Hands up if you’ve ever replied to someone querying your success in business with “how’s work is going” by saying something along the lines of “Good thanks … busy!”
Thought so. Because for some reason our society has gradually associated “busy” with “good”. It’s not even reserved solely for questions about work. A simple “How are you?” is just as likely to elicit a “Great thanks, busy!” response.
Now busy can be good. When we’re self-employed, we’d certainly rather be busy than have no work at all. But if you think about it, that’s actually two very different ends of the spectrum – and the only point further along than “busy” on that spectrum, is “too busy” … which is, in fact, problem territory.
And I’ll let you into a little secret …the key to a successful business is stop being so busy.
What’s the problem with being too busy?
Well, quite simply – in the long-term – it’s going to affect your health. If you’re doing too much, day after day, week after week, it is going to catch up with you.
When we’re too busy, we get tired. When we’re tired, we’re less likely to exercise, or eat healthily, or go out to visit friends and family … to do the things, the hobbies, that we most enjoy. All of which we need in order to stay emotionally and physically healthy. It’s a dangerous cycle, yet an easy one to fall into.
But it’s also – usually, at least – far from where we “want” to be. Which in itself makes it something we should be wanting to change, don’t you think?
Think back to that spectrum. From the perspective of our businesses … as a self-employed entrepreneur … what was it we wanted to achieve when we started?
If we had “no work” at one end, and “too busy” at the other, what was that sweet mid-way point that would define us as having achieved what we set out for?
Did we want to be “busy”? I doubt it … not in itself. Take away the instinct to see “busy” as a marker of business success, and think about what we actually wanted to achieve.
It’s probably more along the lines of “earning more money”, or “having more time”. Perhaps it’s “financial security” or “more flexibility” or “more freedom”. Or all of the above….
Did you ever hope you’d be really busy, when starting your business? No, I thought not.
So why do we see “busy” … and edging down that far end of the spectrum, as a good thing? Why don’t we instead see it as a warning sign that we’ve already passed our sweet point?
Because we’ve forgotten that busy doesn’t actually mean a successful business.
So how can you run a “successful business” without being “busy”?
Let’s start here … do any of these ring true for you?
“I need more clients so that I can earn more, but I’m so busy with my existing clients that I don’t have time to find more.”
“I’ve got lots of work, and the money is good, but I don’t have any time for ‘me’ as I’m so busy keeping on top of it all.”
“I can’t afford to take time off.”
“I want more time off, but I don’t want my earnings to drop.”
Yep. Once again, I’m not surprised. These are some of the statements I’ve heard time and again from the clients that I mentor.
The good news is I’ve been able to help every one of those clients to find their sweet spot and run a successful business without being busy.
And I’ll give you a clue as to how you can too …
You just need to change your “package”.
Imagine you are able to offer a package to your client, which provides them a value so great that they are prepared to pay more for you to do less?
Sounds good, doesn’t it. This is exactly what I help my clients with their service-based businesses work out, and it’s possible every time.
It will be for you, too….
Maybe you need to change your “who” – targeting a different type of client. Maybe you need to change your “what” – focusing on a specific value you are able to provide. Maybe you just need to change your marketing …
And maybe … probably … you need to change the way you charge.