Do not be a slave to your business. Finding freedom now is critical – you need balance in your life.
Many people start an online business believing that they will be able to create the income stream and free time they never had before. The goal is usually to become your own boss and to enjoy life…right?
Then, something strange happens – the reality of owning (and running) your own business sets in. You are working more than you ever have; you seem to have less time than before, and building a sustainable revenue stream has proven to be a lot more difficult than you had hoped. Instead of freedom, you are feeling trapped.
This is the beginning of a series of postings that will give you three dozen+ practical strategies to help you solve the problems and find the freedom you are seeking, once and for all. It is time to stop being a slave to your online business.
Not all of the suggestions that I make will apply to your specific business; but, keep an open mind, because most of them will – if not immediately, at some time in the future.
I will post a new strategy every three or four days so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Take it one step at a time. Make it a goal to implement each strategy (or some adaptation of it) as it is posted, if at all possible. I promise if you do, you will start noticing a difference in your stress levels very quickly.
IMPORTANT: Even if you are not making a lot of money right now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do this. Making the tough decisions I will be recommending and investing wisely are going to be key factors in your business growth (and maintaining your sanity :-)). Living every day in a state of extreme overwork for little pay and no life…is NOT the way to climb to the top of the entrepreneurial ladder.
It is a little bit like a marriage, the behavior patterns you set up in the beginning and the relationship (with your work) that you develop now will be the foundation for the future. The longer those stay in place; the harder they will be to change. Make sure you are creating the “life” you want!
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get started so you can begin making significant changes for you and your business.
[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”20″ size_format=”px” color=”#bd1313″]Strategy #1[/typography]
Give up one (1) public email address (1 to start): If you are still answering all your public inquiries and customer support emails, do yourself a favor and cut it out. There are many qualified people who can answer your emails for you in a professional way.
Despite what might think, customer service is not rocket science. It just takes someone who is good at listening, understands your product (something that is easy to learn), able to follow instructions, and adept at problem solving.
To help with the training of a new customer service person, you should create a FAQ with the answers to common support questions. Hopefully, you already have a FAQ prepared to make your own email correspondence easier. If not, do that first.
If you’re concerned about the loss of control in seeing what is happening with your business communication, introduce a ticket system (like [typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#b03030″]ZenDesk.com[/typography] ) where you can oversee all the communication taking place in connection with your business. There are also free options if you search for them.
The reality is…the more time you spend answering emails, the more time you take away from developing and growing your business. If you aren’t ready to give up all your public email addresses, start with one and see how liberating it can be.
Stay tuned . . . Strategy #2 will be posted in a few days.