Are you working for your business or is your business working for you? Do you spend all your waking hours slaving over reports, strategizing, brainstorming, and meeting with clients? You may like the grind of everyday work, but that’s not how one should live his life. You are building a business on your own because you want to be financially stable and independent in the future. But if you are tied to your business—with your staff calling you in the middle of the night—is that really how you envision your life as an entrepreneur?
Every business owner has a vision for what his life is going to become in the future. Do you want to turn 60 years old and realize that you missed out on your children’s lives? Do you want to blink and find yourself all alone because you never had time to spend with your family? How many dinners have you had to give up in the past because of your business? Once your business is stable enough to stand without you, it is time to take a step back and become redundant and replaceable.
Yes, Be Redundant and Replaceable
Why would anyone want to become redundant and replaceable? Shouldn’t people strive to be irreplaceable? It depends on whom you are asking, but business owners should want the freedom to travel, attend a little league baseball game, and watch ballet recitals without their phones going off. Many businesses rely on the owner for daily operations. Clients are used to speaking to the owners and employees seek your counsel on every little thing.
You should be comfortable enough to leave your business and not worry about it falling apart. You should be able to travel the world if you want, checking only through online banking if the revenues are getting credited on time accurately, without being on tenterhooks about the fate of your business. That is the beauty of having your own business.
But if you cannot leave your business, then that means you’re irreplaceable. That is a bad thing when you want to have a well-balanced life. Try this experiment. Ask key personnel in your office to take a paid two-week leave and see if there are problems that will crop up that only they can solve. Try this experiment on yourself, too. If there are problems only solvable by you or your key personnel, then that means you need to train your existing staff more. The business has to function like a well-oiled machine on its own.
Hire the Right People
You don’t need to be the smartest person in the room. Actually, you have to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. They need to have great ideas on how to run and grow your company. They have to challenge themselves on how to build it from where it already is. Although you are the head of the company, others should be able to do what you can, too.
There should be a Plan B in case you want to take a break. It’s the same thing for the rest of your employees. It’s not right to tie them down to their jobs. Your business should be stable enough that it could function without a few key personnel for a few days and even weeks. Your staff should be well-trained that they can make well-informed decisions when their immediate supervisors are not available.
Take Advantage of Tech Tools
Why does technology exist if not to make things convenient for people and businesses? Not only should you be able to check your business accounts even while you’re in the Louvre Museum, but you should also be able to hold a client meeting while you’re 38,000 up in the air. You have to learn how to maximize technology because there will be emergencies that you would want to be present in even if you’re thousands of miles away.
If and when you want to see what everyone has been up to, you need a tool or device for that. That’s what technology is for. It’s not simply just for social media. Technology offers a whole range of services that allow business owners to run their companies from wherever they want.
You should be able to travel when you want. You can stay in the office, manage the business, and brainstorm new ideas. But when it comes down to choosing between family and work, you need the freedom to choose to spend time with your family and friends. Life is too short to get tied down to jobs and businesses. But at the same time, the reality is that you need money to do pursue many of the things you want. That’s why the best formula is to surround yourself with good and capable people, trust them enough to bring your business to success, and learn how to use tech tools to your advantage.