With baby number six (yes 6!) due to be here in February, I wanted to talk a bit about the things I have learned about taking off from your business. When I was pregnant with baby number 5, my business could not have passed the ‘hit by a bus’ test.
Meaning, the only person that knew anything about my business was me, so if I were to get hit by a bus, no one could pick up the pieces. I was never away from my business, because there was no one to ask for help (since I was the only one that knew anything). I took my computer on vacation, I took it to my children’s school events, to the doctor’s office, and even returned to work ONE day after baby number 5 was born.
An entrepreneur/business owner should not be the primary employee of the business. All businesses should be able to thrive and function without them there (i.e. pass the bus test).
Setting up your business for success means working on your business, not in it. So, taking some time off should be a goal you aim for.
How to take time off from your business
- Create standard operating procedures – These are also referred to as SOP’s. In the business world, they are an absolute necessity if you ever need someone to step in when you can’t get the job done. They can either be in written form or video or both. Show each step of the process, even the minute details.
- Create continuity in your offerings so your business always operates like a well-oiled machine – Simplify these offerings so that you can focus on growing these services. If you offer a little bit of everything then it’s hard to create a steady workflow.
- Become comfortable with outsourcing the work that you don’t need help doing – Outsourcing can be scary for some people. You have to trust the person you are handing work over to and can be hard to let go of that control. But by outsourcing work that doesn’t need your attention, you are able to concentrate on the parts of your business that do need you.
I will say that outsourcing has saved my life. I now have a small team of people are in my business, that I can trust and that cares for it like their own. If I get sick or when I actually take time off for baby #6 the business will still run like a well-oiled machine.
If you are struggling with your business, I recommend the book The E-Myth Revisited. Grab it here. It is great for anyone that runs a small business. Now go start planning some time off over the holidays. Work will still be there when you get back but time with your precious little ones, family or spouse won’t be.