I daydream that my husband and I own a business that allows us to work from home, or better yet, from any location we want.
Yet my husband runs his family business, so that is not the case. And there is nothing simple about running a brick-and-mortar small business.
When employees don’t show up, then guess who must step in? Yep, we do. When a customer demands something above and beyond, they demand to talk to the owner. And guess who that is?
No one cares as much about your business as you do.
And I’ll share with you a dirty little secret kept by many small business owners.
Once you have been burned by employees or vendors, then you become smarter, and you may hold your cards closer to your chest. This means that you are less likely to let go of work that you really should allow someone else to do. But you won’t let it go because you have been taken advantage of, and you still aren’t over it.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but for most of us it doesn’t mean the ability to shorten our work weeks. At least not yet.
It means doing the most important work to build your business, safeguarding what you need to, and then delegating the rest.
There is an art to knowing what work you should do yourself and what to delegate to others. Sometimes it all seems too important to delegate. And that is when life really gets out of balance.
I’ll be honest. It can be frustrating sometimes.
We are learning to step away and scan the whole business system to make more strategic decisions. It is just too easy to get lost in the day-to-day details of running a business and not take the time to think of its future direction and how to be more efficient.
But if we can continue to force ourselves to look at the big picture on a regular basis, that means that we can spend more time with our family away from work.
Luckily, our home life is fairly simple.
And when you already live simply at home, it gives you breathing room when the small business isn’t quite there yet.