In the spirit of full disclosure you should know that I like to goof off – to take vacations as often as I can and skip work which is exactly what I was doing two weeks ago with my wife – cycling the San Juan Islands, off the coast of Washington. We spent our second night at the delightful Kingfish Inn on Orcas Island.
Our room had a perfect view of the bay and the Olympic Mountains along with a porch to sit and admire the view from. The room was spacious, the bed comfortable and the towels big and fluffy. And all we had to do for dinner was stumble downstairs to the packed restaurant where the food was excellent – especially the peach blueberry cobbler.
The friendly owners Lori and Bob seemed to have it all too. Their inn was busy and their restaurant was selling out most nights of the week – and they lived in one of the most beautiful spots I’ve been to. It all sounded wonderful until…
…they started telling us about their work schedule.
Bob was at the restaurant by 7:30am in the morning, cooking breakfast for the guests and prepping for the evening meals. Then late in the afternoon, just as he was finishing up, his wife Lori would arrive to take over with managing dinner at the restaurant.
Most days they hardly saw each other except for those where Bob worked from 7:30am until 10:30pm.
Bob and Lori were living in paradise but with little time to enjoy it and despite having built up a successful business in a few short years, were trying to sell it and move.
What went wrong?
On the face of it, Bob and Lori were doing everything right. They’d picked a great location, paid attention to all the details, were focused on their customers – and always willing to put in whatever hours it took to make it work – and in doing so had become slaves to their business.
Are you a slave to your business too?
Almost every entrepreneur and small business owner I know makes the same mistake. When in doubt, they work harder putting in endless hours so that while their business may be successful, they don’t have time to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
How about you? Is your goal to work harder, put in more hours and have little time to enjoy family or friends or…
…is it to do the opposite?
Instead of working harder, wouldn’t you like to work smarter, to manage your business so that you could quit at 4pm every day. Or take weeks off at a time to take vacations with your family and friends?
One last tip.
If you’re a control freak with your business – welcome to the crowd. Most entrepreneurs and small business owners are too. According to Bob’s wife Lori – he even insists on making his own applesauce when he bakes applesauce cake.
Paying attention to the details is important – but more important is setting up systems so others can do it for you even if it’s finding someone else to make applesauce that meets your standards.
P.S. Kingfish or bottomfish – which are you? More importantly which do you want to be?
Discover how to make your business work for you instead of the other way around. Get started >>