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Sep 10, 2018

“Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.”

In this episode of Women in the Business Arena, Sonya and Laura discuss some strategies and perspectives on how to operate your business day-to-day. Many people see running a business as a “sexy” alternative to working in a 9 to 5. There is excitement about the freedom and a focus on the more glamorous side of running a business, but they fail to realise the reality around running a business.

The operational side of running your business is the most important part. Many business owners have an illusion that one day they can make passive income or delegate the operations of their business to someone else, but this rarely happens. Operations is a part of your life as an entrepreneur, and instead of trying to pass it off, Sonya explains why it is important to learn to love it. She uses the Zen metaphor of “chopping wood and carrying water” to illustrate a more effective way to operate your business.  Whether you are at the beginning stages of entrepreneurship or have a thriving and mature business, there will always be some aspect of operations.

Women often have a perception that they are not “successful” because they are working hard. It is based on the belief that when you get to a high level of success, business becomes easy. Sonya is an advocate for a simplified and streamlined business, but there will always be some hard work involved in getting to success.

“Until you’re really stabilized in your business… you shouldn’t be delegating to anyone. You should be working to master the basics.”

Wherever we are in our journey, it is crucial to master the basic skills of operating a business. Before delegating less desirable tasks to a team of employees, you have to first own the skills that you will teach them. Building a team, before first mastering the basic skills, will not foster a sustainable business model. While Sonya is a proponent of playing to your strengths, basic business skills transcend the need to, “own your genius.” These include connecting with your target market, developing services and skills that are really needed, and becoming more efficient and confident at sales. Even if you don’t consider yourself a salesperson, it is crucial to recognize the pain point in your target market, and develop an attractive way to present your unique solution.

“Business owners who are successful know and sell their services better than anyone, because they know the value and believe in their product or service.”

Our perception of success gets skewed when we wait for the “sexiness” of our business to present itself. Sometimes we can become stuck on this idea of getting past the operations phase and into the easy phase. This mindset can lead to burnout. As we continue to move our business forward, it is important to recognize the achievements of the present, and celebrate how far we have already come.

As we stay in the present, it is important to have a realistic view of our business. Many times we compare our business to the status of other businesses that are several steps ahead of our own. We have to stay “in sequence,” moving forward at a sustainable pace to create a foundation for lasting growth and success.

“You absolutely get more choice. That’s the freedom and flexibility you have when running your business… But it’s still work… and that doesn’t end. It’s important to become aware of that so we stop sabotaging ourselves and going after something unrealistic, and enjoy the process of running our business.”

Some Topics we talk about in this episode:

  • Introduction - 1:02
  • The Reality Successful in Business - 3:45
  • Mastering the Basics and Delegation - 11:20
  • Enjoying the Process of Developing Your Business - 18:29
  • The Three Causes of Burnout - 22:50
  • Having a Realistic Mindset About Your Business - 24:22
  • Wrap-up and Takeaways - 30:39

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