Overworking isn’t new to allied health business owners who take on so many roles all at the same time while trying to manage everything in between. But it doesn’t have to be this way forever. I’m here to tell you that you can change this and you can do something about it today.
I have been that kind of business owner once in my life – overworked and underpaid. But with the right mindset, tools and people to support you, you can reclaim your time, happiness and life. If you are up for the challenge of having your time and energy back to spend it more with family, relationship and experiences, I’m telling you right now – you can do it! I would love to be the change agent to get the thinking about that challenged and to get that behaviour behind over commitment to serving others and work challenged and changed, as well.
As business owners, we have a tendency to overwork and over promise to ourselves, our team and our customers. This entails a lot of extra work and added deliverables on our part. When you start adding in a few extra minutes in service to that hour of pay time, you start to rock away whatever amount you bill in your business and don’t get your return on effort. Hence, the expression “overworked and underpaid.” Days, months and years pass by and it gradually becomes your new normal. And suddenly, it feels weird that you don’t clock in those extra minutes, hours or days of work.
Typical tasks and roles an allied health business owner takes on.
The typical allied health business owner runs on 3-4 full time jobs – full time clinician, business manager, team leader. On top of that, they are also playing other roles in their families and relationships. The time, hours and tasks build up and up. My question for you is: How sustainable is this? How long can you go delivering your best on all of these full time jobs? Some people manage it better than others but many others are fatigued and depleted. Self care sometimes becomes a treatment for the symptoms but it doesn’t actually manage the cause of the problem.
I’m sure this is really resonating with many of you.
Planning to gradually reduce your working hours.
The end game is that you have a business that serves you and that you run the business and the business doesn’t run you. What I love helping business owners do is to start to get a plan on how to gradually reduce their hours. Making it a gradual process gives everyone time, yourself included, to adapt to having more free time, practise allocating skills and tasks to other people and getting used to repurposing your time and focus.
We need to focus on the fact that we have to have a life balance. Think about how you use your focus, energy, time, relationships, investments, or even your occupation to get that holistic balanced approach to life. It’s about the way you want your life to go.
Using the concept of The One Thing in “work-life balance”
“The One Thing”, by Gary Keller is such a simple, complex concept. It was my book of the year in 2019 and I still absolutely love it. I still dive into a chapter or two. It’s such a good book.
The chapter about life and how to use the concept of “The One Thing” in work-life balance talks about how to navigate and be strategic about where your energy goes, how to be comfortable with the fact that the word balance is in there and balance is dynamic. It’s about where your energy and your focus goes in a dynamic, shifting, mindful, strategic, and purposeful kind of way.
Going Through a Mind Shift
Making more time for family, friends and yourself is doable. You can make that happen by defining or redefining your role and purpose in the business. This will need a mind shift and growth mindset – a mixed mindset approach.
As your hours drop, there’s a really good chance that tasks are going to be shifted to other people. You then need to redefine those delegated tasks; how you show up in the business differently; how you show up in your team differently; how you show up in family, friendships and relationships differently . It’s a big mindset game and you will need all the support you can get on this.
Delegating tasks to other team members.
There is room for delegation in everybody’s business life. There is always room for challenging and redefining your goal as a business manager, owner orteam leader. If you don’t define it and manage people’s expectations, other people will define it for you and you will be tipped back into reactive mode. Dropping your hours, changing your role really lets you have that proactive stand on things.
Building up your systems
Sometimes, the reason why business owners are overworked and underappreciated is because they don’t have really good standard operating procedures in their business.
Remember, systems are only good as people are trained to understand them, use them and measure themselves against the systems that you have in place. These could be some work done on delegation, development of systems, training and measurement of compliance against systems – this is all super doable.
The challenge to allied health business owners
The personal adventure and challenge is about you defining what you need to be doing less of and dialling up more of who you need to be in the business.
Resounding stories from clients who adapted the “less is more” thinking have proven that they have been able to reclaim their time, their happy, and interestingly their businesses have been more profitable (that was certainly my experience.) It is absolutely doable!
There is always space for improvement. It doesn’t matter how many hours you pull in, it’s about how you want your perfect week to look like, what you want your role in the business to be and I am absolutely up for having a chat about that.