Happy Friday to you. I’ve mentioned a number of times that I’m away from home right now for about a month while I help my mother prepare her house to be sold. It’s something I feel I must do because she needs help and I’m in a position to be able to help her. The primary reason I’m able to come up here to help her is that I don’t have a regular 9-to-5 job that requires me to be in an office every day. If I did, she’d be up here on her own. But, since I work for myself, I’m more flexible.
The problem is that, just because I don’t work in an office doesn’t mean I don’t need to spend a lot of time on my business every day so being away for a month could easily cause problems for me. It’s a fact of life that we can’t control many circumstances we face. I couldn’t control the fact that my father died and left my mom with a large house that needed a lot of cosmetic work before it could be sold. I can’t control the fact that, of her four sons, I’m the only one with a life that’s flexible enough to take time to be up here.
Of course, I could have said “No” to her when she said she needed help, but remember my blog last week about being sure to offer help when you can; then you can expect others to help you when you need it.
So, I’m up here but my business back in Dallas must continue and it won’t run itself. The truth is that you should expect the unexpected in life – meaning, even if you plan to always be working on your business, things will interfere with that plan. That means you have to be prepared for the possibility that your business could have to share your attention with other projects.
I’m sure we can all accept that something might interfere with us paying as much attention to our businesses as we want to. How do you make sure the business doesn’t suffer when that happens? I’ve got some tips to help you plan for a day when you’ve got to devote time to something else besides your business.
1. Line up some key trusted people in advance to help you. Right now, when things are going smoothly and you’re certain nothing will interfere with your plans, bring in a trusted person you can teach the ins and outs of your business – just in case you have to call on that person to back you up sometime. In my case, it’s a little different, because I have a partner, but my partner works a full-time job and has a lot of other responsibilities so I do most of the day-to-day business. Still, she knows every aspect of Rocker Life Coach as well as our other investment company and she can step in if I have to be gone.
2. Automate as many things as you can. Take advantage of automation in different areas of your business so important things will get done while you’re gone. For example, one of our businesses owns investment properties that have HOA dues attached to them. I have those, as well as our other bills set up to be paid automatically from the bank account. That way, I don’t have to worry about keeping up with those things while I’m on the road because they happen automatically. For Rocker Life Coach, I’m able to use a number of resources to automate my posts and my blogs so you have fresh, new information every day.
3. Identify the things that you can let go for a period of time. I know you believe every single aspect of your business is important but if you’re away, some things simply can’t be done because you are now splitting your time with other things. Before you have to make these decisions, gain a good understanding of the daily / weekly / monthly tasks your business requires and make note of which are not that important. That way, if you concede that something must be left undone, you’ll know what things aren’t that important and can be postponed or eliminated entirely.
4. Set aside quality time with your business when things return to normal. When you return from vacation or being away for any reason, you’re normally pretty tired – at least I am. In order to make your first day back in the saddle quality time, make sure you are well rested and refreshed – even if it means delaying your first day back “at work” until after you’ve had a day to rest. By doing this, you will ensure that the time you spend working is quality time that will get things accomplished.
5. Take time to define your primary, secondary, and less important goals before you jump in. When you’re rested and back in the office, there may be piles of things you need to address. I strongly recommend taking the time to organize all the messages, emails, mail – everything that has piled up since you left – so you can determine what is urgent and must be attended to right away; what is important but can wait; and what isn’t critical at all and can wait indefinitely for you to attend to them. Then you start with the top thing on the list and work your way through it.
These are just some easy pointers to make sure your business keeps working through your absence and make your return smooth and easy, without lots of stress. I’ve been doing this for a long, long time so believe me when I tell you it’s possible for you to be away but your business still thrives.
Until next time, I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach, reminding you to Live the life you always wanted, Love what you do and those in your life, and become the RockStar in your world.