Last month I was privileged to take my oldest child to the annual father-daughter dance. She is six and this is our second year to go. In a few years I will take my other daughter as well who is two. The anticipation of the dance increases as the day approaches and on the big day she wakes up with sheer excitement. I love this day too as it is a great time to be alone with my little girl. This dance is one opportunity to show her how she should expect to be treated and to make her feel special. We both love the dance, although I hate dancing. 🙂
My beautiful daughter.
While we were out to eat before the dance and I was paying for our meal, the man taking our payment asked, “Are you guys going to the dance?” I responded, “Yes we are.” Then he said something that stuck with me. “I would go, but I can’t. I own the restaurant. Even though my daughter cried asking me to go she just doesn’t understand that you can’t take off any weekends when you own a restaurant.”
This statement by this entrepreneur stuck with me for two reasons. One, I own two restaurants and took the night off. My stores didn’t suffer. In fact, the two locations had a great night of sales and didn’t have any known mistakes. The second reason why it stuck with me was because I often use my life as an entrepreneur as an excuse just like this man. There are many days that I do need to be there. However, a lot of times I have an excuse of the business.
Do you run your business or does it run you?
The first step to freedom in business is determining where you are. I am controlled by my company more than I would like to admit. Not much of it is the business and most of it is me. I don’t train enough or give enough responsibility and then play the victim for needing to be there. Are you suffering from self-inflicted wounds?
Start today! Make a plan of action. Who are you going to teach in your company to do different aspects of your job? If there is no one you trust, you need to hire new people. Slowly build the muscle in your staff to stand without you. This takes time and energy to accomplish, but it is worth it.
Discipline. Being trapped is really a lack of discipline. Trust me, I am talking to myself as well. We know we should train, but it’s just so easy to do the job ourselves! To accomplish this think in terms overtime. Do you really want to do this same task tomorrow? This has helped me a lot. Another tip is to figure out your hourly wage and ask yourself if you would pay someone who amount to do the task.
Future-time. The reality is the more time you spend training and empowering your employees, the more you are multiplying time. As much as possible spend a portion of each day in this multiplication place. Think of training like investing. Spend at least part of your minutes each day investing in your future. The more time you spend, the bigger the pile of time will build.
Over time replacing yourself will bring bigger profits and more of an actual life. Take charge and run your business, instead of allowing your life to be controlled by it. Be blessed on your journey.
How can you gain more freedom in your business?
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