I don’t mean you.
You definitely don’t need to be boring (unless you want to be…)
I also don’t mean your services are meant to be boring (let’s face it, nobody would sign up to work with us if we were boring)
I’m referring to the behind-the-scenes of your business. That should be boring.
Nobody should be putting out fires in your business on a regular basis unless you lead the local fire station (by all means, please respond to the emergencies…)
If you or anyone working with you is labelled the hero, the saviour, the fixer, that means you have fires which also means you have a problem.
Employees or team members should not be working themselves like crazy, responding to last-minute things constantly and have nothing but problems or short deadlines to work with.
A client wondered why VAs kept quitting (being on her 4th VA in less than 6 months). She just couldn’t manage to keep them for longer than a couple of months. When looking at it from my perspective and asking the necessary questions, it turned out that no work was truly planned, ever.
She sent emails always last-minute with things to be done by the next day, preferably early morning and without the proper systems set up, it was always a scramble to get the necessary information together to get the job done.
The VAs felt frantic, constantly hounded and stressed out. They could not plan their work and frequently had to deliver work that was not on par with the quality of work they wanted to deliver.
We fixed how she planned and organised her work & put a system in place on how information was shared. We also worked on getting a proper communication and project tracking process implemented which meant there weren’t 50 emails going back and forth at any given time, losing precious information.
It wasn’t an immediate fix and it took some time for my client to get used to it, needed tweaking as we went along but in the end, it worked.
You really want to have a boring business where nobody is the hero and putting out fires because everything is balanced. Trust me!
If your business is the opposite, it’s time to take stock. You need to punch the big red button and stop for a second. Examine what is going on underneath it all that all these fires are constantly requiring you or someone else to put on the cape.
You’re on the highway to burnout at a hundred miles an hour in a rickety, little bus holding on for dear life.
Slowing everything down, looking at what the problem is and fixing what is really going on is the way forward. That may take a bit of time and a bit of digging but doing this, pays off big time.
People who have relaxed minds get more done, especially when they know what they’re expected to do.
Why? Because their brains are not in overdrive and have the capacity to focus instead of thinking about all the urgent matters jumping up and down around them screaming for their attention.
How do people leave a burning building? They don’t sit on their chair, calmly get up and meander out of the emergency exit. They scramble out, they’d step on the person in front of them if they fell down. That’s what your brain does when there are emergencies all the time.
This is also not a once-and-done-it, this is a review on a regular basis of all the systems you have set up.
If you’re an entrepreneur and notice this occurs on a regular basis with your team:
- Make this a topic in your next team meeting
- Talk with your staff/team members on what is going on
- How do they feel about this and what do they think the real problem is?
- Either discuss with them what the solution could be or go away and think about how you can solve it
- Fix, document, communicate it clearly with your team
- Evaluate the solution on its effectiveness. Tweak where needed, do it again.
If you’re a solopreneur:
- Take note of those moments where you feel like you’re in reactive mode
- What is it you have to respond to? is it a repetition in the same area as what you have done before?
- Ask yourself why this is happening again
- Is it a system-based issue or is it communication-based? Is it that you have too much to get to and you require support? Is it an efficiency issue?
- Find the solution, document it and evaluate the process, tweak where needed, do it again
For some of you, doing the above is a breeze. For others, it’s not and that is TOTALLY OK!
If you belong in the latter category, don’t stick your head in the sand and hope it fixes itself or someone else fixes it.
Hope is never the strategy you want to rely on and the best woman for the job is you.
It does help to have someone there who is not as close to your business as you are. We don’t see the bigger picture when we constantly have our nose right on top of it. Having someone help you zoom out and see the bigger picture of how everything fits together and where the major bottlenecks are is priceless.
If you are experiencing this and don’t know where to start, please book yourself in for a chat. I am an expert at seeing structure where others are experiencing chaos and I have a true knack for finding the best way forward catered to you and your business.
Here’s to less fires and more productivity!