Are you stressed, overwhelmed, and craving peace in your business and life?
Peace is possible – you just need less to remember and less to forget! You need to stop cluttering your mind with things that don’t need to be there and automate your life. I’ll show you how in today’s post.
As a business owner, you’ve got so much to do and you’re wearing too many hats. It’s that way for everyone in the beginning until we get systems and people in place to carry the load.
Last summer I attended an Uplevel Live workshop with Christine Kane. I was working 80-90 hours per week, exhausted, and dealing with health issues as a result. I felt like I was spinning plates and at any moment it would all come crashing down. My overwhelm and stress was oozing onto my family and everyone seemed grouchy. I knew something needed to change but I didn’t know how.
My lightbulb moment was when I stood up to ask Christine a question and before answering, she asked me to describe my situation. Her answer was one I needed to sit with for a while to really absorb its potential. She said to me, “Where there is stress there is a lack of a standard.”
Where There is Stress There is a Lack of a Standard
I started noticing the evidence of my “lack of standards” everywhere in my life.
I didn’t have a standard for my daily routines. My bedtimes and wake up times were different every day. There was no routine for meal planning, doing dishes, laundry, or housework.
I was still quoting every site from scratch. I reinvented the wheel with each and every website I built, trying new base themes, plugins, and whatever hosting company my clients were already using.
Does Your Life Feel Like Organized Chaos Like Mine Did?
My inner brat said, “I’m a creative girl. I don’t like routines. Standard processes are for analytical people who have lists of their lists. That kind of thing doesn’t work for me.”
My inner genius said, “You don’t notice the things you have processes for because they’re not screaming at you and causing you stress.”
I started to look for things that were going smoothly in my life, like the automatic paycheck deposits into our checking account and taxes/401K deductions. My Google calendar system I’d created for our family and my business was working perfectly. I was always on top of the what/who/when/where for every appointment. My mini-funnel that ran on autopilot, that invited people to schedule an appointment for a discovery call whenever they submitted my contact form was working.
Are You Standing in the Way of Your Success?
Remember those visa commercials from about 10 years ago where everyone was automated and flowing smoothly and then came to a screeching halt when someone paid cash?
Here it is, a bit blurry but you’ll still get the gist.
I was “THAT GUY” standing in the way of my own success.
Shifting from chaos to calm with automation and standards
I changed my focus from “making money” to creating systems after that conference. I started doing a weekly stop, start, continue recap with myself. I’d look at the tasks on my list and ask myself, “Should I really be doing this? How can this be done better? Can I automate this? Who can I delegate this to?”
Here are some of the systems I set up:
- I created a HelloDigit account to automatically sneak money out of my checking into a savings account. (I’ve since switched to Albert because there is no fee.)
- My bank offered bill pay, so I made sure to schedule every bill possible.
- I hired an accountant to do my business taxes for me and a bookkeeper on UpWork to help me make sure that each month my accounts were reconciled so tax time would be easier.
- I created recurring revenue in my business so I have a base income I can count on each month. This makes budgeting So Much easier!
- I use Amazon Subscribe and Save for everything from dog food to deodorant.
- I order groceries online. Our local grocery store (Schnucks) charges a 10% fee with free delivery. Considering it saves me an hour of my time, the service is SO worth the money! Plus it definitely cuts down on impulse purchases. Use my link to get $10 off your first order!
- The kids rotate weeks of dishes, tidying, and laundry.
- I hired a house cleaner through Care.com to come every couple of weeks for a deep clean of bathrooms, kitchen, and floors. Again, I assumed this would be super expensive, but the cost is the same as a pizza each week. 🙂
- I set up our next appointment for the dentist, doctors, hair stylist, and vet before leaving the office.
- I scheduled my day to allow for free time from 3-4 pm to get kids off the bus and homework under way. (I’m flexible with myself for this time during the summer and have spent it on working on my own marketing, reading, or doing something fun.)
- I’ve automated my client onboarding and project management check in call agendas to keep projects on track
- As far as website design, I created a base theme and website setup with necessary plugins and customizations that I can clone to start with to eliminate repetitive tasks and save myself time on the initial setup
- I’ve created a library of code snippets I use frequently in Asana to further customize sites for my clients
- I’ve hired a virtual assistant who helps me with website maintenance and some marketing tasks
- I’ve created a video library of tutorials with UseLoom that I can share with my clients, VA, and future teammates so I don’t have to re-teach the same thing over and over again.
- I hired a couple of project based developers to call upon when I get swamped or need to do something that is beyond my developer skills.
- I’ve created a simple lead generation funnel to keep my calendar full
- I’ve created a proposal template in Dubsado (**my fav’ new tool!**) to make putting together proposals easier and faster.
It’s crazy to think of the systems I’ve been able to set up and what I’ve accomplished in a year. As much as I doubted it, overwhelm IS optional, my friends!
If you’re drowning in your business and you’d like some help getting systems in place to give you some breathing room, let’s talk!
Now, close your eyes and take a deep breath. You’ve got this!