I was working with a client the other day and he shared with me how he was taking on so much work that he was neglecting spending quality time with his young daughter, as well as his wife. He loved what he does and says yes to just about everything despite already working most of the day and well into the evening. In short, the balance he needed was sorely absent.
He told me about the important events he was missing in his daughter’s life but he just couldn’t see himself sacrificing work for life.
His rationale was that he had to “Make hay when the sun shone” because there was no guarantee that there would be more work coming down the line.
In the meantime, his wife was the one spending time with his daughter – taking her to her sports events, Girl Guides, school functions, and outings with her friends.
All the while he was saying to himself, I’ll be there for the next event.
He was operating from a place of scarcity. Abundance today but possible scarcity tomorrow.
What if he said “no” to business today? How could he take that risk?
This sounded to me like a classic case of FOMO ~ Fear Of Missing Out
Missing out on business. Maybe?
Missing out on the important moments of his daughter’s life. Definitely!
We worked together to review how and when he received work, and what we learned was that there had been a steady stream of new and repeat work for more than six months. Yet still, the fear of scarcity persisted.
We stopped to look at some options. He could say “no” to some work now, or “no” to all of the work for a while, or perhaps he could get help. We chose to work on the last option we discussed, getting help.
In looking at his daily work activities, he started to see patterns. He seemed to be using the same workflow for many of his new and repeat clients. Intake systems, workflow review, implementation, follow up, etc. Similar patterns were evident not only for his client work but also for the administration of his business. Things like bookkeeping, payroll, work implementation, and customer service. The absolute kicker was that we even saw a pattern for his marketing to attract and convert new clients.
He decided that he was willing to give up doing most of the non-client work and even some of the client work in order to balance his time and…lo and behold…still build his business.
It’s called leverage and in this case, it’s leveraging his important and valuable time between the most important aspects of his business and his family.
It was time to create formal procedures and hire people to do these routine procedures. Thereby allowing him to still say yes to all of his clients AND cut down the work hours so he can be home with his family. Maybe even take his wife out on a date.
It soon became obvious that he could keep saying yes, hire and train others to do the routine work, and create time for his family – and balance between work and family in a whole new way.