There are a million different ways to grow a business.
Some entrepreneurs grow their businesses through sheer force of will — they hustle, bustle, and go “beastmode” to squash the competition. They only sleep a few hours every night. They rarely spend time with family. And they micro-manage every piece of the puzzle.
Yeah… not so fun.
If you’re anything like me, then you don’t just want to grow your business, you want to feel happy and fulfilled while doing it. You want to be an entrepreneur and spend time with family and go on vacation and have consistent hobbies.
I don’t think those things should be mutually exclusive.
In fact, here are 5 things you must stop doing if you want to be a productive and healthy business owner — yes, it’s possible.
The subtitle to an article by The Telegraph called, Multitasking is scientifically impossible, so give up now, lauds, “You may think you’re being more efficient but actually you’re just attempting to do things quickly – and badly.”
It’s true, though. MRI tests reveal that when we “multi-task,” our brain’s focus just keeps switching between activities, never actually thinking about two things at once, but also never getting in the flow where top performance and productivity occurs.
So actually, multi-tasking sabotages your productivity.
And while it seems that trying to do everything at once will help you finish quicker, it actually kills efficiency and quality of work.
You’re far better off making a to-do list and designating focus time for each list item.
2. Working Inside Of Your Business
This point comes with a catch.
In the beginning, it’s practically impossible to not work inside your business, on nitty-gritty minutiae and to-dos. But as your business grows, as you make more money, as you expand, your goal should be to delegate and automate everything you can. To grow, you must eventually stop working inside of your business and start working on your business.
It’s the difference between putting a puzzle together and being a puzzle piece. If you’re a puzzle piece, then you’re totally helpless to put the entire picture together — you can only contribute your small portion of that picture.
As a business owner, you want to sit at a higher level than anyone else, create processes, add puzzle pieces where necessary, and paint the picture you have in your head.
At Call Porter, we help real estate investors do just that. Our U.S.-based, expert-trained sales reps answer the phone for hundreds of top investors around the nation so that they can focus on building their business rather than being enslaved to a ringing phone.
3. Hiring People After One Interview
Many entrepreneurs wait to hire employees or freelancers until they are in desperate need of help.
For the most part, that is hard to avoid. It’s natural that when you feel overwhelmed with the number of leads you’re getting or the number of deals you’re closing, you’re going to look for help. But don’t let that hurry to hire mentality cloud your judgement.
The first person you interview is not necessarily the right person.
In fact, I’d recommend doing at least 3 interviews with each promising candidate. Ask them mission-critical questions like…
- Where do you want to be in 5 years?
- How do you think you could make a difference at my company?
- What makes you think you’re the right person for the job?
- How much experience do you have?
And try your best to not settle on a B or C player — wait for the A player that your business really needs. It’s far more expensive to hire the wrong person than it is to wait for the right person.
4. Waking Up After 8 a.m.
I know that this concept is over-preached by hustle-monsters like Gary V and Grant Cardone.
(Don’t ever sleep, losers!)
But there’s certainly something to be said for getting up early enough that you have time to exercise, meditate, read, journal, etc. I’ve found that giving myself that time in the morning makes me more productive, more empowered to tackle the day, and less stressed.
I like the way that one Quora user explains their experience with getting up early.
“While all this is all good and healthy, there was another unexpected benefit to waking up early. My productivity increased significantly. It wasn’t just that I was more awake during the day, but I was awake for more hours each day. Instead of trying to take a nap between classes, I was doing homework. I could go to yoga class in the morning and not just at night. I was able to go above and beyond, rather than merely trying to meet all the requirements of my day.”
5. Listening To Every Piece Of Advice
Everyone has an opinion, especially when you’re doing something awesome like building a business.
Uncle Billy tells you how you need to be sending more yellow letters because “them letters always make me pause ‘n think!” Your second cousin, third-removed, thinks you should just cold call more people to find deals. And online articles offer more business advice than any one person can possibly consume or apply.
But the fact is, your opinion matters 100x more than any of that well-meaning advice.
It’s your business and you are the one who has to live with the decisions you make. So don’t discount your gut instinct or what “feels right” to you — those are immensely powerful signals that productive business owners can’t afford to ignore.
Being a healthy and productive business owner takes work. But it doesn’t require hard work, it requires smart work.
Working longer days, spending less time with family, and dreading every day you wake up is not a recipe for success, it’s a recipe for mental breakdown. And you must stop doing the five things above if you’re going to grow your business without losing your marbles.