Who Comes First, You Or Your Clients?
As entrepreneurs, our focus is on delivering value to the world.
Not in a fluffy, heart-centred under-charging killing ourselves just to get by way.
We do it by charging a fair price and over-delivering on what we promise.
We aren’t afraid of early starts or late nights.
We do what it takes to get things done and out into the world.
Our clients are a top priority.
We refuse to drop the ball.
Sometimes, that lets things fall through the cracks personally.
We neglect our health through lack of sleep, unhealthy food choices, and being to busy to fit in work-outs.
We neglect our relationships and families through divided attention & lack of quality time.
We even neglect our own businesses because we are focused on what we do for others.
You didn’t create your business so that your business can take over your life.
You created your business to take control of your life.
To create freedom and flexibility that you couldn’t find in the workplace.
To go out and live the life you always wanted to live.
Yes, clients are a top priority.
They just shouldn’t be THE top priority because when you put yourself first, you can serve your clients better.
When you take care of your health you stay on the ball mentally and you don’t find yourself exhausted and needing to step back.
When you take care of your relationships, you’re a happier person with a strong support network that can keep you going through tough times rather than weighing you down further with the strain of things.
When you take care of your business, it thrives. Everything becomes easier and you create steady growth which means less stress for you.
It’s time to start putting yourself first. Here’s how…
3 Things You Can Do To Put Yourself First.
Step 1. Do a life audit
You started your business to achieve the life you always wanted. Somewhere along the line, things have started to go a little off track.
If you’re going to get yourself together, you need to know what that looks like and where you’re at right now.
Yep, time for a little honesty.
The purpose of the life audit is to get you clear on the adjustments you need to make so you can have more of what you want and less of what you don’t.
For each category, take a moment to write down where you’re at right now. What is good and what’s not so good.
Then, spend some time on where you want it to be.
Now, I can read your mind you ambitious fiend.
You’re not going to follow that absolutely perfect plan and stick to it right off the bat.
That’s why I’m going to pass on a bit of advice from Dexter Abraham (a.k.a. My Notetaking Nerd)
Things ain’t always going to go to plan. You’ll have days where you’ll be able to do it all right, spend quality time with family, eat healthily, read, etc.
Then there’s those other times where something comes up and you’ve got to cut a few corners with it.
It’s only a failure if you have one version of success.
So, when it comes down to “how you want things to be”, have 3 options.
An “A” version where everything is tip top.
A “B” version that’s not so perfect but it’s pretty good going.
Finally, a “C” version – your minimum viable option.
This sets you up for success by combining high standards with an action plan for those times you’re squeezed.
Step 2. Do a business audit
Just like your personal audit, business audit helps get you clear on adjustments you need to make to create the success you want.
When you’re in the thick of things, it’s easy to push some parts of the business to one side.
You’ve not been reviewing the numbers.
You’ve not been growing your team until it’s been absolutely necessary.
You’ve not been back through to update old materials.
Little by little, these non-urgent & non-exciting things have been dragging you down without you even realising it.
Taking up mindshare and holding your business back from performing at optimum levels.
Now is the time to change that by completing regular business audits, monthly or quarterly to keep you on track and moving forward.
- Time invested
- Product range
Step 3. Schedule your week the smart way
We’ve already established that time is one of the biggest issues that you’re facing when it comes to putting yourself first.
You can’t magic it up from nowhere. We all get 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
What you can do is re-prioritise your time so that you get the most out of it.
You’ve probably heard of Parkinson’s Law where work expands to fill the time allotted.
If you’re pushed for time you can suddenly get things done and cleared.
You may already be setting yourself time-blocks to complete work and using tools like Pomodoro timers to stay on track.
The issue is, that list of tasks expands all the while.
You’re an ideas machine so it’s only natural that throughout your day, ideas spark that throw you off track and keep you glued to your screen.
The key to combating this is to schedule yourself first.
Gym sessions, downtime, family time, date night. All those things that get pushed onto the back burner.
They need to go into your week first.
Then comes business development.
Schedule some time for marketing, admin and some buffer slots where you can toy with ideas.
Finally you have your time with/for clients.
It might seem a little backwards because you’re used to scheduling clients and leaving your own time wide open.
When you schedule yourself first, you create a ringfence around the things you need to thrive.
And when you thrive, everyone wins. Including your clients.
Trust the process.
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