I learned the hard way…
Now I want to help you avoid the same mistakes!
I remember back in 2001 when I was General Manager at a declining national coachline…. I helped the Board develop their 10-year vision so that we had a clear vision shared across the board, that measured more than just profit:
Our identity, core values & our target audience.
We knew what we had to achieve but no matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to get the results. The challenge was getting 200 staff across New Zealand on the same page, working in the same direction.
For months I spent every waking moment either working in the business or at home worrying about the business.
I was both stressed and overwhelmed. Rather than feeling in control of the business, I felt like the business was in control of me. We just weren’t moving forward because our progress was hampered by the wrong people and attitude, some in senior management.
I worked long hours and found myself micromanaging the managers that reported into me. No matter how hard I tried & how much I communicated with the team, no one was engaging and I felt unheard.
We were frustrated and unhappy – me most of all.
It felt like I had the wrong people doing the wrong jobs, people who didn’t share or care about our values and vision. And because they didn’t appear to have our best interests at heart I didn’t feel able to let go. I was micromanaging & working long hours because I couldn’t trust others to do the work.
I was burned out, ready to walk away.
As a leader these feelings lead you to making wrong decisions & getting involved in things that you shouldn’t. You feel under pressure. You know you have all these people relying on you and you’re exhausted from working long hours. Because you want more control or simply don’t trust your team to do it right, you start sticking your fingers into everything to try to maintain some sort of control over the business. This just makes things worse!
The problem is it becomes self-perpetuating. You get stuck in the cycle of overwhelm, stress, micromanagement and lack of control. The more you try to control it, the more it becomes stressful & overwhelming, leading to more poor decisions. And because you never get time out from the business you never get a chance to reset & recover.
My personal life suffered. I had no time and no energy for my relationship & I came close to losing this. I was starting to dread going into work each day!
Then I had my lightbulb moment! I was ready to give up when one person (who had been a real challenge for me) quit their job. It seemed like the end of the world – having to try to find someone to replace them when we were already on a slippery slope downwards. However, it was actually quite the opposite – it gave me a chance to employ someone new = someone who didn’t know the business, who came in with a fresh mindset & shared the same values as me.
This made a major change to the whole team under this leader & it was then that I realised then we didn’t have the right people on all levels of the business! When you’ve got people coming to you only with problems & not prepared to look for solutions, then you know you’re in trouble. Unfortunately, they had all been there for years – they were part of the woodwork, part of the family. They may have been the right people in the beginning, but they weren’t now.
That’s why we weren’t getting any traction & why I couldn’t let go!
We could only achieve our vision if we had the right people in the right seats; it was time to make some tough decisions. We defined the roles that we needed for the business from the top down and identified the values and skills we needed to fill these roles. If the right people weren’t in these roles we replaced them with those who were. This was a tough transformation but a much-needed one if we were to achieve our vision.
The whole company started to change once we had the right people in the senior leadership team. We were moving in the right direction, together. Then we repeated this throughout the business, making sure we had the right people in every role. Some were replaced, some received training and some moved into roles where they started to shine.
As a result, I felt confident delegating which then freed me up to start working with my unique abilities. In spending my time working with the teams to remove obstacles with them and recognising new business opportunities rather than being caught up in micromanagement, I no longer needed to do everything myself.
My hours at work decreased & I rediscovered my passion for work & for the business. Not only did we start hitting our sales targets & financial budgets but we also won a National Customer Service Award, ahead of leading transport players like Air New Zealand & Qantas.
And we turned the bus around! We transformed from a business flatlining to a healthy, growing business in around 12 months.
I’ve experienced the same challenges in my own businesses & I’ve been able to apply the same principles to get the same results. After losing both my brother & my Mum within a short period of time, I realised that life is too short to not be doing what you love & having no time for things outside of work.
Until you are able to ‘let go’ you will never build the business, or the life, that you want & need.
Too often we go into business looking for freedom. Freedom financially & also freedom of time to do other things that we love. As the business grows we find ourselves overwhelmed, stressed & we still don’t have financial freedom, or time to spend with our loved ones & family. We aren’t the things we love to do.
You know you are good at what you do.
You know your business has potential that isn’t being realised.
You want a business that fulfills your vision and leaves a legacy.
I realised it was time to get back to doing what I love and stop doing what wasn’t working.
- You don’t have to be stuck in the day to day business.
- You can be the visionary with time and space to look for the bigger opportunities, for creating bigger relationships.
- You can pursue your passions and spend quality time with the people who matter to you.
- You don’t have to be in the cycle of stress, frustration & overwhelm.
What gets me jumping out of bed each morning is working with business owners like you. Helping you see the warning signs, working through the issues in your business and working with you & your leadership team to put the right people & systems in place. Then you can let go.
I help business owners reclaim their life & their passion!
Is it easy? No! Nothing worthwhile in life is. But I can help you have uncomfortable conversations. I can give you a safe space. I empathise because I have been there myself.
If you are reading this now, many things will be starting to click for you. You, like me, are someone who values having both a better business & a better life. The two can go hand in hand.
- Don’t lose the things that are important to you.
- You don’t have to be working long hours & doing things that you don’t enjoy.
- You too can have a great business with time to pursue other passions.
- You’re feeling overwhelmed and tired?
- Your business is taking a toll on your wellbeing?
- Your personal relationships are under pressure?
- Your business is taking control of our life?
You want to have the freedom you deserve… I can help you. I can help you & your leadership team to ditch the overwhelm and have a business that serves your vision. My passion has always been to help business owners live a happy life while at the helm of a successful business they are proud of.
Because that’s what I’m doing!