5 myths you need to beat, before they beat you!
Myth 1: To succeed, you have to work long hours.
Starting and growing a business takes commitment, time and effort. People seem to think that working long hours is the solution; this however is not often the answer. Working long hours without taking a break can lead to ineffective work production and exhaustion.
It is important that your own wellbeing is at the top of your priorities. This will enable you to be productive, think clearly about the direction your business is headed and to serve your clients to the best of your abilities.
Schedule time away from your place of work, give yourself permission to take a breather and you’ll be more likely to see new ways forward – ways that may not involve such a large drain on your energy and your life.
Myth 2: To do a job properly, you have to do it yourself.
Delegate. This is a key job that many fail to learn. Doing everything yourself means you’re not really running a business, you’ve got yourself a job, and a fairly tough one at that.
By doing everything yourself, you’re effectively admitting that you have no particular specialty, no single strength. That’s not necessarily a problem for everyone – some people like doing everything – but can you see how it limits growth and opportunity?
Determine what you do best, where your skills are best applied and then see what else you’re involved in. How would your business develop if you spent more time in one area and less in another?
Keeping a detailed timesheet for two or three weeks is a great way to track where your time is going and can teach you things about your work output that you’d never imagine.
Myth 3: It’s best to work hard now and enjoy life later.
What if later never comes? Enjoyment must be a part of now.
Live for the present and enjoy it to the full.
Myth 4: In business, you don’t say ‘no’ to work.
A common exercise I suggest is to practice saying no to work. Saying yes to everything is usually a sign that not enough thought has been given to what constitutes an ideal client or ideal work.
It is important to get clear on what is ideal work for you. Don’t just look at the nature of the work, but consider the characteristics of the people that bring you that work. As your focus becomes clearer, you will recognise ideal clients earlier and over time you’ll draw more of these people to you.
Myth 5: Balance is what happens on weekends.
Sadly, the structure of our society seems to support this view: work like a dog all week, recover at the weekend. I reckon the Spanish have got it right – close down in the middle of the day for a few hours, spend time with your family and take a snooze.
This is simply not practical for most.
Ask yourself, why did I start my own business? Wasn’t part of it a reaction against ‘normal’ working practices? What’s really stopping you?
Another exercise I suggest; try designing your ideal week on a sheet of paper. Schedule in the things you love doing; long lunches, a walk through the park, late starts, early finishes, gym during the day, whatever you like. As a target, aim for about 10 luxuries.
Now set yourself a goal of introducing two or three a week, every week for the next month. Not convinced? Refer back to Myth 3.