable systems + a dream team might seem like an impossibility right now.
I’m here to tell you it’s possible when you build those systems, one at a time, and empower your team.
Recently, I received an email from someone who heard me speak who asked how they could “fire themselves” from the business. While it’s not a quick process, it all begins with documenting how and why you do everything you do in your business and giving that resource as training to someone else.
Believe that there are very few things *only* you can do in your company.
If you’re ready to get started then this blog is a treasure mine of resources, ideas and action steps for building up your own systems. We also have a few spots available for private coaching left in 2017 if you want to get on the fast track to systems that give you the freedom to go on vacation, spend time with your family, pursue your hobbies or just take weekends off.