Have you ever done the “perfect day” exercise? Jack Canfield writes about it in his book The Success Principles. It goes like this:
Imagine your perfect day in great detail. Then write it down. Where do you live? When do you wake up? What do you do when you wake up?
Then go through each hour of your day. What projects are you working on? Who are you with? What do you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? And when do you go to bed? What are you wearing?
This is well worth it to do, and here’s why.
I did this exercise in January, 2009–I typed my perfect day into a text file on my computer. And then I put the file away and mostly forgot about it.
Last week I found it again–when I was looking for another file, actually. I pulled it out and read it. And I felt overwhelmed. I felt like there was just too much “stuff” to do between here and that perfect day.
Moving Toward My Perfect Day
This week, everything changed, because I hired a new team member who will quickly ramp to being full-time here at erica.biz/Whoosh Traffic. And, instead of just blurting out ideas for what I wanted to do next, I started a shared to-do list.
I included Parnell (my co-founder at Whoosh Traffic) and my new team member, and then I started brain-dumping to-dos into the list. I hit 20 to-do items relatively quickly. And as I started to delegate them, I found myself suddenly quite emotional.
I had a break-through moment as I went through that list. I realized that what I’m building–between this site, the information products I plan to release this year, and Whoosh Traffic and its associated services–is amazing. That the 7-figure business I sold pales in comparison to what I am building now. And most importantly, that I can’t do it alone.
The Mistake That Can Kill Your Business
Too many times, as entrepreneurs, we get consumed with trying to do it all. We cram in one more email, one more blog post, one more sneak peek at Facebook or Twitter. We stay up late into the night tweaking one more ad, putting one more image on our website, or adding one more item to our to-do list. Sound familiar?
And pretty quickly, we go into overwhelm mode, where we’re busy putting out fires instead of believing in ourselves. We begin to crumble under the weight of our growing business, and we lose ourselves in escapism. We focus on only what has to be done today instead of looking forward to tomorrow, and we’re just relieved when our inbox finally gets to zero.
But is that what really matters most? Our inbox getting to zero? All those piddly things getting done?
What matters most is to keep moving forward with our business. To block out the tidal wave of new emails, new Tweets, and “one more thing” and to remember, instead, to create every day. To bring something new into the world.
Fighting the Fires of Overwhelm
If you find yourself fighting fires and burned out at the end of the day (no pun intended), may I make a suggestion?
Picture the type of person who could help you grow your business the most. Not a specific person…just the tasks that person would do and how he or she could help you.
Then set an intention to bring that person into your life.
When he or she shows up, and you know it’s right, make the offer. Put it on the table. Give away part of your company if you have to. Work out a deal where you pay the person less right now, but his or her pay ramps up as their work flows into your business and you start generating more revenue. Don’t get caught up in how much money your business isn’t making. If the person is passionate about you and your business, find a number that doesn’t kill you to pay them (but pay them if at all possible.) Then make it work. Start them at 10 hours a week. Then ramp it up.
If you’re pretty sure this person could work out to be a business partner, offer the person part of your company (paid over time, of course.) That’s what I did with Parnell. After a 6-month trial, he’s now gradually gaining ownership of a good chunk of Whoosh Traffic. With Parnell, I knew he was the right person to help me grow my business–and I couldn’t have built the business without him.
Above all, do everything you can to make sure your employees–especially the ones most important to your success–are compensated well, not just with money, but with ownership, love, and appreciation. If you wake up in the morning thinking “I couldn’t run this business without ____”, make sure that person knows that.
Do This Today
Your action step for today? Tell your best employees you couldn’t do without them. Make a decision now to let those who aren’t the right fit go, and leave that space empty for the right person. And, if you’re in the situation where you’ve talked with someone you think would make an amazing fit in your business, but you feel like you don’t have the money, talk it out with them. Tell this person how amazing you think he or she is, and how he or she would fit in your business, and see if you can make it work.
I realized recently that I just couldn’t make my “perfect day” work all by myself. Besides, it’s much more rewarding to have a team of people who believe in your business as strongly as you do, and will do what it takes to make it succeed. Hiring team members can be scary, but trust me–it’s worth it.
- Ten Tips on Hiring Employees. Hiring employees can be difficult and time-consuming. Here’s my (controversial) advice.
- How to Hire a Virtual Assistant. I invited a seasoned virtual assistant to give you her recommendations for how to hire a virtual assistant.
- Five Steps to Freedom: How to Outsource Your Repetitive Tasks. Ever wanted someone to do all those menial tasks for you? Here’s how I hired a personal chef on craigslist–and much more!