As a business owner have you missed family functions due to work? Your kids’ special occasions or milestones? What about anniversaries? If so you are not alone! According to a study done in mid-2016 of businesses owners in America we find that 81% of them didn’t take a vacation of more than 2 days off in the past calendar year. Of the 19% that did, 89% of them suffered from work distractions such as calls or emergencies that they couldn’t unplug from.
96% reportedly missed special events and things such as birthdays, anniversaries or holidays for work and 75% reported that they dreaded coming to work in their own business! This does not sound like work life balance to us. Is it true that work life balance is impossible? We believe that it is not only possible, but achievable in ways that are easier than you think.
Why Don’t Owners Achieve Balance?
We fully believe that most people don’t experience the nirvana that is balance because they couldn’t even tell you what it looks like if you asked them. This is true because of many variables. First, if you asked 100 people what balance looks like, you would get 100 different answers. No one person’s nirvana is the same the next.
Second, most business owners are so used to the “organized chaos” around them that it is hard to fathom that life can be any different. They can’t believe that their operation can be any better or any more streamlined than it is currently because they created and have lived in this environment since inception. This is why we believe every business can benefit from an outside perspective.
Next comes the pain. A small percentage of business owners are aware than things can be different as far as work life balance is concerned, but they are afraid of the pain that will come when they try to change it. For example, creating processes and systems will be uncomfortable not only to the owner but to the staff. They know that the staff will push back or even revolt to any change and the idea of having to deal with that conflict (or even worse the loss of a staff member over it) cripples the owner with fear. This almost always results in the business owner doing nothing and never achieve the balance they crave.
Lastly, they may know that their dream is achievable, and may even know what changes need to happen to be happy, but they lack the ability to affect the change needed to overcome the paralysis that sets in as a business owner. In the book Good to Great, the writer references that only a handful of companies ever made it from good to great in more than 100 years. The reason behind this is that the talent that it takes to create a business and have the vison for it is entirely different then the talent needed to run it at the CEO leader level and only a tiny percentage of people have both skill sets. This explains why it is so rare for businesses to be great and the owner to have work life balance.
So What Can be Done to Achieve the Dream?
The best thing that you can do to take your first step towards the balance that you deserve is to understand that you can’t do it alone. Your team needs to play a part in it. You need to lay out a plan of delegation, responsibility and accountability for your team. If you have been operating for years, you will undoubtedly need help in this area from someone who has done this before. The help will have to come in the areas of:
- Clearly defining your organization’s structure, including but not limited to defining what roles are needed, what roles you have, what roles are non-essential and what roles you will need to add.
- Next you will need to clearly define the job duties of each role. This includes the essential job functions and daily task of each role.
- You will need to train your team on these roles and duties and get them to sign off that they understand their roles (as more than likely most still change. Some dramatically….)
- Next, you will want to clearly define the processes, systems and procedures that govern your business. Especially those that make your business money and stabilize it. This will ensure that if you have turnover or catastrophe in the business, that the processes and systems will prevail when humans and trials fail. This step is usually done at the same time as step 3.
- Lastly, you will need to define what things you as an owner are doing that are causing you to work more than is needed once your team is in place and stable. Then begin to delegate those duties and (this is key) to the appropriate team member that can handle with the tasks with appropriate training. Sometimes these duties can even be outsourced which is often cheaper than paying staff to do it.
As you can see there is a ton of work that has to be done to make your business successful and because of this reason most business owners never achieve the work life balance that they deserve. We strongly suggest that you seek help from professionals like us that deal with this every single day with businesses. This will give you the best chance of achieve the nirvana that you desire.
Contact us to schedule your free consultation or to ask us any questions please call us at anytime at 952-582-4669.