When was the last time you took time off for yourself? No, I don’t mean for doctor’s appointments or to go see your mechanic. I mean, when was the last time you really prioritized rest and self-care?
On a similar note, think about the last time you pursued an exciting business opportunity because you had the time and space for it. When was the last time you enthusiastically said “yes, let’s do it!” to an idea that floated through your head?
I’m willing to bet that the answer to both was, “it’s been a while.” That is, if it’s not “never.”
So many creative entrepreneurs get bogged down in the business of doing business that they lose sight of the real reason they started a business: to gain freedom in their lives. Why sacrifice a steady 9-to-5 job unless it means you can lean fully into the independence and abundance that entrepreneurship grants? I’m guessing you didn’t start a business just to count receipts, send emails, and write social media captions.
No, you’re a creative. You thrive when you get to make use of your right brain, but feel overwhelmed when business keeps throwing left-brained analytical tasks your way.
If you’re constantly stuck in the grind and can’t find your way out of the never-ending hustle, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief because there is a solution that will give you back your freedom. What is it, you ask?
You need to implement systems and workflows that make your business run itself. That doesn’t mean you get to pack up and move to Hawaii, never to look back again — but it could mean you can do that for a couple of weeks without worrying about losing profit. Let’s get started.
Run an audit on your business.
Before you can implement new systems, you need to first evaluate where your business currently stands. In which areas do you excel? What are your biggest struggles? How is your time spent, and is it the best you can do?
I encourage you to spend a week tracking your time throughout the day, even down to the smallest email or the easiest project task. A minute here and a minute there can certainly add up! At the end of the week, review the areas that fill up your schedule most. Ideally, they are also the tasks that drive the most profit. Time is money, remember?
If you find you’re spending too much time in admin and operations, it’s a red flag that something needs to change. You should be immersing yourself in client work because it gets you paid and it’s what inspired you to start a business in the first place! Make a list of all of the processes that are inefficient or broken, as well as those that you simply don’t like. This is your starting point to a profitable-yet-peaceful future for you and your business.
Yep, you are your own Chief of Staff, too! If you have a team already, this means you serve as a leader to all of your employees whether they are on payroll or contractors. You are responsible for ensuring they have everything they need to perform their job and meet expectations, as well as providing feedback to help them improve in their role.
If you’re on your own, you might not worry about wearing this hat right now. But, when you reach a point where you need help (and you will!), you will be responsible for navigating every step of the hiring process, from writing the job description and conducting interviews to selecting the right candidate and onboarding them.
Products + Offerings
Of course, what’s a business without its actual offerings? Whether you’re product-based or service-based, you need to be putting out quality work — otherwise, you’ll never be able to keep your customers happy.
As a CPO (Chief Product Officer), it’s your duty to design, develop, and manage great offerings that solve your ideal clients’ needs. While mostly an internal responsibility, it does involve going out to the market to gather feedback that will help you adjust and improve your products and services to better serve your audience.
Now, let’s talk about your role as CMO (Chief Marketing Officer). You have established a great selection of offerings, but they won’t sell if people don’t know about them! Visibility is all about marketing your brand in a way that captures people’s attention and convinces them to take action.
This is where you need to elevate your social media presence, create compelling blog content, and send impactful sales emails to attract new customers and build the Know, Like, Trust factor that will get them to say “yes, please!” to your offerings.
Remember: While you carry all of these responsibilities for your business, you are also CEO of your personal life. The best business owners and the best leaders are those who recognize the importance of self-development and continuing education.
Create a system that allows you to nurture yourself beyond your business, so you can prioritize rest, outside passions and hobbies, and learning opportunities for personal growth. When you keep yourself fresh and inspired outside your work, you’ll find yourself bringing that energy inside your business.
As you work through each of these areas of your business, you will find new solutions to tame each of them and find simplicity in your work life once and for all. Running a business will always present new challenges to an entrepreneur, but it will really only be as difficult or as easy as you make it!
If you need a helping hand in navigating these areas of your business, Jen’s your person. Get in touch with her to learn where to take your business next.
System & Workflow Strategist
5 EASY STEPS TO AMPLIFY YOUR MESSAGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Learn 5 simple things you can do to boost your social media presence in your marketing strategy.