You no longer get paid directly for every hour you work; So, make each moment count!
When I was starting out in business, I did the business maths like everyone else; number of clients I could see *multiplied by* the session fee =equals= potential income, and although it was naïve it appeared ‘doable’ and might even keep pace with my salary. All systems GO!
What I didn’t really do was look at the amount of time I would need to spend on the other activities in my business. Did this one catch you out too?
What do I mean? As well as doing whatever it is you do in your business you also have to ‘GROW’ your business and ‘RUN’ your business. Most Solo Business Owner overwhelm comes from juggling these three activities. We know we are good at what we do, our superpower, but we didn’t bank on everything else being down to us too!
Do you know where you spend time in your business? Most people don’t. In fact, most people get to the end of their working day and wonder where the time went and what they achieved. If you want to change that experience for yourself, you could start by taking note of how you spend your time. I can almost guarantee the results will surprise you! I use the benchmark of 50% DOing what you do. 33% GROWing your business. 17% RUNing your business as a starting point.
And that’s the next challenge, to take some time out of your busy week to review how you spend your time and take some conscious decisions around it. Most people spend their time very loosely, and I often ask how much more consideration would be given to time if it had a £1 assigned to it? We have 1,440 minutes in a day. If we had to hand over one £1 for every hour we ‘spent’ would we be more considerate of our time?
When you know which pot you spend your time in (Doing, Growing or Running) you can then start to flex the activities you undertake in those categories so each moment counts. If you would like to track your time, I do have a weekly time tracker you can download here.
Now, let me just throw in a word of caution here, by ‘making it count’ I do not mean you constantly have to be busy. This is not another tool to beat yourself up with. It’s a tool to use to learn about yourself, your business, and your relationship with time. To enable you to use the information to make different decisions, if they are required.
It is not a waste of time to take some time out for yourself: to relax, to unwind, to binge watch something on Netflix if that’s what suits you. It is not a waste of time to investigate “how to” do something in your business, only to then discard it. Etc, etc. All I am suggesting here is a level of awareness you could have around your time, so you better understand it for yourself and your business.
My final point is that in the beginning of your Solo Business Journey you will not be skilled in all 3 aspects of your business. You may need to spend more time in GROWing your business, for me this was definitely the case. I did not understand a thing about small business marketing, and that was a steep learning curve to go through! And these learning curves take more time than expected. So be aware that depending on your experience and on the maturity of your business, you may need to flex the benchmark to make it work for you through the learning curve.
Actually, here is my final point! Consistency. I know I say this a lot, but it makes a huge difference to how balanced our business is. If you spend time GROWing your business when you need clients, then ignore it when the order book is full for the immediate future. Or you leave all your accounts until January, rather than consistently RUN your business (as just 2 examples) you will experience your business as a roller coaster of feast and famine. Or become overwhelmed by the amount of administration you need to do, small consistent effort over time is far more effective and generally easier to deal with.
Here’s the summary for today’s article:
- Do you know how you spend your time? If not, try documenting it, you’ll probably be surprised
- Take a look at your time benchmark – how is it playing out for you across the pots DOing RUNing GROWing?
- Can you flex your time and make different decisions in terms of how you use it?
- Are you consistent? Do you spend some time in each pot each week?
There is a video and worksheet you can download on this topic in the Vault if you’d like to pop over and take a look (it does require an email address, but is free of £ investment, but requires some 🕰️ investment on your part!)