We all want to feel good, and not feel bad. So, we prefer that change be comfortable. Sometimes it is. Most of the time it’s not. If you have ever wanted to “get in shape,” “lose weight,” etc. You think it may be easy. But as is it so often said in the fitness world, “No pain, no gain.” You want to slim your waistline? Bigger muscles? You earn that progress through discomfort. You’re going to sweat, and it’s going to burn. Sure, you’ll feel great afterward, but the process is going to hurt. That’s how you know it’s working. That, and seeing the results when you stick with it over time. Many people really believe that if they go to the gym, look at the machines, not put any effort into the workout, somehow will see miraculous results in their bodies. That is avoiding the discomfort and your results will reflect your input. But, if you schedule time in your day to workout, train with others or a trainer, really push yourself—feel the burn. Your results will be directly related to all that hard work. Stick with your workout and really see the difference in your body and life.
The Same Goes for Your Business
Business change works exactly the same way. In my experience as a coach, it’s your relationship to discomfort that makes all the difference. Leadership is a challenge, so working on yourself as a leader should feel like a workout. You are intentionally (stressing intentional) doing things that make you uncomfortable to improve yourself and your business. It’s not easy. But it doesn’t have to lead to burnout. In fitness, it’s called over-training. In business, it’s called overwhelm. Over time, what was uncomfortable in the past is easy and something new will be uncomfortable—that is how you will grow as a leader.
Having more time in your day is right there for the taking, but you have to accept some discomfort to get there. Over the years, the most successful clients I’ve had are the ones willing to accept this short-term ‘pain’ for the long-term benefit. They live by their calendar and their calendar is filled with revenue generating activities, and activities that are moving the business and their team forward. Can you…
- wake up, get ready and leave the house every morning in sixty minutes flat?
- cut your lunches to thirty minutes for a while instead of an hour?
- say “No” to some brilliant and fun projects that you know you can’t really focus on and are not moving your business forward?
- train someone on your staff today to handle three things that you know you shouldn’t be dealing with as the business leader?
- post office hours for the only times of the day where employees can interrupt you?
Productivity is the Key
Having an open-door policy is highly encouraged, however, you need to be productive. Having set hours on specific days, where your staff can come and talk to you will increase your productivity. You then put lower level tasks on your calendar during those open-door times. This way if someone wants to speak with you, they are not derailing your thought progress on something bigger. You will be able to hop back on replying to emails or making a few outbound calls.
It's your relationship to discomfort that makes all the difference.
Some of these things may sound easy, moreover putting it into practice is another story. Going out of your normal routine can be very uncomfortable. Just remember why you’re doing this – it’s in the best interest of the business and you as the owner. Most business owners I speak with are filling their day with non-revenue producing activities and are busy being busy.
In the end, you’ll realize that “I don’t have time” is almost never true, it’s just that you haven’t yet made the difficult choices about how you use your time. And making those choices is the first step to creating a business that works.
Not enough sales, people problems, cash flow issues, etc. – are all symptoms – they’re all a call to face the discomfort directly and solve it first by making the time. Then you’ll have your strength to be able to lift the real weights of finance or management systems or whatever your business needs next. Just like working out. You need to schedule the time, go to exercise, have a workout routine (so you’re not just wasting time), be committed to a result you are working to achieve.
It all begins with you.
What are you going to do today to get more time back to move your business forward?