His business had grown — it was bigger now than he ever thought it would get to be. He’s making good money, driving a nice car, has a big office, a place out by the lake…things are good.
Except, he’s tired, exhausted really. He’s tried changing up his workout; he tried taking a big long vacation; nothing seems to work. It’s not like there’s something else he’d rather be doing, but this just isn’t turning his crank anymore.
He calls me to talk about selling his business, but I can tell he doesn’t really want to sell.
I glance over at his computer and look at his calendar — it’s a solid block of meetings. All day, every day, he’s booked in meetings!
What do you love to do?
I asked him, “What do you love about this business? What got you into this business in the first place?”
He gets this far off stare and starts telling me about his love for writing, for crafting narratives. That’s what his business is great at — they tell amazing stories for brands that bring complex ideas to life, but he doesn’t do it much anymore. He’s mostly in meetings — and not even meetings to review the writing…pipeline meetings, meetings to choose benefit plans, or IT support companies. Crap he doesn’t care about.
No wonder he’s tired.
I got out this diagram that I use to help clients to find their ideal clients.
The place where most companies go off track is that they end up doing work that they are good at, and that people are willing to pay them for, but that they don’t love doing. That’s the road to burnout, and the only way out is to say NO to that work. The more of that work you do, the more people want you to do that work you hate — and it makes you money — you have to take it! But you hate every minute of it.
As we talked, he saw that he was doing just that. What he thought was his job was doing work that bored him to tears. He is good at it, so folks keep bringing it to him. But he hates every minute of it.
Over the next few weeks, we worked on a new job description for his role. We took out the administrative crap he hates and hired a COO to take on most of that. He took back a small amount of creative work, and we’re working on building him a sales team to free him up even more.
The same is true of you.
If doing what you love seems like a drag all of a sudden. If you feel like you just don’t have the spark or the fight to keep going, take a look at what you are spending your time on. How much of it is stuff you love to do? How much of it is administrative stuff you hate?
Remember, you are the boss. If you don’t want to do something, you can find someone else to do that thing.
Pressing on doing the stuff you don’t love doing isn’t good for you. It’s not good for your business (and your family, and team, are tired of listening to you complain about it.)
What do you need to get off your plate to make room for the work you love?