Yesterday I was running my mastermind group in the lovely Cibo restaurant in Manchester, and we all did intro’s. As there were a couple of new members in the group, I also did an intro. When I had shared my various business interests, including my 3 businesses, book writing, public speaking and business and public speaking coaching, as well as being a Mum and a big family person – one of the Masterminders asked me, ‘How do you find the time?’
I don’t know about you but for years I was too busy. I was too busy to have a life. I was too busy to even find the time to THINK about what I wanted. And I was very successful – apparently – or at least to the outside world.
I have always been a hard worker, and reasonably bright, and those two things combined with a love of problem solving and competitive nature always meant that I was mostly successful in my careers. But it also meant I was pretty busy. And when I started my own business back in 2001, I was pretty successful, which meant I got even busier – let no-one tell you when you start a business you will have more time or money – not at first anyway. What you DO have is more control over your time, but you don’t have more of it.
You see time is a thing that we all have the same amount of every day. It is a great leveller. You can’t MAKE more time, but you can choose what you do with it. You can FEEL like you have more time by focusing on doing what you love.
Here’s the thing – have you ever found yourself totally in flow, unaware of what time it is because you are so connected with what you are doing that it seems like time stood still? You are busy but you are calm and in your genius.
That’s how life should be.
Instead what happens is we get dragged into doing more and more ‘stuff’. There is more information available to us in one day then someone in the sixteenth century would have seen or heard in their entire lifetime. Now I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing. I think it is just what it is and there are definite up and down sides to the situation.
Early January 2 years ago was a turning point for me for various reasons, not least that my daughter was at college and would not be at home for many more years (if she is anything like me at her age – which she is!). I realised that I could carry on doing everything in my business and having all the apparent success but not the time I wanted, or I could learn how to delegate.
And at first it was painful – it took MORE time to train people up, it took MORE time to put systems in place – and it is still a work in progress. What is HAS done is allow me to take 3 weeks off in January to go to Australia with my (still travelling around the world) daughter. It also got my first children’s book out of my head and published on Amazon (Princess Phoebe Wants A Sister)
It has also allowed me the time to start my mastermind group last September which is now leading to a second mastermind group and a “Get Shit Done” Business Retreat in October (email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in getting your marketing sorted and funnel up and running in 4 days).
So how DO I fit it all in?
The answer is – I don’t. Not everything that was there before is still there – some things have had to go (like being a non-exec Director at Greater Manchester Chamber – though I think 13 years WAS long enough!). Some of my clients have had to get used to dealing with someone other than me more of the time. And that’s fine.
I have a great team round me who take up the slack and I have more focus on doing the things that I love, and therefore moving the business forward.
You can’t create more time, you can only choose what you do with the time you have.