I remember the moment so clearly. I was at the kitchen table and I was asking myself, "What do I really want? What is my end goal for my business? Why do I want to grow this thing?"
Two things popped up: I want to homeschool my kids and I want to travel.
10 years have passed and those dreams have become a reality.
I graduated my oldest this last spring after homeschooling him the whole way through, and he headed off to college. This was the true test-- would he sink or swim? Straight A's in Bible School has let me exhale. It worked. Our free-range, learn-at-your-own pace mentality actually worked. Ethan is thriving in college and loving the challenge.
And we have traveled! We've taken the kids from coast to coast and to the southern seas. We have taken planes and trains and automobiles. We have cruised and we have walked miles at Disney. We have learned so much and we have grown so close as a family.
All of this was possible because I learned three things:
1. How to multiply myself,
2. How to eliminate the things that suck my time,
3. How to be free and disciplined at the same time.
In 2010, I was doing absolutely everything for my business. I prided myself on it. I was the owner. I had to answer every email correspondance, order all the supplies, text all of the teachers, make all of the plans, answer every phone call. That's what you do when you own a business! Right?!
When I was doing all.the.things I had no time to look up and see where we were going. My time was FILLED with administrative tasks that kept the ship afloat, but it was not bringing in much money to our family. I actually would have been better off to just get a job. I worked myself harder than any boss would have even allowed. I couldn't take a vacation. I had no one to do the things that only I knew how to do. It was ridiculous. It was exhausting.
To scale my business, I had to create a new position for myself. I became and manager and overseer of EVERYTHING. I had to create the plan and let other people help me. I had to shut down classes and programs that took all my time to run, but were not profitable. I had to get really good at online marketing.
I had to stop grocery shopping. It wasted too much time. I let Chris go to the store for me and started ordering groceries online.
I had to stop cleaning my own house. I wanted that time back to spend with my kids. Plus, I got to support another small business owner. The sanity from a freshly scrubbed house every week gave me energy to pour into my business and my kids.
I had to turn over my phones and email (gasp!) to extremely competent administrative assistants. Only after I freed myself from the day to day operations could I hire a team, manage the team, and focus on marketing and growth.
Become disciplined and free at the same time
As I scaled my business, I realized I could not be committed to doing things the way I had always done them. I had to loosen the reigns. I had to learn new things. I had to become flexible in my methods so I could grow.
As I grew myself and my faith in my ability to be the leader of my company, then we saw physical growth in our numbers, our revenue, and our income. By clinging to things we had always done, I was unintentionally stunting the growth of my company.
I had to be disciplined in my daily and weekly tasks, doing what needed to get done, no matter how I felt about it, but also free to make new choices and decisions so we could continue to expand.
If you're feeling stuck doing ALL THE THINGS in your business, you're not alone. This is the myth that most business owners fall into. But it doesn't have to be this way.
If you're actually scared to grow your business because you are already drowning with the amount of work that you're doing and the time it's taking from your family, let's talk.
If you are committed to changing your family's future and making this the best decade ever, let's connect.
2020 can be the year that everything changes for you.
Schedule a call and let's map out the future. Let's make a plan so you can grow and expand.
I'm always here, cheering you on.
About the Author
I'm Jen Hickle. I love coffee, journaling, reading, and cozy winter evenings. A business owner for 20+ years, I can't imagine having a "real" job or getting up every morning to an alarm clock. I love my freedom and my family and the chance to encourage fellow business owners every day.