I have a confession to make. I built my law firm, had some early success, but after my initial success, I found that I was working too many hours. I was trading time for money, and the only way I could keep my business going was to keep putting more and more time into it. Finally, I hit a breaking point, and that caused me to fundamentally rethink what I was doing. I had to come up with new ways, which would take less time and effort, to build my business,
What track are you on? Are you simply trading time for money? When something comes in, do you say, “Oh, I have to do this… let me work this weekend. . . well, let me work more hours, or I’ll just work into the evening?” Are you putting your life on hold for your business? Are you answering every demand of your business by giving more hours?
There is a better way. There are ways to build systems and processes, to build plans, to include others, and to use teams to get your business to be more effective. Recently a commentator, Mark Powers of Atticus, said to me, “If you’re working nights and weekends, you’re cheating at business.” I think his view may be extreme since it’s certainly not unethical to work more hours; however, the point remains accurate, you are cheating yourself. Other businesses are doing things in reasonable periods of time, Monday through Friday, normal working hours, while still taking holidays off.
If your business requires you to work nights, and weekends, and long hours, maybe you’re not as efficient as you could be. Maybe this is a call to action to say, “How can I do this better? How can I involve others? How can I become more focused?” The same things that you do to focus on working fewer hours are also going to help you focus on those profitability drivers. As your hours are reduced, you will become more and more focused, and you will get to your core value-building activities. Your profitability will increase because you will only be spending your time on the most valuable projects.
While saving time is wonderful, and your profitability will increase, you will get the added benefit of more time to spend with your friends and family.
What has been your experience? Are you working around the clock trying to get everything accomplished? What have you done differently to be more efficient? How can you focus on your primary value drivers? Please leave your comments below.
Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. FreeImages.com/photographer Asif Akbar.
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