What My Divorce Taught Me About My Business Part 5

This is the 5th and final article of my 5 part series What My Divorce Has Taught Me About Business. If you missed any of the prior articles be sure to check them out as they have some valuable life and business lessons. In the previous four articles I discussed why you should never be silent about what you want, the importance of letting go, how difficult times will reveal the true you, and how your priorities will and should change over time.

In each of the articles in this series, I start by asking you the same question. Are you truly happy (or content) with your life and business right now? Like honestly happy, would not change a thing happy?

Going into this last lesson I really want you to think about your business now and is it what you want?

Lesson #5 – Your business is YOUR business!

My business is MY business and I must always make decisions on what’s best for me. The thing to remember about making decisions is that if you don’t do the decision making then by default others are deciding for you. Here’s an example of what I mean, let’s say you started your business and never really set office hours. Or maybe you did but you never adhered to that schedule and you started working at various times during the day and stopped whenever your work was done (which let’s admit, there’s always work to do). Over time you find yourself working day after day (including weekends) for clients, you start and end your day at different times, and you start to feel worn out and overwhelmed. After a while you grow resentful of those clients and you start to think they shouldn’t expect you to work at night or on weekends, etc. Maybe you feel like they don’t respect you or your time. Many negative feelings may come up.

Let me ask you a couple questions:

  1. First, did you ever tell them what hours you work or what your turnaround time is?
  2. Then the first time they didn’t go by that boundary did you politely enforce it?

This is why I say your business is YOUR business. You must make the decisions but when you choose not to communicate or enforce those decisions you have by default decided to let your clients be the decision maker and there is no one to blame but yourself. I mention this because I took a backseat in my business and by default was letting my clients make business decisions for me, and that had to change.

“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” ~Thomas Sowell

I’m not going to sugar coat it . . . going through a difficult time is hard enough on it’s own but when you add running your own business to that equation you can feel a bit crazy at times. This feeling will pass and learning about yourself during this time is invaluable. Once I realized that I was letting others decide how my business operated I knew I had to do something about it.

Here’s just a bit of what I decided to change:

  • Dropped a client that really wasn’t ideal for my business.   It was very hard to do because of the amount of money I brought in from working with them.
  • Started reinforcing my meeting schedule.  I had a set schedule and format for all of my meetings but it wasn’t being utilized and enforced.  I was working longer hours and more stressed out because my planned and unplanned meetings were off schedule and running long.
  • I got realistic about what I could get accomplished in my business and in my personal life and I learned to say “no” more often. Saying “no” is crucial for any business owner but it’s easy to lose sight of that.

And you know what? Making these changes wasn’t so bad. I ended up with a new client and extra time to work on my business that I hadn’t had time for previously. I was also getting more work completed because I was focused and spending less time in meetings. I was also completing major projects in my business and moving towards my goals because I was saying no and being realistic about how much I could actually do.

Are you making decisions for your business? Or maybe you know you need some changes but you aren’t clear on what they are. Feel free to reach out and let me know what you need help with, click here to contact me!

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