For all the latest news and information from ThinkSmart Software.
For all the latest news and information from ThinkSmart Software.
For many entrepreneurs, four months into the year could be one of the most challenging times. You've just started a fresh year with new ideas and new aspirations. Many business owners pour their heart and soul into making them work. Maybe your goal is to double your enrolment, or perhaps you want to make enough money to renovate your premises. Now it's spring or autumn, depending on your location, and you've been working tirelessly towards your goals. If you're starting to feel tired and restless now, then fatigue and burnout could be around the corner.
There is still plenty of time left to achieve your goals and grow your business. Here's how you can provide quality instruction, achieve your goals, and avoid burnout.
First, Consider Setting a New Goal to Improve Your Work-Life Situation
One of the mental shifts that happen when people transition from aspiring entrepreneurs to established business owners, is the shift from "I need to do whatever it takes to grow my business" to "I need to do whatever it takes to grow myself which will, in turn, grow my business." In other words, seasoned entrepreneurs know the value of investing in themselves.
As an example, consider two entrepreneurs. One works 18 hours a day and gets four hours of sleep. They go home, go to bed for a little bit, and force themselves to get up - day in and day out. Another entrepreneur has a solid six hours of focus time each day and spends the rest of their time with their family, having fun, and then has a good night's rest.
Which entrepreneur is more likely to be successful? Your perception might be the first one - more hours means more money. Not necessarily. Research shows it's the second entrepreneur that's more likely to be successful.
There are two reasons why. First, there's only so much quality focus time people can have on any given day (one UK company estimated the average worker is only productive for about three hours per day. Second, more UK research shows that "long hours working, especially when coupled with sleep disruption, [cause] deterioration of task performance... [and] had detrimental effects on such things as rates of error, pace of work, and social behaviour."
In other words, there's no evidence to suggest that working long hours results in better quality or a higher quantity of work produced. This point is especially true of small class-based businesses (like swim or tennis coaches) that need to be professional, responsive, and courteous at all times. It's tough to teach a class, particularly if you're tired!
As such, if you want to stop feeling fatigued, instead of focusing on pushing yourself to grow your business (a business-related goal), consider shifting your focus to what it will take to improve yourself and your lifestyle (a self-improvement goal). These improvements will give you the mental, emotional, and physical tools necessary to conquer the challenges that your business might face.
Consider Professional Development Training & Business Tools
With this new goal of self-improvement in mind, people can sometimes beat fatigue in the workplace by taking a step back and developing themselves professionally. Consider classes, training materials, and discussions with other businesses like yours to learn what they are doing. Alternatively, you might want to learn a new skill that makes running your business more efficient, so you don't have to put in as many long hours.
A new business improvement could involve implementing a new software application. A program such as ClassBiz will help automate your business and greatly minimize the volume of hours spent on administration. A change to the way you run your administration will free up time, enabling you to focus more on your professional development and other areas of your business.
By investing in yourself, you can use those skills to provide better experiences for your clients, and you can often leverage those new talents to run your business more efficiently. Once you do that, you'll find that you don't have quite the same level of fatigue as you did before. Plus, you'll often renew your sense of passion for your area of instruction.
Every type of class-based business will have a unique style of professional development. For example, ballet teachers in Australia might want to classes from The Australian Ballet. Other instructors will have different representative bodies from which they can take courses.
Either way, consider taking a "step back" from your business and taking the time to learn some new skills and techniques that will make life easier for you in the future. That training will help you provide better instruction for your students, help you achieve some of your professional goals, and reduce the risk of burnout because you'll have the efficiency and confidence to deliver your instruction to the best of your ability.
Restructure Your Life
While this idea might sound daunting, it needn't be significant. Sometimes the littlest of things can have a big impact on how we feel at the end of the day. "Restructure" in this case could be as simple as ensuring that you spend 15-30 minutes per day reading a book or having some downtime before you go to bed. Or, maybe you realize that you feel happiest if you have an hour or so each night to play some video games. Regardless of what it is, focus on providing yourself with the time and opportunity to pursue the things you enjoy outside of work. Having time to refresh and recharge daily is essential. Without it, fatigue is virtually inevitable.
Of course, sometimes more significant restructures are necessary. Maybe you'll need someone else to pick up the kids from school, or you'll need to re-consider your care arrangements. The point is to take some time to think about what you can do to make yourself feel less tired and plan to address it.
Be Flexible With Yourself
Above all, be flexible with yourself and give yourself the grace and space necessary to figure out the best way to operate your business. Entrepreneurs often struggle with this balance, so you are not the only one to face this situation. Talk with peers, colleagues, and friends to see if they also have suggestions or have run into this problem before.
You probably won't get the balance right to start. Maybe you'll reduce your workload too much in the beginning, then dive back into it to "get caught up," and then pull back again. That's ok. Eventually, you'll find the right balance for yourself and your lifestyle. Once you do, you'll likely find that success comes much more naturally and more abundantly than you ever thought possible - all without the same struggles as before.