Do you find yourself going to bed every night thinking, “Man! I checked off a lot of things from my to-do list today, why don’t I feel like I accomplished anything?”
Or maybe you find yourself missing more and more family events, not taking vacations, and feeling as though your free time is non-existent.
Worst of all, do you ever work all day long hustling and hustling and yet the income just isn’t there?
Many entrepreneurs get caught in a rut as their business grows. They get stuck because they keep doing the same things they did that got them where they are now. They think that if they hustle enough, work enough hours, and increase prices, they will succeed, but that’s almost never the case.
Read on for tips on how to get out of this trap and see how to put many of your time suck tasks on autopilot so you can focus on the things that will move the dial for your business!
AVOID QUICKSAND MODE
Because of hard-work, tenacity, and a desire to serve the passion they started with, some entrepreneurs will reach a certain level of success and others will simply tire out and quit. CNBC reports that as much as 90% of businesses fail within the first 5 years!
When an entrepreneur is in Quicksand Mode, they are sinking slowly as they fight and fight to keep their head above the sand. While they are working hard every day, success just keeps getting farther and farther away. However, they don’t recognize it because they are too busy hustling.
All they know is that if they stop it will all be over. Their dreams will end. They will fail. That’s usually when they start looking for how to save their business.
There is a better way!
THE ELUSIVE NEXT LEVEL
The exciting and fun part of starting and building a business starts with a dream. A passion to change the world, or at least make a difference. What was your dream? What passion made you want to start your business?
Once we decide on what we want to do, we get to choose a name, colors, logo, build a website, and create our products or services we plan to sell. That’s all the fun and exciting parts! Woohoo! Feeling good, right?
I have flipped businesses with entrepreneurs who did these first steps so well that they were making money before they even finished building the business. It can be very exciting when this happens, but it will also be short lived because hustle is not scalable.
The fact is “the next level” that everyone is talking about can only be reached through Autopilot Mode not through hustle mode. Many entrepreneurs don’t realize that what got them started won’t help them get to the next big level they are seeking.
But, it really is as simple as turning your business into a machine on autopilot to reach the next level.
As a business grows, the entrepreneur often gets stuck in the quicksand and can’t see beyond the top of the sand. That’s not going to happen to you! Here’s what to do next.
ENABLE AUTOPILOT MODE
Good news… there are really only 4 steps to creating an autopilot business. More good news… you don’t have to do it alone.
Step 1 – The 30,000-Foot View
When an entrepreneur is in the quicksand mode of their business, they lose sight of what’s working and what’s not working. They just go from task to task “getting things done”, not recognizing that what they are doing isn’t actually helping with progress of the business nor is it making any money.
The first thing I always have my clients do — and that I actually do myself in my own business — is to step back… WAY back… to get the 30,000-foot view.
There is so much that can be seen when you step out of the trenches and take a look at the overall picture and the current status of the business.
By stepping back and looking at your business from the 30,000-foot view, entrepreneurs can very quickly see what needs to be changed, and it’s usually what they think. Sometimes it’s small tweaks that make all the difference, and sometimes there is a total overhaul needed. It shines a light on areas where things need to be changed.
No matter how it’s done, every business needs to be analyzed from every angle at least once a year, preferably every quarter if possible. Armed with the information taken from analyzing what’s going on, a to-do list is quickly formed and a smarter, faster, cleaner, bigger, and better income-generating autopilot machine of a business will emerge.
Step 2 – Regain Your Purpose
With the passion for why the business was started in the front of their minds, the next step is to circle the items on the list that only the creator of the business can accomplish. The future of the business is in their hands. They and they alone should guide what happens next.
These items on the to-do list are circled and owned by the entrepreneur. Everything else should be done by experts in that field.
Nope, sorry. You’re not an expert at everything. None of us are.
Let’s face it, business owners don’t have the time or the desire to learn how to use every social media platform, how to do all of the techie stuff, spend hours and hours writing content, or how to be a graphic designer. Well, unless you are a graphic designer… Anyway, you get the idea.
Besides that, admit it, it takes us twice as long to do things we have to learn, don’t understand, or simply don’t enjoy doing than it does for an expert who loves that specific skill.
Step 3 – Build the Machine
You are so very good at what you do! Your clients love you! You have more that you want to create. More that you want to do each day, like spending time with your family or with your clients.
So, it’s time to build the machine!
What you do can’t be put on autopilot. Your passion your purpose, your dream, cannot be put on autopilot.
However, the rest of your business can and must be put on autopilot.
Shhh… Here’s a secret! The business stuff that keeps you from serving your purpose is what’s been holding you back.
What? Yup! It’s true! I know that you already knew that… but I figured I better tell you anyway.
Yes, it is necessary. It is urgent. It has to be done. But you don’t need to do it.
Looking back at the beginning of this post… you may recognize that the items on your “to-do in the business” list is the quicksand.
Whoa! Mind Blown! Right?
Building the machine is much easier than you think. As a matter of fact, you may even remember having this thought at one point or another while building your business.
Here it is… Ready?
Write it down! To build the machine of your business you need to first write down the processes. Yep, it’s that simple.
Our team calls them our SOPs, Standard Operating Procedures. Include not only the steps to complete the task, but the tools needed and other resources. For us, we include a list of the skills needed, a how-to video, when the SOP was written, and who wrote it so we can ask questions if needed.
Step 4 – Turn On Autopilot
This is where things can get a bit tricky and, for some, quite frightening. First off, you’ll need to be the leader, the boss, the big one in charge.
You’ll have to delegate.
You’ll have to let go of parts of your business that you have worked so hard on every day.
Believe me, it can be hard, but when you do it… it feels awesome!
Since you’ve done the prep-work, you’ll be fine! SOPs make it so that when we onboard a new team member we simply interview them, send them passwords through our password sharing tool, and then a link to the SOP. The project manager then follows up to be sure the work is getting done and then either myself or my partners do quality checks.
That’s it! Once you’ve taken a HUGE step back to get the big picture, decided to be the boss and serve your purpose, built the machine, and turned on autopilot by hiring the help you need, you too will hear the gentle hummmm of your business running in the background while you change the world!!
BAM! Autopilot Ignition!