Have you experienced business owner burnout -- blemishes, headaches, sleeplessness, panic attacks, or heart palpitations?…
The Most Important Hour of Your Week as a Business Owner
Many Small Business owners, operate in a state of overwhelm on a daily basis, because they feel they simply do not have enough time to do everything they need to do in their business and their life.
Being in a state of overwhelm is no fun, it is unhealthy and to make matters worse, your brain becomes less and less efficient the more overwhelmed it gets.
It’s a vicious cycle. The more stuff you have to do, the more overwhelmed you start to feel, the less efficient you become, the more stuff you’ll have to do … etc.
When I began building my business in the eighties and nineties, I often got trapped in this spin cycle of overwhelm. Whenever I was spinning like that, the business suffered, my family suffered, my staff suffered, my clients suffered, and both my happiness and my health suffered.
Thinking back now I realise that I may not always have been the easiest person to be married to or to work for when in the midst of one of those recurring cycles. I would snap at people, make rash decisions, my family missed out and many important business development projects were left as so much debris by the side of the road.
The E-Myth by Michael Gerber
Towards the end of the nineties, I came across a book that intrigued me. It was one of the condensed editions of The E-myth by Michael Gerber. Gerber tells the story of a builder named Joe and Joe was just as stuck, frustrated and overwhelmed as I was. His business and his people suffered just as much as mine did.
I felt as if Gerber was writing about me and one specific paragraph changed my life. That paragraph went something like this:
“Effective business owners must learn to work “on” the business as well as “in” the business”, and: “There is the work of the business (the making and delivery of products) and there is the work of the business owner. To be an effective business owner, you must allow space and time for the latter, as much as for the former”
The work of the business owner is the only work in the business that cannot be delegated. It is also the work that can always be put off another day, but every day that it is put off, is a day in which the business stagnates. The work of the business owner is the work that builds the business into the thing we dream of and ultimately it is the work that gets us out of that state of overwhelm. It’s thinking, planning, imagining, designing and strategising.
Reading this paragraph took my breath away. I realised that until that moment I’d spent my days managing the work of the business and that I’d largely ignored the work of the business owner.
My Business building hour
The first thing I did was set aside Tuesday morning from 9 am to 10 am for the work of the business owner. To ensure I’d not be interrupted I’d go to a local Greek café near my office, and take nothing but a notebook. In the beginning I felt guilty and made up excuses to my assistant and clients, but I nevertheless let nothing get in the way of having my business building hour.
The impact on my business and my life (and my wife and my kids and my staff and everyone else) of setting aside this weekly business building hour, far exceeded my expectations and I slowly started moving out of overwhelm, out of stuckness and out of frustration.
A year later, my business building hour had grown to become 2 business building mornings and my feelings of guilt had entirely dissipated, but the first months of 1 hr per week is what started the transformation.
I haven’t always agreed with everything Michael Gerber has written and I’ll write about that some other time, but this one insight alone means he remains one of the all-time great business gurus for me.
Give it a go yourself. Start next week, set aside an hour… Just one hour a week religiously, consistently. Make it important enough, because it is… I promise you.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH LIKE MINDED SMALL BUSINESS PEOPLE