You can make money, but you can’t make time
When I first started in business I constantly heard the same phrases: “If you want something doing properly then do it yourself” and “Don’t trust anyone”, which I took as good sound advice and implemented into my day-to-day life, devoting all of my time to running my business. I mean, why wouldn’t I? I was hearing this pretty much everywhere I went.
The first two years of running my business, I stuck to the ‘plan’ of working 24/7 with no holidays, no time away and making sure that I did all of the important stuff myself. This resulted in me running myself into the ground, my family never seeing me and my business reaching a level it couldn’t go beyond, as it was massively understaffed. That is when I realised something had to give and there had to be more to being in business than well, being in business. After all, if this was how it was going to be, then what would be the point in it all?
I started speaking to a few guys who had been in business a lot longer than me, who had solid, well-established businesses, to see what they thought and what their attitude was to a good work life balance? They said exactly the same thing, which was: “The world won’t stop turning just because you go on holiday lad, and don’t make the same mistakes I did by not going on holiday.” Then I heard the best sole piece of advice that I have ever heard in my entire life: “You can make money back, although you can’t get time back.”
Now, straight away, this made far more sense than any of the ‘don’t trust anyone’ nonsense, so that same day I booked a holiday away for a week with Mrs C; I handed the reins over to my only full time member of staff at the time and off I flew to Turkey for a week away, with no mobile phone (well it was 1998!) If I am honest, it took me a couple of days to relax and forget about work, then when I did stop worrying about work, I actually started having some great ideas about work. I loved the holiday, Mrs C loved it too and when I came home I was fully re-charged and raring to get back into work and tell my right-hand man what a great time I’d had.
I got to work early on my first day back and was surprised to see that I wasn’t the only one, two staff were already in, buzzing with ideas that would help the business move up to the next level. So we sat down and talked, with what they had learnt from being at the frontline of the business and what I had learnt from taking a step back, we decided to make some changes and over the next 2 months we took on two new members of staff, increased turnover by 20% and increased profits by 3%.
I didn’t realise it at the time, but looking back, I had basically had a performance review by inside consultants and although it had cost me money at first, I soon realised that the money was just an investment that paid off massively, month after month, year after year.
It is amazing what stepping away from your business for a week or so can achieve and how many great ideas can be gained from letting people have a look at your business with a fresh pair of eyes. Learning to trust people and employ brilliant people who have a different skillset to yourself can make your business innovative, exciting and most importantly, increase that bottom line.
Over the years, I have been involved in lots of different businesses at lots of different levels, using lots of different strategies to get lots of different results and now I spend a lot of my time working with different businesses across the UK, helping them increase turnover and those all-important profits, whilst remembering that every good business needs a great infrastructure that can flourish, whilst you take those all-important holidays, otherwise, what is the point? So, what are you waiting for? If you haven’t been away already, get people in places and get a holiday booked!
If you feel you, your market traders as a whole, or your business could benefit from working with me please do get it in touch…Speak soon.
LinkedIn Adam Corbally