Ever feel tired?
Sure you do – we all do. But you get tired for different reasons. You’re tired of taking every single phone call (lead) that vibrates in your pocket. You’re sick of filling out contracts, answering repetitive questions from sellers, and visiting houses only to be told, “No – that won’t work” in the end.
You’re sick of being a slave to the business you built.
Yes. Building a business is fun and exciting. But wasn’t this business supposed to give you more time with your family – for hobbies, for traveling, for going on long walks? Wasn’t it supposed to give you more freedom, not less?
Well, you’re not alone.
As it turns out, entrepreneurs everywhere are plagued with greater mental health problems than their less ambitious counterparts.
Here’s how Aaron Orendorff, Editor in Chief of Shopify Plus, puts it (entrepreneurs are the first percentage of each):
“Depression: 30% compared to 15% and 16.6% (APA)
ADHD: 29% compared to 5% and 4.4% (NIMH)
Addiction: 12% compared to 4% and 8.4% (SAMHSA)
Bipolar diagnosis: 11% compared to 1% and 4.4% (NIMH)”
So how you can scale your business without increasing how much you work and how little freedom you have? Here’s how from a high level.
Figure out what you want
Look – there’s a big difference between what it takes to build a multi-million dollar business with 20 employees and what it takes to build a business that supports you and your family’s lifestyle.
Many entrepreneurs get lost in the thrill of building a business and forget why they’re building a business in the first place.
Do you want more time-freedom for you and your family? Do you want to travel more? Do you want to stop worrying about whether you can afford drinks when you go out to dinner?
Or do you want to build a multi-million dollar business and become an amazing leader and CEO of that business?
Both are wonderful goals. But they are completely different. Before you can figure out how to scale your business, you need to figure out why you want to scale it.
In the words of a writer at Entrepreneur repurposing Tim Ferriss’ advice…
“It’s only when you’re clear on your destination that you can plan a scale strategy to get there. For example, building a company to sell requires a different approach to growing a business that supports a lifestyle.”
Make a list of everything that someone else can do and everything you should be doing
To scale your business without working more (maybe even by working less), you need to spend your time on more important tasks – the things that actually have the power to increase business revenue.
And that doesn’t mean answering every phone call on your own time. That might help revenue in the immediate future, but it isn’t scalable. You’re only one person with so much time – you need to focus your time on more sustainable business-building strategies.
The trick is to delegate everything that can be delegated and to spend your time creating new automated processes, inspiring employees, and hiring the right people.
Think of it this way: if you want to put together a jig-saw puzzle, you can’t be one of the puzzle pieces. You have to step outside and above of the puzzle to see the big picture and put the pieces together. That is how you scale a business – by hiring new people to fill in gaps and by monitoring the machine to make sure it’s running smoothly.
Consider Stephen Covey’s famous important-urgent digram.
In this context, you want to delegate tasks that fall within Quadrant 3 and some of the tasks within Quadrant 1. To scale your business, spend more time in Quadrant 2, spend less time in Quadrant 1, no time in Quadrant 3, and never time in Quadrant 4.
Now make a few lists of tasks you can delegate to other people and of the things you should spend more time on to scale your business.
Hire the right people
After that, it’s simply a matter of finding the right people to put in each roll and treating them well so they stick around. Here’s how John Stonecipher, CEO of Guidance Aviation, puts it:
“Surround yourself with the best people you can and give them an opportunity to do what they love to do best. Each one of my staff and faculty are leaders themselves. I cannot succeed without them.”
At Call Porter, for instance, we only hire the best salespeople in the real estate industry to answer calls for our members. They love what they do. And they stick around because of it.
(Plus, it means our members get amazing results)
Of course, we’re not the only business who treats their employees well. Consider…
“Zappos pays 100% of the premiums for employee healthcare and offers free generic prescriptions as well as nap pods, on-site fitness centers, and an employee library.
Build-a-Bear Workshop provides concierge services and customized workweeks based on employee lifestyle.
Mayo Clinic reimburses for adoption expenses and has an on-site medical care facility.
The Container Store offers fully-paid sabbaticals and offers pet insurance for employees. Domestic partners and common-law spouses are also covered by company benefits.”
That doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to have great employees. It simply means that treating your employees with respect and hiring the right people in the first place will make your business far easier to scale over the long run.
Whether you’re trying to build a multi-million dollar business or you’re trying to build a business that supports your lifestyle, the truth is the same…
You want to work less, be more productive when you do work, and scale your business without working longer days.
To do that, delegate inconsequential tasks more and spend your time on the things that matter most for scaling your business.
You can delegate your phone answering, for instance, to Call Porter, where we help top-performing investors all around the nation save time and qualify more leads by answering the phone when it rings.You can learn-more about our time-saving service here.
In the meantime, use the above advice to build a business that you can actually enjoy building.