I am delighted to provide a guest blog from Sarah Pavlou, Founder of IWIB and guest on the Rocking Your Role Show this week.
Are you Running a Business or is your Business Running you?
I would like to share with you the subject of ‘CHOICE’. Sounds simple doesn’t it; either choose this or that? Actually not, it is in-fact probably the hardest decision for the majority of us professional woman to make; and why? As women, we have an innate ‘Mother Nature’ instinct to help, support and service everything and everyone around us, wearing many hats and playing many roles and in doing so, often find ourselves being ‘ran ragged’, living with that self destructive emotion referred to as, guilt.
In both our personal and professional lives it is imperative that we recognize the importance of making choices, and in doing so, make the correct ones; but more importantly recognise the results of making such choices and having a true and real understanding of the expectations and responsibilities involved.
How many of us at some point in our lives have muttered the words, “I want to run my own business so to have quality time with my family, to do the things in life that really make a difference and have meaning, to avoid those unnecessary political issues in the workplace, and to finally earn a living that reflects my skills and talents. Sound familiar?
I am sure for many of you reading this article, some of this will ring true and I ask you this, are you making the correct choices for ensuring you achieve such results or are you in fact replacing the above with a demanding boss (YOU), little time for your family as you work all hours, day and night, politics remain equally challenging as in fact this is part of life and people and you still find yourself undercharging for your time, skills and talent?
The question to ask yourself as a business owner is Are you Running a Business or is your Business Running you?
So what is the root to this personal and professional challenge? Self Confidence & Self Worth. Self doubt is what leaves us with this constant feeling of we MUST do it, we must support, we must be there, we must understand, we must give and so it goes on. This pressure we exert on ourselves is in fact what can break not only our business but our own personal self confidence.
Here are some simple and practical steps for ensuring YOU run your business and your business does NOT run you:
- Prioritise your inbox, have someone look after your emails where possible.
- Recognise the urgent matters and those that can wait.
- Ensure as you commit to your professional colleagues you do the same to friends and family.
- Eat regularly and healthy, skipping meals only drains your batteries.
- Know when to switch off, sleep well and rest. You wanted quality time, create it, you are now the boss and in charge, so YOU need to run your business.
- It’s easy to take those closest to you for granted; but remember they are the most important, so prioritize.
- Friendships are time for you to be personal so switch off the professional speak and change your state.
- Ask about other’s lives and listen to their stories, be careful not always to ‘talk shop’ and offload your daily challenges.
- Book a meal with your partner and friends first before a business meeting; it is not going to damage your business but will most certainly damage you in the long term.
- And remember, you wanted quality time with family and friends.. are you running this business or is this business now running you?
- Do you know the value of your talents and skills, do you truly believe in what you can do?
- Do you know what products and/or services you are offering (have you packaged your business correctly) and are you aware of your competitors?
- Are you pricing yourself right or listening and receiving the wrong advice?
- I will quote an incredible member of International Woman in Business, who is a professional pricing strategist, “Your Customers will put no more value on what you do, than you put on yourself” Zee Worstell of AccelerateHER.
If Running your Own Business, leaves you with little time for living, important family members left to one side and at the end of the day you earn less money than in employment then it is time to stop, reflect, reassess and start Running your Business rather than your Business Running You!
You can view Sarah’s interview on You Tube or listen to it w/c 21st April here
Jenny Garrett is the Executive Coach and founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy. She’s also the author of Rocking Your Role, a how-to guide to success for female breadwinners.