For the third day in a row, you left before the mice stirred and returned well after the wolves descended…
Pushing the key into the lock, you take a deep breath and prepare for the worst.
As you enter the kitchen your wife turns to look at you. If her eyes were knives, you’d have just died a death of a thousand cuts. She’s furious. Not just because you’re late, but because it was your turn to watch the kids so she could catch her yoga class — her only outlet.
You let her hurl insults at you, you deserve it. You’ve put your business first for far too long now and your family is suffering. Then she finally cracks. Your heart shatters as you notice tears streaming down her cheeks. She starts to sob and you hold her tight, feeling every jolt of her body until she’s calm again.
As a small business owner, it’s easy to become consumed by your responsibilities to financially support your family. So you work more and more hours, see your family less and less.
It’s easy to forget you’re not just responsible for topping up the bank balance.
As a partner or parent, it’s your job to fill the cup of the loved ones in your life. And you fill it with quality time, affection and attention… all things you cannot give if you’re consumed by work.
The solution is simple…
Delegate! Hire! Outsource!
Whichever way you go about it, it involves taking a whole bunch of responsibility off your plate and piling it up on someone else’s.
But I can’t trust anybody else to do my work!
Be honest, I know that thought just ran through your mind, and I get it. I’ve had a bucketload of trouble with freelancers in the past.
However, I’ve also worked with some incredible people who more than deliver. In fact, because they specialise in their interest area, they often do a better job than I ever could.
More importantly, outsourcing what I’m not good at has allowed me to spend more time focusing on what matters to me:
→ Circling one day per week on the calendar and labelling it ‘Charlotte’s time’ because spending time with my girl is more important to me than anything;
→ Cooking healthy, nutritious meals so I feel great, but more importantly, Charlotte has a tasty meal waiting for her when she gets home from work;
→ Trudging to the gym or scooting about on my bike for a few hours, 4–5 days per week in the middle of the workday because I hate training when the gym is full or riding when risk of somersaulting over the bonnet of a car is highest; and
→ Cultivating crafty copy that you love to read, my clients love to post and their clients love to share like the main hall at a paper plane convention.
Imagine pushing the key into the lock knowing your kids will come rushing to the door (because you’ve made it home at a reasonable hour).
Imagine leaving for work after the sun has peeked above the horizon, coming home before it slips behind the trees or even better… both!
If you don’t want to come home one day and face the harsh reality that just filling the wallet for your family wasn’t enough, it’a time to let someone else take a turn at the wheel.
But what should you delegate first?
Start with the things you’re not good at, and/or the things you hate to do as they usually take more time than other tasks.
Let’s assume it usually takes you 4 hours to write a blog post. Scrape it off the to-do list and you’re left with time to:
- Trek to the gym, smash a solid workout, relax in the sauna, shower and still have time to saunter home to cook a tasty post-workout meal.
- Pick up a good book, cuddle up in your coziest chair and lose yourself in a world of vampires and werewolves.
- Pack a picnic and toddle down to the park to watch your kids play, throw a ball for your dog and spend some quality time with your ‘pawfect’ family.
Faster than you can snap your fingers, you’re buying back time to live a better life.
Isn’t that why you started your business in the first place?