Part 2. FIND YOUR BALANCE
Balance is a precarious thing for a busy business owner, but a lack of attention to all 4 Pillars of your business evenly will quickly turn the business from sanity to chaos. We’ve all been there when one’s attention is so focused on one thing, that everything else seems to fall apart.
How many of you have lost track of the days in the trenches of your business?
Lost in production or dealing with staffing issues?
And do you wake up to find the marketing and sales have lost all momentum?
No judgment zone, we’ve all been there and promised ourselves that it won’t happen again. So what do you do to make sure it doesn’t happen again?
The key is finding your balance and you do so by being intentional with your time. Take control of your week or your month and block out times to work on each of these 4 Pillars. Yes, this will take some getting used to but soon you will learn you love it. Here are some suggestions:
- Marketing/ Sales: Pick 1-2 days (or break these into 3-4 half days) to work on various Marketing projects, planning, and Sales. You can use this time for managing your online and social media presence, building a marketing plan, crafting new marketing themes and campaigns to use in the different marketing channels, reviewing the analytics, and meeting with your marketing team and vendors.
- Management: Spend at least a half-day every week on management so you can get in front of the questions and start working on building those systems to help the business run smoothly and increase productivity. During this time you can work on job descriptions, meet with your team, hold quarterly reviews and give (and get) constructive feedback to make the office run better, build policies and procedures, work on a strategy to build the culture in the firm and then start executing on the plan, assess your software and equipment needs, assess your physical space needs, etc.
- Financials: Spend at least a ¼ day every week being a good money manager. This is the time to review your key reports, work with your bookkeeper on any questions or issues that have come up, plan out projected budgets and forecasts, call on any accounts receivables, call any vendors to negotiate better rates, meet with your CPA, meet with your Chief Financial Officer or Financial Planner.
- Planning: Ideally spend 1/2 a day a week working on your business with the 10,000-foot planning. Use this time to work on a business plan, map out a visual business plan to help guide you to your growth goals, meet with your business advisors, coaches, mentors to help you hone your plan toward a thriving, profitable business.
The best way to start mapping out when to do these different tasks is to think about when you work best and some of the key time slots that vie for your time. There are 168 hours in every week, use them wisely!
A couple of my favorite books come from Laura Vanderkam. Her books, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast and What the Most Successful People Do On the Weekend propelled me to use my time more wisely. I’ll never forget the point she made that there are 60 hours between 6 pm on Friday evening and 6 am on Monday morning. That made me rethink my view of the “weekend” and realize if I wanted to propel myself as well as my business, I had to choose my big anchor events for the week as well as Saturday and Sunday. Turns out there was always plenty of time to get to all the little tasks that needed to get done as well.
Let me share with you my old block calendar from the days when I ran my law firm. I used blocks to work on client matters Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and then most afternoons wrapped around to work on client matters again to make sure I was sufficiently taking care of my work. I used Tuesday and Thursday mornings to handle the administrative matters, the bookkeeping and working with my Team. My marketing time was mainly spent in the afternoons and evenings when I would network or work on some projects. It is also helpful to color code the activities according to the 4 pillars so you can see where you are scheduling your time and where you are getting things accomplished.
Everyone is different. It is all about finding your own rhythm. Don’t get frustrated if your time doesn’t work out perfectly as you blocked it. Remember, Life Happens! When something comes up, think about shifting the time slots. So if you have some urgent client matter that comes up when you should be marketing, then shift the marketing block to the next day into a client matter time slot. Again, it is about finding your rhythm! (If you would like a block calendar template check out our resources page!)
In the next post, we will dive into Part 3: Execute Systems to Find Your Freedom!