Business owners and service providers need to be a little bit more selfish, don’t they? I don’t mean selfish in the sense that they should embody corporate greed, but selfish with their time. Many businesses and dedicated professionals are devoted to servicing their clients, and that is fine, but sometimes, that leaves a business behind in its own affairs. Are you guilty of that? You might need to learn to work for yourself like you work for others.
It’s not that you don’t value your own time, but you only value it when others do. Simply put, you value your time when someone is willing to pay for it. Fortunately, and unfortunately, you have unlimited access to your skills and your time so you take it for granted. You slack off when you need to update your website copywriting, update your social media, respond to those emails, and do all the tedious things that you need to do.
Even worse, if you neglect the services you provide for others for yourself, you look sloppy at your job. How can you help someone grow their digital presence when yours doesn’t look that great? How can you design a great website if yours is half-done? This undermines your credibility in your industry and it is counterintuitive.
The number one excuse is time. It’s time-consuming to do these things, and you can actually spend that time taking on paid work. These activities don’t bring in any instant cash, but they do help you in the long run. Someone isn’t going to randomly stumble onto your website after you update the copy and make a purchase seconds after you have updated it, but the future traffic will have a better understanding of who you are and what you do if you put your foot down and actually update it. How many times have you worked with clients who didn’t see the need for your services until they actually bit the bullet?
You need to come to terms with your value. People are willing to pay you for your time. Even if you are new to business and you don’t have a large client base, there are people who see your value and have experienced your value. Why can’t you see that? Maybe you need to contract yourself as a client to create a separation of interests. Many people start their own business or start working independently to take control of their own lives, but developing a good foundation and structure takes some time.
Even those with experience have this problem. Approach your daily routine like you are being paid. Make a task list for your daily rituals, outline projects, and prepare the necessary documentation if you need to (project briefs, outlines, etc). If you need to do this to get your work done, then do it. You’ll notice higher levels of productivity for yourself and your clients if your business has an efficient internal flow.
Solving this problem will take time because you need to address the internal issues you face. When you do not maintain internal structures, they degrade. Sometimes we don’t engage in these tasks because we think too much about them. If they do take too much of your time, then outsource and delegate your projects to employees.