Do you serve your clients so well that your own business takes a backseat? Are you spending enough time making sure your business is functioning in a way that will allow you to achieve your goals?
As someone who has been in the project management space their entire career, I want to remind you that we have to run our own businesses as well or better than we run our clients’ businesses. You spend day in and day out making your clients’ businesses run smoothly. You are the brains and the power behind the scenes. Today, I want to flip the script and tell you how you can do this in your own business.
Your Business Priorities
When we are super busy working within our clients business, we often forget to keep things in order in our own businesses. Here are a few things that I want you to take immediate action on.
Define Your Vision
Do you know where you are headed? What does success look like to you? What will your business look like in 3-5 years? Close your eyes and find a quiet space to dream about your career. Imagine what your business will look like in 2025.
Define Your KPIs
Don’t forget to define the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in your own business. What kind of metric will help you to know that you are on track or off track? Is visibility and getting more clients important? What about delivering projects on time or on budget? How can you track your efficiency and effectiveness?
Close the Loop
Clients love us because we come into their businesses and help bring clarity, direction, and a plan. We close the loops by checking the boxes, getting systems set up and projects executed.
“We lead the team to close the loop to make sure whatever we start gets completed.”
Who is doing that in your business? If you are a solopreneur, you won’t be able to close as many loops as if you had a team. But you can make forward progress, meaning you will continually move your business to the next level. Look at the projects you need to get done, and set an appropriate expectation. Set aside 5-10 hours a week to focus on your business.
Start Thinking About a Team
Can you offload some of the things you are doing? What is needed, and are you at the revenue level in which you can bring someone in to help? What kind of team structure do you desire and are you doing the things you need to move yourself into utilizing and growing that team?
Think about Vacation Time
As an operator, you come in to help the business owner to alleviate stress and to help them stop working around the clock. You get to help the business owner exhale, and allow them to have some space. It is important that you apply this concept to yourself.
“You need to prioritize your downtime for your own sanity.”
You are allowed a vacation. Freedom is probably one of the biggest reasons you got into business for yourself.
So how do you do this? When you create your contract, make sure to create a vacation plan for yourself. For example, in my contracts I specify that I will be taking 2 weeks of vacation per year. I will make sure that I communicate that vacation in advance. If I am going to be off for a full week, I will let them know 4 weeks in advance. If I’m going to be out 2 or more days, I will let them know 2 weeks in advance. Otherwise, it is on an unplanned or emergency basis.
You need to make sure to communicate all of this clearly. Put it in your contract, and on your calendar. Also, send them a formal email with the dates, what they can expect of you, and if you will be reachable. Let them know what you will do to prepare for the time you are away.
Innovate and Evaluate
Make sure you spend some time in your business reflecting on your services.
What is working and what is not working? What do you love doing? If you stay in a state of busy, you will avoid innovating and figuring out what fills you up. When you avoid evaluation, you get stuck doing the things that don’t come natural, that you are forcing yourself to do.
Set aside 1-2 hours each week to look at how your business is running. What feels good, and what do you aspire to do? What can you evaluate today to figure out what you need to improve on, or what you need to withdraw from?
I want you to grow a business that feels good, and to achieve the freedom and capacity to be your own boss. It is your responsibility to provide operations and support to your clients, but you cannot do this without serving yourself!
Weekly Ops Activity
Create a vacation plan for yourself and communicate it to your clients or customers.
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