Are You Running a Business or Is Your Business Running You?
No business owner ever wants to have their business run them. Sometimes, that is what happens and you may think there is no avoiding it. However, you can avoid having your business run you and you can be the successful business owner you envisioned yourself being.
As always, you have to be aware of the signs that may lead to your business running you. Some are easier to see than others, but they are all easy to overlook. If you find yourself succumbing to any of the signs, there are ways to help yourself out of the situations and go back to running your business.
Here are four signs your business may be running you and some solutions to help you out of them:
1. You Always Have to be Present
This is one of the most important signs because not only does it prove your business is running you, but it might explain why your mental and physical health may be deteriorating. If you find yourself giving up vacation time or days off to go handle something at your business, your business is running you.
As an owner, you should not always have to be present. You may feel like you have to be, but I guarantee the business can handle itself without your presence there twenty-four hours a day seven days a week.
One way you can change this is by letting your team know exactly what days you have off and exactly when you plan to go on vacation. You can tell your employees that the only time they should contact you is when something serious is happening and they should try their best to resolve the situation before contacting you.
This way, you can have yourself some you-time and not have to worry about the business. This will also help your employees know you trust them and give them the opportunity to take on new responsibilities. Which is something every business owner should want for their business and their employees.
2. The Team ALWAYS Asks Before Doing Anything
Another sign your business is running you is when your team always contacts you before making decisions; whether they be minor decisions or major decisions. Your employees should feel confident in themselves to make decisions on behalf of the company that they believe would help the business.
If you are constantly there to make the decisions, your employees will never be comfortable enough to make them on their own and will feel like they are incapable of helping the business grow.
This ties back into you being constantly present. If your team is not left to make decisions without your input or presence, they may never grow and this will lead to you having to constantly be present. One way you can resolve this problem is letting your employees make decisions for the business on their own.
You can begin this process with small decisions, and slowly increase the importance of situations and decisions to be made to better prepare your team to handle things without your presence.
Once you have a team that can make proper decisions on behalf of the company, you will be able to take more time to yourself and your presence will not be needed as often. You can use the new time to plan new ways to expand the business and run those ideas by employees to properly grow your business.
3. You Feel Like You Don’t Have Time
When you first begin a business, there is very little time for yourself. However, after the initial startup and the business is running smoothly, you should have time to yourself. If after the initial startup you find yourself still having no time away from the business, then clearly your business is running you.
As an owner, you should know when you can step away and take time to yourself. This goes back to being constantly present. Ways to create time for yourself may include hiring managers to oversee other employees.
You need to have time to yourself and away from your business for your mental health. You will wear yourself thin and this will allow the business to run you even more. Even if you feel you need to be present at the business, you can take time to yourself by having an uninterrupted lunch break or making plans to grow your business that prove you are running the business and the business is not running you.
Your time to yourself is just as important as the time you put into the business, but you cannot let the time you put into your business surpass the time you take for yourself.
4. Important Things Get Overlooked
One of the last, and still important, sign your business may be running you is that important things get overlooked. Things like bills or bad employees can be overlooked because you are focused on other things rather than what is really at hand.
Bills might be hard to overlook, but it is possible. You may receive other mail and the bills get pushed to the bottom and the late notices might be pushed to the bottom and it becomes a never ending cycle. If you have an employee that is treating customers or coworkers poorly, but you are more focused on the bills and expanding the business, then you are overlooking something important.
The workplace should be friendly and inviting and if you have a bad employee it brings the mood down.
You can work through this by, again, hiring managers to help you manage your other employees and leaving you more time to focus on other important things they should not have to worry about. However, you should still be aware of everything happening in your business, no matter how important you may think it is.
As for bills being pushed to the bottom of mail piles; you could create a specific slot for bills to be placed in so you look at those and handle those before any other mail. Organization within the workplace will help important matters not be overlooked.
If you are not comfortable being away from your business then the business will run you and maybe you should reconsider running a business. You have to trust yourself, your employees, and your business to handle themselves.
There are solutions to any problem that may arise within your business and sometimes the solutions may not always come from you. You have to allow yourself to grow and step away from the business just enough to still be in charge, but not overrun by your business.
It may seem like a fine line between you running the business and your business running you, which it may be, but if you can acknowledge the signs that the business might be running you before it is too late then there is a chance to save yourself.
If after reading this you realize your business is running you then do your best to distance yourself from the business, while still being in charge, and correcting the problems one step at a time. Just remember, the business is important but so is the mental and physical health of yourself and your employees.