Small business owners, work-from-home entrepreneurs, coaches, authors, speakers and other creative people, create all the time: networking, article writing, blogging, forum posting, surveys… the list goes on, especially when they are in growth mode and looking for ways to increase their revenue.
The challenge is, everything you create you must maintain. In a big company, with departments and teams, some people create and other people maintain. But in a smaller space the lines are blurry. Everything you create takes space in your brain or on your calendar:
- If you create a team, you need to manage and maintain it.
- If you create a membership site, you need to run and maintain it.
- If you create a coaching business, you have to deliver and maintain it.
- If you build a community, you need to nurture, grow and maintain it.
- If you sell a training program, you need to run and maintain it all year long.
The question is, what do you want to maintain?
Some people focus on creating and forgetting. They get so excited by a project that they do not think about what their life might look like after it is up and running. As the initial excitement passes and the weekly routine sets in, they realise that they are no longer enjoying it. They had a lot of fun creating it, but now needed to maintain it. Even with a team - that just becomes another 'something' to maintain. It all becomes too serious. Many successful business owners feel the pressure of having to maintain what they have created. They are on an entrepreneurial treadmill and cannot stop. You can feel their pain and exhaustion. Their business is wearing them out and they feel trapped. They have created a 'monster' and now need to feed it.
So here is some food for thought as you grow your business:
- Before you add or create anything in your business, ask yourself “Do I want to maintain this?” Then see if you still want to move forward in that direction. This question will add instant clarity and guide your decisions more powerfully.
- Sometimes you have to try new things and even make mistakes to discover what you do not want to maintain. And sometimes you have to experiment with new ideas in case you end up absolutely loving it!
- You may not always know the answer. You may not know if you will like having a big team, or if you will eventually get tired of recording a weekly podcast, or if blogging can be fun as a weekly commitment, or a weekly meeting you were inspired to attend will continue to inspire.
This way you can be very careful about what you say “yes” to. If you want to make sure you can sustain and maintain what you create, ask yourself at every decision point, “Do I want to maintain this? Will I be happy doing it this way six months from now?” The key lies to being totally honest with yourself – anything else will lead you to unhappiness in business and in personal life. And you may end up being “trapped in paradise.”
Here are some questions you might like to answer for now:
- What do you want to maintain?
- If you’re currently maintaining something you don’t enjoy, how long are you willing to tolerate it?
- And what needs to happen before you are ready to make a change?