Women In Business

Are you building a business or just stuck in a job?

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There’s a difference between just having a job in your own business and actually having a business. One might give you the income you need and you’ll enjoy the fact that you don’t have a boss to tell you what to do – that’s having a job in your own business. But truly having a business is more about long-term achievement and serious success: a career that feeds you income even when you are not working on it every day; and an entity you can add value to … and perhaps sell for a profit in the future.

For me, identifying the difference between building a business and just being stuck in a job in that business was just the beginning. The real secret to building a business, rather than just buying a job for myself inside my agencies was all about outsourcing and delegating – something that took a while to perfect (and I’m still learning!)

The good news is, though, that in two years, I’ve been able to grow a full team, open another business and use countless opportunities presented to me. Why? Because now I delegate all the time. I work on building systems that work without me and the less I am there the more I am satisfied. 

It’s all in the mind(set)

Getting your mind right is critical for sustainable success.

There’s no perfect recipe but here are some tips that work for me:

  1. Focus on high value things – not day-to-day, nitty-gritty ( you can outsource this stuff). If you are still at the work from home business-building stage, this might mean making a decision to hire a cleaner to let you focus on things that actually build your business. To talk pure business, look at the little tasks that someone else could do more efficiently and book them to do it – this might mean hiring a copywriter to do your blogs, booking a bookkeeper to organise your invoicing, putting an SEO specialist on retainer to manage the online profile of your brand, using an admin assistant (or even a virtual assistant) to attend to smaller tasks like creating presentations, flyers or email signatures, and tapping into smart digital tools (try Canva for basic graphic design touches made easy, Hootsuite for streamlined posting on social media or Xero to make your financial record-keeping a snap).
  1. Write down your ideal lifestyle and take steps to make it happen. Explore the idea of a vision board – it’s not airy fairy if you view it as a road map for your life, rather than a wish list.
  1. Build an autonomous team. I cannot stress the importance of getting right highly enough. They need to understand their output is their responsibility, not yours
  1. Put in scheduled hours for when you are contactable – and when you are not. Let go of the notion that answering emails at 2am and responding to texts the second they come in makes you some kind of business superhero. It actually distracts you, most of the time, from what you really need to focus on. Have your big picture goals in mind – you’ll soon appreciate that being contactable 24/7 isn’t where you want to be.
  1. If you cannot scale it, it is a job. The main warning sign?  You need to be there all the time. Sorry for the cold hard truth but that means you simply have a job within your business – not a well-engineered machine running with or without you.
  1. Work in a manner that suits you – when you want, how much you want and with the people you want. You started the business to have freedom, yes? So why compromise?

My perspective is based on my personal professional experience and I can encourage to strike a balance to find what works for you and your business. If reading this article has made you realise that your working life is in a job and not in the business you thought you had, use this realisation as inspiration to take action and work on the business instead of ‘in’ the business.

There is constant room for improvement and do not let my (or someone else’s) version of success define yours. There is always time to turn things around and make them better. If you’re not sure how, talk to someone you know who is already doing it and ask them for some advice – or for a pointer to a recommended business coach or mentor. You’ll be glad you did. It’s a fantastic journey building your dreams, and I encourage you to design the life you’d like to have.

About Sharon Latour

Sharon Latour is the Founder and Queen Bee at Hive HQ. As an under 30 CEO, she is constantly on the pulse of what the digital generation has to offer, has a meticulous commercial eye, business flair and has been referred to as a ‘Biz Whiz Kid’ and ‘conceptually brilliant’ in the media. Queen Bee is a true believer in disrupting the industry with strong, bold marketing solutions.

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