Since all that dust settled in September, what have you been working on?
If you're still chasing dust mites, feeling like you're constantly in "catch up" mode, putting out fires and looking backwards - you aren't alone. Many business owners say they're too busy fixing broken things and managing crises to lift their heads and actually propel their businesses forward.
You may start your day with your carefully organized to-do list. Then a call comes in. Or a staff member is away. Or your bank account is low and payroll needs to go out. Or there's a special request - perhaps some scope creep? - that requires all of your brain power.
With all of this going on, how are you supposed to move beyond crisis management, and actually work strategically?
The reality is that you cannot fix everything at once. You cannot reasonably juggle all the fires, and hope to move forward. You have to decide, right now, where to put your energy.
Despite what others, and your email inbox, lead you to believe, not all fires are worth putting out. Some could burn a little while longer. You need to choose what is truly both urgent and important, today.
Here are our suggestions for sorting your fires:
Get systems in place first. If you have strong systems that are managed by a good team, the extent and severity of the problems that pop up in your business will reduce.
Understand that the fires never stop. Ever. Build that acceptance into your day. That could look like setting aside an hour at the beginning of each day to manage the inevitable burn. Or it might look like booking a day each week to work on your business, rather than in it.
Graduate to better problems. That's right, problem-solving is your job... forever. Determine which ones you're actually good at handling, which ones you're not - and delegate the latter. Check the back end of our first ebook, The Art of Delegation for exercises that will help you identify which problems are for you.
If you've already done the above and are feverishly working on strategy, we invite you to read this excerpt from The Entrepreneur's Survival Guide, from our friend Pam Schmidt, on Purpose Driven Companies.
Does your strategy include passive income streams? Legal expert and small business cheerleader Heather Barnhouse has some stories for you!
Finally, if you're a finance professional looking to build your team, we've got some great ideas for you here.
Oh, and by the way, have you met... Carla?
We've got our firefighting gear on - we know that someone has to handle all those flames, and we have just the team. If you're ready to hand off your daily crises so you can concentrate on your business, get in touch. We're ready!