Take a moment and think back. Think back to why you started your business. What was your plan? What was your expected benefit from working so hard to make it happen? Maybe your story is like mine and entrepreneurship fell into your lap out of necessity. Whatever your situation, if you’ve been in business for a while, you have probably faced the question of “now what” or “what if”? If you are a person who sets goals and has aspired to great heights for your business, you imagine it with a team. A team gives you the ability to take time off or work on other things, without worrying about your business, and your money---stopping.
I have been in business for nearly eight years and for most of those years my business has been the only source of income for my family. It has also been a source of freedom. My business journey to this point has been far from a simple, overnight task. Five years ago, my husband, at the time, and I were trying for our third child. By then our youngest was four and expanding our family seemed right. I had been in business for almost three years and had a small team of two employees. I knew that maternity leave (as if business owners actually get that?!) and a new baby were going to alter my already overworked schedule. So, it was then that I began my mission to create a company that could run without me.
The key to being able to create this company that I envisioned, was in creating systems and the ability to delegate intentionally. We have now grown our team by an additional seven members. Today, our staff includes one manager and one administrative assistant and that is only the beginning! Don’t get me wrong, as a company we still have a way to go. We are still creating new systems and processes to continue operating efficiently and effectively, and without me. Are we there yet? I would say no, but this year we certainly demonstrated that we are on the right track.
The first indication was over the summer. We have all had a tumultuous year with COVID and the effects of all that has happened. So, when I had several unexpected opportunities to enjoy time with my kids and family- I jumped for it. It was a blessing to be able to take a couple of days off with nothing imploding. That is always the fear right!? That something WILL implode. That continued to be exemplified as the year has continued.
In August, I went on my first big business conference in another state. I know what you are thinking- Almost 8 years in business and that’s the first conference you attended, Megan, EVER?!? Do you remember that little baby I was planning on having? Well, there was another one 12 ½ months later, so traveling hadn’t been an option. (Oh, and by the way, I also became a single mom in the meantime-so double whammy there!). For this big conference, I had to travel all the way to Dallas. I did not die on the plane, so that was a plus. (And for an added anxiety bonus: this was my second time flying, EVER). The conference was amazing. I flew back with some priceless nuggets of information and fresh new connections. But that wasn’t all. Leaving for the conference allowed my team to show me what they could really do. While I was away for a week learning and enjoying some time off from my mommy responsibilities, my team held down the business. My hard work over the last 4-5 years of creating systems, learning how to delegate, learning how to hire, learning how to plan, setting goals, taking action, and dreaming had finally paid off! I stepped out of my business and it didn’t implode- it didn’t even miss a beat!
Enough of a test of my systems, right? Well, that wasn’t the end, not even close. As we were finishing the third quarter, another test! My household and I caught a very bad case of COVID. I ended up in the emergency room twice and on oxygen. To make matters worse, my dad was hit with it so badly that he nearly died. I was out for nearly three weeks and even today as I write this, weeks later, am still on the mend. When everything hit, I went from 80-miles-per-hour to standing still in about three days, with no notice. My company still ran, without interruption and with minimal missing pieces. Anything that was missed has presented us with the opportunity to fix and refine.
COVID has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. I lost weeks of my life, in a haze and unable to care for myself, my children, and certainly not my business. Coming back into reality and realizing my business virtually ran itself was an amazing feeling. I am sharing all of this with you to emphasize the fact that your business should work for you. It should be the thing you need it to be so that when life presents planned and unplanned events, you are able to get out of it the things that you need. Setting a firm financial foundation, planning, creating a team (whether contracted or employed), and being proactive with your business are ways to ensure and support this creation.
At Sidekick Accounting we help the numbers become tangible and understandable so you can make the educated and strategic decisions your business needs to create the future and vision of your dreams. If you need assistance, support, or you have a desire to move to the next level of business, book a call with me today.
Let’s get your business working for you instead of you working for it!
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