Hello there, it has been a while since I have blogged – we have been busy.
We have been a terrible kind of overwhelming and crushing busy. Like, how are we going to complete 80 hrs of work, in 2 hrs, kind of busy!
Luckily most of the stress seems to be behind us, and it seemed to be a really good time for me to blog about the things I have learned in this time while we were growing too fast, and making some mistakes, and learning some very valuable lessons.
The main lessons here seem to fall under topics that you may here a lot about – work+life balance and your emotional support system. I’m young, and I’ve been mostly ignoring that advice for the last ten years, because I’m superwoman. I always said that I am self-sufficient. I always said that I will worry about things like that in my 30’s.
Well here I am, very close to burn out. All because some cogs in the machine fell out at the same time, and I decided to step in and fill their place.
Another cliche you may be hearing often, is that you want to be focused on working on your business, not in your business. I get that now. From September 22nd to the 29th, I worked 120 hours, and then last week I worked 82 hours. I felt guilty when I slept and I felt guilty when I showered or did anything other than work. I went out with some friends last Friday night, and worked from my phone the whole time – incredibly rude.
I did not start my own business to become a machine – I was a machine with three jobs and freelance work before I started this company, and I wanted to reduce the work hours that I was putting in. I started this business for freedom, and to actually do marketing that I thought would work, not the out-dated tasks that my employers insisted upon.
So how am I, six years later, nearly burned out and working even harder than when I was employed? First, I fired my partner. He did research, strategy, and data. I had to pay him out equity, so there was no hiring someone to fill his shoes anytime soon. Shortly after, one of our three web developers left toward the end of a very large job. It was so close, I figured I would code the last bit, and get it over with.
The moral is, I should have ate it and hired for both roles. I then should have focused on what I do best -which is sales. Gary Vaynerchuk was just saying that sometimes you don’t make calls in your business that are not obvious. It is obvious to hire out tasks that you are a D or an F at, but maybe it is not as obvious that you should hire out the tasks you are a B at, or an A – that someone else can do faster.
The worst is behind us, and two weeks- which seemed like two long months- is also done. In business, no matter how busy you are, you have to carve out time for yourself. In business, you have to build systems so that you can always afford to hire, or contract out work so that you do not have to do it. You always need to be working on your business – not in your business. Grow your business like a pyramid, with plenty of people on the bottom to hold you up.
Don’t forget to have your emotional support system, so when you feel like giving up, they remind you why you are struggling through it all. Sometimes all you need is someone to come to your house and hand you a margarita. So don’t work so hard that you shut out your friends. Don’t work so hard that you lose the quality time with your family – that is all that really matters.