How to Handle Business Overwhelm

Friday, July 30th, 2021

Sitting here with my Strong Coffee, watching the sun rise, and it’s safe to say that beach volleyball has officially turned me into a morning person. Funny how that works out. I do believe that that there are absolutely enough hours in the day, you’ve just got to be smart about how you spend them, which is exactly what I want to use this email to chat about.

Organizing one’s business life is something I’ve found myself working a TON on with my clients over the past few weeks, and I’m not gonna lie, I love it, and I’m really good at it.

Before I get too far into this email, if you are more of a podcast person, check out today’s episode of Maestro on the Mic, episode #309: How to Organize Your Business Life When You Feel Overwhelmed. If you’re more the reading type, or you just want a double dose of Maestro Musings, keep reading. And yes, this is a long one.

I’m a problem-solver by nature, but where I think the magic happens is in knowing which problem to solve. When folks come to me reporting that they feel like they’re “living paycheck to paycheck, but with time”, it’s the perfect indicator that we need to work on identifying which problems to solve, not just trying to solve all the problems. (How phenomenal is that analogy, btw? An awesome coaching client said it to me the other day and it totally stuck with me.)

When folks come to me feeling like they’re too busy and overwhelmed to grow their business, or too busy working IN their business and can’t work ON their business, I know that it is time to organize, reproductize, or perhaps synthesize something completely new.

I’m going to use the rest of this email to outline the five steps that I take people through when we work together on organizing the things and solving the problems, but if you get even more overwhelmed at any point, remember that you can you can always schedule a free 15-minute discovery call with me to see if we’d be a good fit and if I can help you stop living paycheck-to-paycheck with time.

Alright, so the first thing I recommend that do when you hit business overwhelm is to celebrate all of the hard work that you’ve done to get to that point. Having a full schedule of clients or having a successful program that fills up but you can’t see how to scale is a great problem to have. Of note, if you don’t have either of these things but are still feeling overwhelmed the following steps can still help you, but it’s more likely that you need to organize your personal life first before looking to organize your business life.

Step number two is to determine YOUR goals moving forward. Do you have income goals? Do you have time/lifestyle goals? Of note, sometimes these two things may be at odds. If so, you must pick ONE, and move forward with it. To share a quote that I saw reposted once by my girl, JillFit, “Sometimes you have to take a pay-cut to get a passion upgrade.”

After you’ve determined your primary goal, step three is to look at your business and identify the bottleneck that is preventing you from achieving said goal. For example, if your goal is to make X dollars by running your signature coaching program three times a year, you need to calculate how much more you’d need to make each cohort than you are currently bringing in, and then identify why you haven’t been able to bring that in. Is it that you don’t have enough interest? Is that it that you have had to cap the number of participants because of bandwidth? Is it that the way you have the program set up you simply don’t have the time to market it? Is it that launching the program is so time-intensive that by the third launch you’re dreading it and basically half-ass it? Get honest with yourself.

Step four is about YOU. Here you identify YOUR IDEAL way of running this program or service. Often when we start a business we start out by doing the most, and simply doing things in a manner we’ve seen done before. There is nothing wrong with this, and it’s actually quite smart to look to build on the successes of others. But as we move forward and have our own successes it becomes important to ask ourselves if this is in fact how we want to be doing things. Do you want to be doing that many check-in calls? Do you want to be communicating with clients in that fashion? Do you want to be seeing clients on those days? Do you want your program to be that long? To quote the ever-brilliant Dr. Ellie Sommers, “Run your business however the fuck you want.”

Of note, changing how a product/service is delivered (reproductizing) or creating a completely new product/service (synthesizing) is something I recommend to those who have delivered that product/service a few times, had success, and are now looking to make it better or more efficient. You must repeat things in order to see patterns and learn what works and doesn’t. If you create something new every time you launch simply because your last launch didn’t go “well”, you confuse your audience, give yourself more work, and will never be able to collect enough data points to know what actually works and what doesn’t.

Step five is where the magic happens, and this is where you decide if you need to automate, concentrate, delegate, or eliminate, and then do the thing. Now, I realize this is a big step with a lot of options, but if you’ve actually gone through the previous four steps, this step simply becomes about identifying the best way to address the bottleneck you identified in step three while working towards the outcome you identified in step four. Automating means using technology to streamline things (ex: Setting up a forms to be sent out automatically when clients register). Concentrating is just another word for batching, and means grouping similar tasks to eliminate task-switching and wasted time (ex: only doing client check-ins two days a week as opposed to every day). Delegating refers to giving tasks to someone else such as a virtual assistant or perhaps a co-coach. Eliminating means simply getting rid of something and is most easily done when you’ve successful delivered the product/service a few times and can identify things that don’t serve you and no longer need to be done (for me this was only recording two podcast episodes with a guest each month as opposed to four).

And that’s it! (said with a hefty dose of sarcasm) Yes, I realize the irony in saying “that’s it” about a system that required a long-ass email to explain.

To recap, those steps are:

1 – Celebrate all the hard work you’ve done to get to this point

2 – Determine YOUR goals

3 – Identify the bottleneck(s)

4 – Establish YOUR ideal way of delivering the product/service

5 – Determine if you need to automate, concentrate, delegate, or eliminate, and then proceed accordingly

For those feeling like you don’t want to tackle these steps alone, again I invite you to set up a free discovery call to see if I’d be a good fit to help you out. Consider that step 6. For those of you ready to rock and roll, get after it! For those of you wanting to physically hear a bit more about this process, check out today’s podcast episode.

I realize this was a long email, but I wanted to make sure that you got all the info to be able to help yourself. Running your own business provides an incredible opportunity to create the life of your dreams, but if it creates stress, anxiety, and overwhelm, it’s time to find a better way.

Hope this post helped.

Maestro out.

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