Release the 9-5 Mentality

 

Where do we start: 

If you take nothing else away from this course, I hope you take away the confidence that YOU get to choose. In life people often operate as a pawn in their own existence, constantly battling the circumstances of their lives and rarely taking the reigns for moving forward. However, when it comes to your business, you truly do get to choose. It’s simply about working through the puzzle pieces to make it a reality. Ask yourself what area of your business do you feel like you don’t have a choice in and then follow that hesitancy back to the source. Ask yourself if you communicated enough with people, if you got as creative as possible could you make it work for you after all?

Many business owners get their heads wrapped up in the hours that they work. They feel bad if they don’t work a full 8-hours, like they aren’t pouring enough into their business or they’re being lazy. They wear long hours as a strange badge of honor that someone means they’ve earned their tiger stripes of entrepreneurship. I want you to reset your mindset from hours worked to tasks accomplished. Stop counting your hours, stop working when you aren’t accomplishing things and start planning what you need to get done. I suggest managing your to-do list in terms of monthly tasks, weekly check-ins and daily to-do lists.

Each month maintain a list of the items that really need to occur that month. These are usually the larger tasks or more overarching pieces to the puzzle. It may be “create a marketing plan for my latest product.” or “Write a contract for a particular service.” Then, each week touch base with your work. Write in your scheduled appointments and then the tasks that need to happen each day. From there pull over 1-2 tasks from your monthly list and schedule those into your week. At the beginning of each day choose the 3 tasks that absolutely have to get finished that day. Start with those and move onto the rest of your list from there. At the end of the day prepare your to-do list for the next day. This is helpful for several reasons.

  1. It releases you of the guilt of maintaining a running to-do list. There will always be tasks that you could be working on. As a business owner, you will never be to-do list free. Knowing that you have a scheduled plan for getting to those tasks will alleviate that pressure to work 24/7.

  2. It keeps you on track with projects and eliminates room for procrastination. Having regular deadlines for your tasks will keep you on schedule.

  3. You are building in ways to know if you’ve had a successful day without relying on hours worked. If you finish your top 3 prioritized tasks then you are free to finish your work day. Any work that happens beyond those is bonus!

Perfection is Not the Goal

Often business owners have a hard time knowing when to let go. Wanting to produce as much as possible & wanting everything to be perfect. Be intentional about releasing the expectation to be perfect and instead choose to be effective and inspired. Put out work that you feel proud of on an inspiration level not on a perfection level. There will ALWAYS be something to adjust on anything that you put out. Don’t ask yourself if it’s right or perfect. Ask yourself if it is inspired and if it is effective. That’s the gauge that is going to make a lasting difference without keeping you from moving forward. It should also release you of the guilt that encourages constant revision and uncertainty.

Balance isn't Real

When pursuing self-employment it’s not uncommon to focus so heavily on what you want to accomplish that you neglect the other areas of your life. I encourage people to look at their life in terms quadrants. The quadrants that I focus on are relationships, work, health & self.

Relationships
I mean all of your relationships. The one with your partner, your children, your family, your friends & even your work relationships.
Work
What is bringing your money in and what would you like to be bringing your money in?
Health
Physical, mental, emotional. Your overall well-being.
Self
Who are you when everything is stripped away? When you don’t have a job title to hide behind, a partner to help define you, or even hobbies or interests. What does that person have to say?

There are two major things to keep in mind when approaching your life this way. First, is that balance gets thrown out the window. You will NEVER see perfect balance in each of these areas. Instead, I encourage you to look at your life in term of seasons.

Think Seasonally

Often when you accept the fact that your life is going to be out of balance it can be easy to use that as a justification for behavior that doesn’t serve you or your family. You overwork because balance isn’t real so why try to moderate it? Or for some, you underwork because you’re so afraid of the stress related to working that you neglect vital pieces of business or you put off your big dreams. The worst is that strange combination between both overworking and underworking. It’s working too many hours but still feeling like you are getting nothing of meaning accomplished. Instead of all of that, I want to encourage you to operate in seasons. Choose just one thing to focus on at a time. During a product launch you may find yourself needing to focus heavily on your business. But, choose an end date and then switch your attention over to your family for a season or to yourself. I can’t tell you how long to do this, but, I can tell you that I often find myself doing 2-3 month increments. But, the key is to listen to your body and your mind and make small adjustments in there. (which of course we will go deep into as this course moves forward)

Second, each of these four areas are not isolated in your life. If your work is suffering then your relationship will see some tension. If you’re putting all of your energy into your work  you will likely neglect your health and so on. I want you to check in with each of these areas on a regular basis.

Evaluate Quarterly

People love the new year because it’s a time to daydream, a time to challenge themselves to be better than they were the year before. It’s a fresh start. I’m right there with you! However, I would challenge you to evaluate quarterly. This is how you are going to make lasting change. This is how you are going to maintain momentum. We all need to be checking in with ourselves and our business a lot more often! By the time a year passes, we’ve lost the time we had to truly make the moves we wanted to make. Here’s my recipe for checking in with your life and your business each quarter:

Ask yourself what’s working, what’s not & what’s next (in that order) in each of the 4 areas of your life.

People often find it easiest to evaluate their business or their health practices. They know where they’ve thrived or fallen short in those areas. They also find it easiest to neglect the self quadrant. However, I would encourage you to really prioritize checking in with ALL four areas. You deserve to thrive in every area of your life.

INTENTIONS:

1. Adjust your to-do list.

  • Start small by choosing the top three priorities for your to-do list each day. Start with those tasks and see how it goes. If that feels good then maybe add in weekly check-ins and monthly to-do lists as well!

2. Quarterly Check-In. 

  • Use the worksheet linked below and evaluate your quadrants. 
    Share in the Facebook group at least one move that you want to make this quarter in a positive direction!