I have a confession to make. I built my law firm, and I had some early initial success, but the problem was after my initial success, I found that I was working too many hours. Simply, I was trading time for money, and the only way I could keep my business going was to keep putting more and more time in it. This caused me to hit a breaking point. I had to come up with new ways to build my business, which would take less time and less effort, and that caused me to fundamentally rethink my business.
What track are you on? Are you simply trading time for money? When something comes in, do you say, “Oh, I got 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 just answering every demand of your business by giving more hours?
There is better way. There are ways to build systems and processes, and get your business to become more effective to build plans, to include others, and to use teams. Recently a commentator, Mark Powers of Atticus, said to me in an event, “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 being 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 get more focused?” Guess what? The same things you do to focus on working fewer hours are also going to help you focus on those profitability drivers. Down the line, as your hours are reduced and you become more and more focused and you get to your core value-building activities, your profitability will increase because you’ll only be spending your time on the most valuable activities.
While the benefit of saving time is wonderful, and you’ll get more time with your friends and family which is a great benefit, I think you may also find that your profitability will increase.
What’s been your experience? Are you working around the clock trying to get by? Are you struggling with hours? What can you do differently? How can you be more efficient? How can you work less hours and focus on your primary value drivers?
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. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/Elizabeth French.
About the Author
R. Shawn McBride — R. Shawn McBride is the Managing Member of The R. Shawn McBride Law Firm, PLLC. Shawn works successful, private business owners in their growth and missions to make a company that stands the test of time. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at [email protected] or 407-517-0064.
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