In business, it’s totally normal to be the person doing all the things (the ‘technician’), it’s also really normal to find your biz-brain and your personal feelings clashing. I’m a hardcore people pleaser and this has been one of the biggest challenges for myself – leading people, charging the right fees, saying no – it’s not easy. 

However, in 2021 it was time to admit I couldn’t be in several places/doing several things at the same time (at least, not to the standard I accept!). I had to decide if I was going to crush my goals, or coast along – spoiler alert, no coasting along allowed!

At the end of 2021, we closed Halo for just over a week. This is the first time in almost 3 years of operating that Halo has shut down and sent everyone on leave (except public holidays of course!).

During my time off, I did a whole lot of nothing. Dotted amongst trying to avoid my laptop and reorganising my entire house (still not sure where I ended up deciding the spare light bulbs live…), I enjoyed some journaling time.

I reflected on how 2021 felt – when did I feel the most in-flow, organised and switched on? When did I feel really crap? What might have contributed to each? I did a huge brain dump of all of this and sat there perusing through the scribbly words on my iPad. 

It hit me like a truck, all the things we’d achieved, how it’d felt. I took a moment to thank myself for all the hours I’d put into smashing 2021, and all the times we were all resilient and adaptable. I looked at what I might have liked to do differently if the situation arises again. I let the words simmer, and when I was satisfied that I’d given last year the acknowledgement it deserved, I created a 2022 journal and decided this year I’m levelling up again!

Now, lucky for me, I have two bad-ass, inspirational and straight up super-hero style business partners, Gerda and Chels. We share a sacred, safe space on our quarterly planning weeks, in our weekly meetings and on Voxer; this space is our secret weapon. Having people in your corner is an absolute must in business.

I won’t waffle on too much here, but the point of this post is to get us all geared up for another year to be proud of! I want to share a few lessons that really moved the needle for me, and that I’ll be taking with me through 2022 and beyond:

1. EMPOWER YOUR PEOPLE TO BE PROBLEM SOLVERS, not problem-announcers!

The CEO/Biz owner/Management should not be a ‘book-of-all-answers’ – Do you know how much time we spend answering questions (often repetitive ones)?! Additionally, the regular interruptions are a flow-zone killer. 

Create thorough process/policy/procedure; spend the time doing this properly. Show your team where to find the info. [if you need help with this, I’ve got you covered, click here]

Set the expectation with your team that if they haven’t already considered solutions (and looked at the aforementioned policies etc), you will not hear their question. 

If they’ve taken the right steps before bringing a question/issue/problem to you, great. Now, before you answer, ASK. Return their question with another, “what solution do you think would be the most suitable here?”. This facilitates problem solving and instills confidence that they actually don’t need you to solve the problem (and not being needed is a good thing – you’ve got your own shit to do!).

2. SCHEDULE YOUR EMAILS!

If you are working after business hours and you’re firing off emails to your team/clients/other parties, you might be setting yourself up for a weight of expectations you don’t want!

Working after hours is very normal for business owners, however if (like me) you don’t plan to be working this many hours forever, you need to consider scheduling emails to send during business hours. If your clients (etc) know you’ll respond at any hour, this will be what they come to expect from you – this is a self-created problem you can avoid!

If you have a team around you, if they constantly see that you’re working at all hours, they can begin to feel there is an expectation on them that they should be doing the same thing – big cultural and retention problems can develop here!

3. BOUNDARIES ARE ESSENTIAL. “NO.” IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE.

I’m not even going to elaborate. Why? Because, no.

4. AUTOMATE wherever possible.

When considering how your business operates day-to-day, think of when you might use the phrase “Every time I/we…” – can this process be automated? Do some googling, speak with your community – tech can do so much more than you can even imagine! [Join our community here]

5. RUN DIFFICULT DECISIONS PAST AN OBJECTIVE 3RD PARTY (considering privacy/confidentiality of course!)

Whenever I feel my emotions getting in the way of a business decision, I check in with a trusted person. How do they see the situation? If the emotion was removed or reduced, how would I proceed? I especially like to consult with someone who has a take-no-shit approach!

At Halo (and personally) we’ve still got so much to achieve, learn and give. All things considered, my main message here is that YOU get to define what success looks like for yourself, once you’ve done that, YOU get to decide how successful you will be. Then, YOU can go and make it happen.

Halo Practice Management provides a range of services in Virtual Admin, consulting with practice owners and managers, training and more. Get in touch here to find out how we can help you level up!
Alternatively, you can book straight into the calendar for a consult with Ash – click here.

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