The 4-letter word every business owner should use

Small business owner friends, I have an announcement to make: We can have it all…we just can’t do it all.

Ok, maybe I should back up. It’s February. And if you’re like me, you spent part of January in earnest making projections and plans and strategies for the epic year that will be 2014. Rightfully so! Fail to plan, plan to fail and all of that…. But I noticed something decidedly absent from all of the blogosphere and inspirational web chat over the past 31 days.

For all of our goal setting to-do lists and action items, where was the part about managing it all? Managing it well, and in a way that was 1) life giving and 2) profitable? I mean yeah, you can read a great book on accounting or take a seminar to sharpen your marketing skills…but I also have to wonder: When it comes to your business, is help a four letter word?

Look, you’re a small business owner. I don’t have to tell you that the responsibilities outside of your art, your passion, have a tendency to completely overwhelm. You know what I’m talking about: Booking events, handling clients, accounting, marketing, website development, blogging, planning, contracts, scheduling…… you get the picture.

I have worked with so many incredibly talented, passionate, vendors who have burnt out, or fallen short of their own next level because they weren’t able to manage all of the things. And I’m just not cool with that. Your gifts, talents & artistry need to be shared with the world! Furthermore, on the road to owning a successful business, when did we start believing that we have to do everything ourselves — and perfectly, by way?

We can have it all…we just can’t do it all. So what’s a gal (or guy) to do? For starters, I think there are 3 things:

1. Let it Go – Thirty-something days into the year and you’re already smothered? Take a minute and just let it all out. Journal, take a bath, take a walk, eat a cookie. Hey, you’re human. Ride out those initial feelings of crazy so that you can sit back down and roundhouse kick overwhelm in the face.
2. Make a list – Sit down and write out your responsibilities; list everything that takes up your mental and physical energy into two columns. Column 1: What’s essential to your business? What brings you energy and life? Column 2: What are the things that drain you or keep you from moving toward your goals….or things you’d just rather not do?
3. Get some help – Take an honest look at your inventory. Column 2 is where you’re likely finding the majority of your overwhelm. Of those things, What do you need to stop doing altogether? Go ahead, cross em’ off.

The rest of your list? Time to ask for some help. Whether that’s help from a friend with carpool or help outsourcing your accounting, there are people and professionals ready and willing to make 2014 your best year ever. Go get it!

headshotCallie Rogers is passionate about seeing creative small businesses thrive. As a fourth generation entrepreneur, she owns, where she partners with clients to 1) identify small business pain points and 2) eliminate or reduce those pain points by stepping in to manage them. Turns out that two heads are better than one thing was true. Prior to launching,  Callie spent her career in the special events and lifestyle industries, most recently as the editor in chief of Occasions Magazine. Off the record, she lives in Texas with her hunky husband and dog-child, Sawyer. 

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