ActionCOACH Tulsa

Balancing Your Business & Personal Lives with Eric Knam | ActionCOACH

This month, we wanted to feature Eric Knam with ActionCOACH Tulsa. Eric is a certified business coach providing business help, advice, and mentoring services to small and medium-sized businesses. We’ve watched many of our business colleagues move from working IN their business to working ON their business, enjoying the perks of being the boss as a result of partnering with Eric.

Keep reading for a few great tips on how to balance your business and personal lives in the coming year!

Balancing Your Business & Personal Lives with Eric Knam | ActionCOACH

It’s that time again when we start thinking about the upcoming year and all we want to accomplish in the next 365 days. Many of us will commit to losing a couple of pounds, reading more, or starting a workout routine. As a business owner, following through on these resolutions can be extra challenging, especially when your business demands so much of your time.

Let’s face it, owning a business is hard. It’s easy to end up in a situation where you are overworked, which ultimately leads to a feeling of burnout. If you find yourself in this situation, you’re not alone. A recent survey showed that more than 50% of business owners put in at least 50 hours every week and roughly 25% worked 60 hours or more!

There aren’t a lot of people who can sustain those levels of activity for a prolonged period. Most of us end up fried, frazzled, and worn out when we “burn the candle at both ends”. Our bodies weren’t made to perform at these levels for an extended period, so exhaustion tends to be inevitable. 

If you are reading this and thinking, “Is he spying on me?” then it might be time to look at rebalancing your life. Long hours are a part of business, especially when you are just getting started.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t carve out some time for a personal life.  Finding ways to reduce your workload while maintaining the business’ upward trajectory will make a huge difference in your physical and mental health down the road.

After all, didn’t you get into business to have a better life? If it’s time to change things up when it comes to your workload, give these sure-fire strategies a try, you’ll be glad you did!

1. Delegate

When you start your business, this will probably be very difficult to do. In many cases, you’ll get the honor and responsibility of wearing most if not all of the “hats” in the business. This can be a good thing. When you know how to do something, it makes it easier to teach and train your replacement.

During the early stages of the business, it’s possible you’ll need to put in 50, 60 maybe even 80-hour weeks. If you’re still doing this after a couple of years, you’re doing something wrong!

The only way your business is going to get better is if you hire go-getters who are smarter than you, train them well, share your expectations and then get out of their way. An outstanding manager working with a well-trained crew will make you smile when you look at your bottom line. If you are open to their ideas and feedback, then the sky is the limit!

There is no way you can do everything yourself, so don’t try. A team of motivated, well-trained employees will make you look like a genius. They’ll also make your business and personal lives a lot more enjoyable.  

2. Work smarter, Not Harder

Think about the law of diminishing returns. It can hit business owners especially hard. Do you know anyone who brags that they “work” 80 hours a week? Chances are, if you followed them through a day or two in their life, you’d find out that their productivity was exceptionally low.

It’s a good bet that they classify a lot of non-work activities as work. Sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day focusing on things that aren’t urgent or important is the definition of “busy-ness”, not business!  

How can you find ways to get more done in the time you have? Will an upgrade in your technology help you be more productive? Is the layout of your store inefficient? If so, it’s time to change it. Is your business drowning in paperwork? If the answer is “yes”, then it’s time to streamline things.

Your business can be more efficient and profitable while saving time. Here’s an example: the people of South Korea work roughly 2,100 hours a year on average and produce approximately $32 dollars of GDP per hour worked. On the other hand, the French work approximately 1,500 hours a year, and produce twice the GDP of the South Koreans.

Working smarter, not harder may sound cliché, and that’s ok. If increased productivity and profits resulting from fewer hours worked is cliché, sign me up!

3. Manage As Much As You Need, Not As Much As You Want

This is a tough one for a lot of people. You worked hard to build your business and it isn’t easy to let go. You expect your employees to treat it with the same care and attention that you do. The only way they can do that is if you give them the chance. If you hired the right people, trained them well and gave them the tools to succeed in their positions, back off and let them do THEIR job.

Empowering your employees shows them that you trust them which leads to greater commitment and makes your life a lot easier. You will still need to manage and lead. It’s ok to “trust but verify”, it’s not ok to micromanage.

If you find yourself in the middle of everything every day, you messed up somewhere. Either you are being overly controlling, you didn’t hire the right people, or they weren’t trained properly. Regardless of the reason, the fault is yours. You can’t control everything, so stop trying. Focus your time and energy on the things that really matter and the rest will take care of itself.