Running a business is about making choices

When we choose to set up and run a speaker, author coach business, we inevitably have to make choices. Make yours guilt free.

There’s more to being a business owner than simply showing up at work. When you are trying to juggle running a business, raising a family, keeping your health in top notch, socialising with friends, developing your mind & skills, and making quality time for your family… they often all scream for your attention at once & you feel guilty about what you tend to first.

The guilt ‘should be’ the ‘optional extra’ rather than the go to stop before completing something. My mentor Barbara Knight-Myers always used to say “The Pitstop in Hell is Optional”. She’s right.

If you are running a business, you can feel torn (especially if it’s just you or a very small team that all need to pull together). You want to do ALL these things — be with the children, go on holiday (20% of business owners wont take a bank holiday off — do you let yourself?!), make space and time for a hobby, do the work, create new things, keep in shape. You get the idea.

So how do you balance it all?

We’d like to present this concept: There’s YOU and there’s YOUR BUSINESS.

  • Each of you has demands and needs
  • Each of you serves each other.

The trick is to understand the demands and needs of EACH and then:

a) prioritise these, and b) balance these so you choose what you want to do, what you need to do, what others need you to do.

There are times of year we can fall more prone to feeling more guilty than we might normally do. With the impending promise of Christmas (yes we said the word!) the ‘holiday’ feeling starts to come more present with everyone (the same is true for when summer pops up!) and there are activities to do, fun to be had and plan.

This can put ‘pressure’ on you because of the imagined demands you start to think about. These can create the guilt which can become debilitating.

The first thing to do is not to judge yourself! You are doing the best you can in any moment. We see it as our job is to help you and our clients manage your responsibilities so you have peace of mind that they are getting the attention they deserve, rather than just attending to the ones that shout the loudest!

The guilt trap is a catch 22 every speaker, author and coach gets caught in at some point. It sounds and looks a bit like this:

  • “I should be with my friends / family / having fun but I’m working” = guilt about being with them
  • “If I take time off, my business does not run how it could or should”= guilt about not being in the business

Either way, you are back in that Pitstop in Hell — and it’s likely that LESS gets done in either arena.

Now here’s the thing There’s YOU and YOUR BIZ

Our actions in one area of our lives is going to impact on our inaction in another! But it needs to work ON YOUR TERMS™ — your Time, Energy, Resources, Money and Skills. These are FINITE resources.

Guilt erodes your confidence, makes you ineffective, unproductive and inefficient — you literally stop thinking clearly, and this can put you in the spiral as you find it harder and harder to decide what to do. And then you feel guilty for not doing things well — and so on and so on. It’s a terrible spiral.

  • It’s bad enough having to choose what do / not do
  • Adding guilt is like adding a layer of concrete that stops you doing anything in either arena
  • (It’s a proven fact that we can lose up to 5 hrs a week to the ‘guilt snooze’ — the signal the keeps going off until we take the appropriate action)

Save yourself some time and self-reproach!

1) List the demands being made of you:

  • by you,
  • by your personal circle,
  • by the business
  • and by the projects you are involved in
  • ESTABLISH THE REAL CONSEQUENCES (not the ones that guilty thinking makes up)

2) If you do go into guilty thinking then BYRON KATIE’S 4 EXCELLENT QUESTIONS: (guilt is a torture/what are you torturing yourself with? )

  • Question 1: Is it true? …
  • Question 2: Can you absolutely know it’s true? ..
  • Question 3: How do you react — what happens — when you believe that thought?
  • Question 4: Who would you be without the thought? …
  • Turn the thought around:

3) Work out what your priorities are:

  • What are things that need to happen on daily basis?
  • What do you want to make part of your routine? It’s good to have a strict morning routine that involves self-care and focus for the day. Tell us what does yours currently consist of?
  • Who are you giving your attention to today? Ideally the whole day but if not, ½ day is the smallest chunk so that you are distracted.
  • Don’t take everything on yourself — use the Eisenhower Matrix to priories your tasks & to discover whether some of them should be delegated or ditched completely! LINK?
  • Make Time by planning ahead. Know how frequently you want to spend time with friends and family and block out that time in advanced, have date nights with partners in the diary, quality time with your children, exercise & personal dev time in for you, hobbies and interests.
  • Then schedule time for the stuff you hate that often you procrastinate on: admin, financial reviews, product creation, housework etc.

The key is then going beyond the scheduling — it’s being 100% present when you are doing these activities.

  • If you are spending time with your friends and family — don’t take work calls/ don’t check Facebook / turn all alerts off!

Our call to action for you is to notice when you are feeling bad and really start to question that — and to put some balance in. What have you promised and is it really needed as urgently or finished to as high a standard as you have made up?

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