I created a freedom sucker…
When most people decide to start a business where they can work for themselves and run the show, one of the most enticing aspects is the amount of freedom that can come with it. You can set your own schedule, work when and where you want to, do things how you want, and be your own boss. These were all things I was super excited about when I started my first company in 2011, (the dance studio.)
The only problem for me was that I am a control freak by nature, and I had a lot of beliefs about what constitutes a “great business owner.” I knew how I liked things to be done and I thought I did them pretty well, so I ended up taking on most of the tasks in my business. I made myself responsible for doing all of the business-side of things and then hired other instructors only to teach the classes I wasn’t able/interested in teaching myself.
This was great and fine until I realized my whole life was consumed by running my business! All that freedom I thought I was creating for myself by being my own boss…it actually made me feel totally bogged down and trapped by all of work that had to be done that only I knew how to do. I had to strategically plan my big vacations to a two-week break in the year where the studio was closed, and even then, I could never truly relax knowing the mountain of things that I’d have to do when I got back. This was not the life of freedom that I’d dreamed of…
My mindset shift…
It wasn’t until much later, after selling that business, that I heard the advice that your ultimate goal should be to completely replace yourself in your business with the exception of the things you absolutely love doing or that require your specific talent.
This was a total shift of mindset for me. I had created a story where in order to be a kick-ass business owner, I had to do it all. But that belief clearly didn’t serve me at all. All it did was run me into the ground and suck the freedom away from my life.
With this new mindset, I now believe you can still be the boss, you can still create and shape your business the way you desire, but you don’t have to be the person who does it all. You can release the fear and choose to trust that someone else can do it as good (or let’s face it, probably better) than you. There’s no loss of honor or respect to ask for help.
This change of thinking is the exact thing that will result in an abundance of freedom that I desire in my current business. As I continue to build and grow my Life + Mindset Coaching business, I have adopted this new mindset knowing that it will serve me so much better. Anytime an aspect of my business doesn’t feel in alignment to me in terms of being something that I love doing or something that only I can do, I’m ready to pass it off to an amazing Virtual Assistant like my friend Charlese. She is owner of Girl at the Yellow Desk and I’ve asked her to share from her perspective how she can help business owners regain the freedom in their business that they dreamed of!
Take it away Charlese!
Thanks, Laura! You’re right, the entire success of an entrepreneur depends on MINDSET. And one has to be willing to change that mindset when it’s time. One huge shift that I needed to make when I opened my salon in 2011 was to delegate and to this day it’s the advice I give most to any friend or fellow business woman seeking my advice.
When I was working on building my salon, I first only sought help to write my business plan. I had been running my successful hairstyling business for years, but I had never written one before. I didn’t even know what a business plan was! So I googled “small business help” and found a free resource in my county for women in business. I was assigned a very talented woman, a business consultant, author and coach who taught me how to make up my own plan and then she told me she was going to teach me the most important thing she knows about business.
She took out a piece of paper and drew a vertical line down the center, creating two columns. She then told me on the right side to write down all the tasks, large and small I need to do to start and keep my business running. Then she told me to circle the ones that I really liked doing and transfer the rest to the left column. The left column was then given a title “delegate” and my most important task for my business was to find people or apps to delegate these things to.
Let me tell you, it was the first time I ever realized I didn’t have to do it all. It’s my business and I can do what I want to! I found a bookkeeper and a towel service, a cleaning person and a CPA. I was even able to trade work with some of these amazing lifesavers, the rest went into my budget and as the business grew, the list of assistants grew along with my budget. This freed up mental space to focus on my clientele and left time to travel, donate my time to volunteer and have happy hour with friends! I even applied this to my personal life.
Now that I have retired from beauty and become a Virtual Business Assistant, the same rules apply in this career. Delegating as much as possible allows me to have fun and put the personal touches on my business that make me happy when helping my clients. And I am planning a trip for myself to Australia and New Zealand in November! As a Virtual Assistant, my job is to take the tasks entrepreneurs have delegated to me: email replies, customer service, design projects, organization, travel and event planning and more!
The best part is this doesn’t have to cost your entire budget. You can parcel projects out when needed, trade your skills for work and a very good VA doesn’t just handle your projects… they can proactively anticipate your needs. A talented VA will inevitably help your business and income increase along with your peace of mind. This is a mindset worth adopting and and investment you deserve. What would you like to delegate to a Virtual Assistant? I suggest making the two column list for yourself and gift yourself with freedom. It’s your business, do what you want!
Check her out!
Be sure to check out the amazing Charlese and her Virtual Assistant company, Girl at the Yellow Desk. She’s got her “How to Delegate Guide” waiting for you, for FREE, so you can determine which of your business tasks you love and which you can pass off to a talented V.A. like her!