Franchise Life – Stress for Success
They say the older we get, the faster time flies. I wonder if we aren’t just filling up the spaces with useless and needless activity. Traffic lights can seem endless, unless we have an article we are trying to read while driving! As soon as we pick it up, the light turns green. Wow, that was quick! Filling space makes time go by faster.
Sometimes I think we all need to get a life! Why did we get into Coffee News in the first place? Was it so we could work harder and spend our lives multi-tasking, even on the weekends? We are like dogs chasing our tails! We can pick up the pace, but the result is always the same.
Cell phones are another example of time usage. It is not important enough that we have to navigate a two-ton vehicle at 50 mph through traffic, we have to be talking on the cell phone , writing down appointments in our calendar, too. All this while drinking a hot cup of coffee wedged between our knees, because we are using the cup holder to rest our appointment book on so we can write down important messages!
Many cars now have navigation systems that tell us where to turn. We need that now because we have been talking on the phone for the last 20 minutes and don’t have a clue where we are. You are not embarrassed by that because if you suddenly find yourself late for the appointment, you can always call them on the cell phone and tell them you are tied up in traffic! It causes us to make up little white lies. With all this electronic stuff, why aren’t you an hour early for goodness sake?
It’s too late for New Year’s resolutions, but it’s not too late to finding more time in each day. Remember, our motto is, “If it isn’t fun doing Coffee News, then we aren’t going to do it!”
So what gems do I have for you?
- Make a list of all the commitments you have in your business life that you can cut! We know family comes first and we don’t want to cut here. For example, Coffee News is a commitment, Chamber of Commerce, BNI, Rotary, charitable groups, civic groups, board of directors and so forth are all time constraints. Then ask yourself the question, “Do any of these contribute to my quality of life?” You may find you have been involved with certain obligations in a variety of organizations that are no longer important to you. It isn’t fun anymore! Keep the ones you enjoy and cancel the ones where you no longer have the desire to be involved in.
- Just say, “No”! Whenever someone comes to you with an idea or a new business opportunity, or an MLM concept, or a board position, anything that is going to take up some time, just say “No”! Reduce, eliminate, resign, do whatever it takes to get out of that obligation! If you need to make more money, buy another Coffee News franchise!
- Regarding charities and civic groups, remember, you have done enough! Give someone else an opportunity to volunteer and gain the experience you had. That organization is not going to collapse just because you resigned! As a business owner, you really do not need to be building a resume!
- Take control of your life! Do what you want to do, not what others want you to do for them. One publisher said he had no time to sell Coffee News ads because he was always taking friends and relatives to doctor’s appointments, or hair appointments, or other priorities THEY had and he could not say “No”!
It may seem a bit heartless, but you are an entrepreneur now so why not start acting like one. The next time you get asked to drive someone to an appointment, explain that you have business obligations, but offer to call them a cab! If you feel guilty about doing this, then offer to pay for the cab. Chances are they are going to thank you for your generosity and will find someone else to drive them. Often, they think that because you work from home, you have nothing to do but wait on them. If it takes an hour to drive them and an hour to sell a $500.00 ad, the cab fare is bargain!!!
- Plan for your fun! Sure, we all have to work and your work is a priority, but target a time every day when you are going to do something for yourself. It could be a quick trip to your favorite clothing store, a two-hour round of golf, time to read a few more chapters in your favorite book, or whatever it is you do for fun! Before you start your day, pick the time you plan to do this and get your work done so you can make that date with yourself.
This is harder to do than you realize and the reason is guilt! Guilt for having fun every day comes from standards of work behavior others have imposed on you! Your inner conscience is telling you that you should not go play in the middle of the day! You will learn that with Coffee News, Mondays are bad sales days, as many shop owners do not want to see you on Monday. They are busy getting over the weekend and getting organized for the week and do not want to see sales people. Same is true of Friday afternoons. Small business owners leave early for the weekends. Aren’t these times good times for you to play?
- What are other time wasters? I suspect we get magazine subscriptions we never have time to read but yet we feel compelled to go through before we store them in the basement for the next 50 years. Donate them to the local hospital after you remove the labels and don’t renew them. You can borrow them from the library now or get them on line. TV can be a big time waster! Wall-to-wall news coverage today can gobble up time and make you less efficient. Turn it off!
- Evaluate your daily routines and rituals to see if you have been doing something for a long time that you don’t need to do anymore. Commander Alvirez, who was the longest held POW during the Viet Nam War, was asked what angered him the most about his captivity. He said he was often taken from his cell to be interrogated for brief periods. He hated these interrogations, not for the same old questions they asked, but because it interrupted his daily routine! He had learned to map out each day with his routine of prayer, cleaning himself and his cell, having his meager meals and so forth. His day was so full, he could not squeeze time out for his captors! Do a check on your routines! Isn’t it time for a change?
- Finally, simplify your life by getting rid of clutter, and other possessions you don’t use anymore. Less is more! Have a yard sale, give it away to a charity, whatever. Take time to attend an auction and you will find out what all that junk in the basement is really worth! Is it really contributing to your quality of life?
The better you manage your time, the more time you will have to manage! Reduce the stress and release the potential in you. Stress occurs when you have the responsibility but do not have the authority to resolve issues. Acknowledge that you are an entrepreneur and have the authority to take more control of your life to have more fun!