Crippled CEO Blog #163:
I asked my friend Dani Douglas of Dani Paint Co. (who does amazing murals for businesses) what challenge she was struggling with that she would like to see me write about, and I thought her answer was one that was extremely relevant to all small business owners: burn out.
How do you overcome the burnout that causes you to not do the things for your business that you know are needed?
A big part of my job is helping entrepreneurs start, grow, and maintain their businesses. Over and over, I’ve seen successful Life Savers seemingly sabotage their companies, and that burn out mentioned above is often the reason. Consciously or unconsciously, they don’t do the right things that they know they should do because they can’t stand doing it anymore. Maybe, secretly, in the back of their mind, they want it to fail, so they would finally have an escape.
They feel stuck on a treadmill of their own creation and they don’t know how to get off.
I certainly get it. I’ve been there. There are no worse feelings than 1) knowing that you’re not being as successful as you could be, and the only reason is your lack of motivation to execute the things you know you should do, and 2) dreading going to the job that you literally created for yourself.
So, this is the problem. What do we do about it?
Let’s use Dani as our example since this was inspired by her.
Dani paints murals for businesses. Her schedule is STACKED. She’s booked out.
If I’m her, the first thing I’m doing is doubling my prices.
That’s right. Doubling.
She’s going to lose a lot of customers this way. But if she ends up half as busy, but people are paying twice as much, she’s making the same money for half the work.
I’ve said before that the price you charge should be the number that makes you thrilled to do the work. Everyone wins when this happens — including the customer.
I bet doing half as many jobs for the same revenue would get Dani a lot closer to being thrilled.
Plus, now that you’re doing half as many gigs, and each gig is bringing in a lot more money, all kinds of new things become possible.
You now have the time, energy, and brain cells to do all of the marketing and other stuff that you knew you should’ve been doing, but you weren’t because you were so burnt out doing all that work. You get to spend time working on your business instead of in your business.
My favorite quote by Tim Ferriss is, “What would this look like if it was easy?“
The next thing that Dani should do is list out all of the things she hates doing the most, both on the job sites themselves, and also in the administration of the business.
How many of those things can be eliminated entirely? What would happen if you just didn’t do them anymore?
Of the ones left, what would be an easier way to do them?
Now that she’s charging twice as much per gig, she can afford to hire a helper to do some of the more tedious grunt work and prep stuff that takes up a lot of her time, leaving her to do the parts that she really enjoys.
She can also start to find what I call micro employees to do the most painful administrative stuff that she doesn’t like doing — inexpensive folks you hire to do one or two small things, not an entire part-time employee. Meanwhile, because she has all of this extra time and energy and she’s doing more marketing, networking, and promotional stuff, she is able to fill in the calendar and replace some, but not all, of the work she lost because of the price increase. But because she now has people helping, she is going to avoid the burn out that plagued her before.
It’s hard to figure out how to fix the airplane while you’re busy flying it, but when you’re operating a small business, that is exactly what you have to do. It’s hard to get out from under everything to see the big picture and understand what big changes you can make to help yourself, but if you can manage to get that view from 10,000 feet in the air, you’ll have a much better chance of making the drastic changes that will help you not just survive, but thrive, for many years to come.
PS: Dani creates incredible hand painted murals — think your logo on something big. Below is the photo of the one she did for my company. If you’d like to hire her before she hopefully takes my advice and doubles her prices, go to http://Danipaintco.com.
PPS: if you have a small business challenge that you would like me to tackle, leave it in the comments below and I may use my answer/your business as a future blog post.
(Do you know who doubled her price last night? Your mom. And she was thrilled to be doing the work. Your mom also gets a text from me every Sunday with a link to the latest blog post. Send a text to 561-726-1567 with the word CRIP as the message to get a link to the blog as soon as it’s up.
Did you know that I have a YouTube channel now? I do! I am putting up two videos every single week. Go search for Crippled CEO and you’ll find me. I would appreciate it if you subscribed.)