I almost didn’t go on vacation this year because I thought I couldn’t
And it was the first true vacation (what I call the beach) in TWO years.
Yes, you read that right. TWO YEARS. Way too long.
I was burnt out. Teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown. And if you know my mental history at all, you’ll know this was highly possible and likely. So I REALLY needed to go.
But I was flipping out about leaving
For some reason, I had convinced myself that the office would fall apart without me.
All the processes I had put in place, all the excellent staff I have. It didn’t matter- my brain was screaming “You can’t go!”
I thought no one could replace me. Silly me.
But I left anyway. And here’s what I learned
Yep- they did fine without me 🙂
And THAT right there is what defines success.
When your business continues along well in your absence, you’ve done something right.
When you’re starting out, leaving is not an option
That’s the rub…. When you’re just starting out, you have to be everywhere, do everything. Time off? HAHAHAHA. That’s a funny joke.
But as your business grows, it becomes an option and must become one
It’s absolutely vital to your mental health that you begin to pass on what you know to your staff. That you develop processes to take that knowledge and turn it into a series of actionable steps that can be replicated time and time again.
Because if you don’t, your crash and burn will be EPIC.
You’ll become hateful and nasty (because you’re SO tired). You’ll lose your energy. You’ll lose your passion. You’ll probably lose customers. You won’t like yourself. Others won’t like you.
Let’s face it- MOST things I do at the agency can be done by someone else. Writing policies, processing policies, reviewing renewals and the like are all typical examples. And for the majority of these items, I’ve got systems in place to do this. So it’s NOT all me.
When you develop the right systems, you are creating your replacement
Does that scare you? Good. Let it. That’s just ego talking. Once you get over the fear, you’ll realize it’s the most liberating feeling in the world.
And that’s what we all strive for.
Be replaceable to be successful in business
Create systems for your work
For every easily repeatable task, write down the steps. Get input from the major players- in this case it’s my CSR’s. Practice the steps.
Tweak your systems based on the feedback
When your key players correct you, by all means listen! They know. When they have input, they’re more invested in the process and will be more willing to do it. Buy-in is crucial.
Once your system has been in place for a while, occasionally audit it to make sure it still meets your needs
Systems are not static, nor should get stagnant. The goal is to always improve your processes so everything hums along like a well-oiled machine.
To be replaceable in our business is a goal we should all aim for. Because being replaceable will lead to long term success for your business.