Often when entrepreneurs start their business they are so excited about the product or service that they're going to introduce to the market, the field of work that they're now operating in, the new lane they’re creating, or the possible personal and financial rewards that they stand to reap that they fail to grasp that being a business owner can become its own hellscape. Running a business is not like being an employed professional or independent contractor in a field, it requires more than just knowledge about the area of work or passion for the area of work, it requires the ability to create, maintain, and continuously improve a full-scale human system.
As a result of the lack of recognition of the sheer scale of work that it takes to keep a business running, business owners are often met with the challenge of maintaining a healthy work-life balance while making sure that all their ducks are in a row when it comes their business obligations. It is especially important for aspiring business owners and current business owners who started their business or are continuing their business in the hopes of being liberated from the proverbial rat race to understand that they can end up just as overworked, overlooked, and unsatisfied in the role of a business owner as they were in the role of employee, especially an owner-operator.
To avoid becoming a slave to your business, there are two things that are essential to keep in mind:
You Can’t Be All Things at All Times
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
With so many things that need to be done to keep your business running or even just get it off the ground, it can be extremely overwhelming and time-consuming to take on all or most of the operational duties yourself. This is especially the case if you have limited resources to hire others to assist in this manner. If you currently lack the resources to outsource the labour you need, it is important to keep things manageable and not expand too quickly. Find the most time and cost-effective way to complete your tasks and don’t take on more than is necessary at the moment. This may even require you to put some things on the back burner.
If you are at a place where you can afford to bring on others to take on certain tasks involved in the running of your business, it is important to make the right hiring decisions. Hiring the best employees to assist in the running of your business is not just about finding those with the right qualifications. Qualities that are more important are the willingness to learn, fit seamlessly into the work environment of your establishment, and a good work ethic. When equipped with the necessary staff, remember to invest in their continuous training and education so that they can grow in their competency and make larger contributions to your establishment. It is also important that you correctly delegate tasks at this stage. Any tasks that don't require your direct expertise can and should be delegated to another capable professional but those tasks that do need your direct input can remain your responsibility.
Entrepreneurship does not provide an easy way to a more lucrative career or luxurious lifestyle. It requires you to take on risk and responsibility and in many ways can end up being just as unsatisfactory and stressful as many find the 9-5 job. Working yourself to exhaustion and not having the time for the most important things in your personal life should not be the accepted norm in any field of work or position in a business structure.