Today I’m going to talk about something that comes up for a lot of entrepreneurs—and that is when something in your life changes and you need to scale back the hours you spend on your business.
When you need to downsize…
You could make this decision for any number of reasons…
Maybe you want more time with your kids, more time to travel, or less stress.
Maybe it’s the new baby.
Or maybe your Significant Other just started a new job with a lot more hours so you want to have room to pick up some slack at home..
As for me, I’ve had to deal with some major health challenges in the past few years. And you combine that with being a relatively new mom…I definitely reached a point where I knew I had to cut back on my work hours.
But here’s the cool thing that I learned from my own experience (as well as talking with friends who’ve been in the same boat):
When you’re intentional about making the decision to downsize, it can have some really positive—and unexpected—benefits.
So let’s dive into those benefits…
The first one is obvious, but maybe you haven’t given much thought to it—and that is having more personal freedom.
Sometimes we get so caught up in our business goals, and doing more, and creating more, and selling more, that we forget about some of the simpler things that we used to enjoy in our lives (like yoga, afternoon tea, gardening, reading…).
Now, I don’t know about your particular situation, but I think it’s safe to say that having a little extra breathing room and space in our lives can be a really good thing—for us to be fulfilled personally, for our relationships and families, and even for our businesses.
Those are the personal benefits.
Now, how about the business benefits?
I’ll tell you a quick story about how this worked for me:
As I mentioned earlier, I was dealing with some significant health problems at the same time that I was pregnant and anticipating becoming a first time mom. It was pretty rough at times, and at a certain point I had to significantly downsize my business workload—and that meant I had to let go of numerous clients.
Up to this point, my business was way too broad.
I knew that then, but I really hated saying “no,” or “I don’t do that,” when clients asked if I would provide an additional service to them.
I was providing a wide range of different services to different types of business clients… (This is even more evident when I look back!) Some of those services and some of those clients were very lucrative; some weren’t.
AND I had a pretty good hunch that the more ways I spread myself doing multiple different things, the less ability I had to do the things I actually loved (and this is even after outsourcing)!
By cutting back in an intentional way, I was able to refocus my business on doing the things that I really enjoyed doing.
And…coincidentally, that was also what brought in the most money.
So even though I was working far fewer hours, my business ended up bringing in about the same money.
This process gave me a really clear picture about the smartest way to grow back my business when I reached that point.
So, that was my experience with downsizing…and then building back. And, truth be told, I think for many moms and lifestyle entrepreneurs, cutting back is an experience we’ll repeat many times in our careers.
Over to You –
I would love to hear if any of you have had similar experiences. Did you discover any benefits that you weren’t expecting? Please share in the comments below!