Last week, I returned from an 8-day trip to Paris with my mom. It was beautiful and amazing in SO many ways. The food, the culture, the architecture, the art, the people, and, most importantly of all, the memories made with my mom as we both explored this sliver of Europe together.
While I was in Paris, I committed myself to continue to work, but to cut out all of the things that weren’t absolutely necessary for those 8-days. This meant: no calls and no marketing. I still processed my team’s payroll. I still responded to client emails and team messages. I still onboarded and offboarded clients. I did the day-to-day necessities required to keep the business up and running.
And the result? I only worked for ~15 minutes in the morning and ~30 minutes in the evening. The rest of the day, I was free to enjoy Paris alongside my mom. It was a dream!!
Now, I know my business without any calls and marketing isn’t sustainable long-term. I still need to (and want to!) get on discovery calls with potential clients. I still need to (and want to!) create content to nurture and build trust within our community. But the big question that I have been asking myself since I’ve returned home is this: what tasks in my business actually move the needle?
What I have found is that I’ve filled my days with many tasks + projects that don’t actually move the needle forward in my business. Non-needle-moving tasks + projects, to me, are ones that don’t improve the experience our community, clients, or team have with our business OR are ones that don’t generate one of our current desired outcomes (increased revenue, increased referrals, increased exposure to our mission).
I’ve found myself doing tasks or pursuing projects like a dangling carrot of success.
Just one more post per week and we’ll generate those extra leads.
Just one more collab and we’ll finally have the exposure we want.
Just one more freebie and we’ll grow our email list.
But, in pursuing what I thought was right without taking moments to pause to see the impact of my work, I have found myself with a plate full of work that hasn’t benefitted me or the business (sound familiar??). The end-result of piling on more work without ever analyzing how that work was quantifiably benefitting the business (AKA diving into the data to see if those posts, emails, collabs, freebies, etc. were actually converting in the way I had desired) was always going to be burnout.
So, before I reach that undesired destination of burnout, I’m getting laser-focused with my time and energy. I’m diving into the data to see which tasks + projects are actually moving the needle forward in my business. Anything that isn’t improving the experience community members, clients, or team members have with the business OR that doesn’t generate additional revenue, referrals, or exposure to the business’ mission are getting cut…immediately.
The beauty of being your own boss is that YOU get to dictate your own workload. The downside is that most of us are harder on ourselves than we would ever be with any other team member. We pile unnecessary amounts of work and stress onto our plates but…why?
So I ask you: what is actually moving the needle forward in your business?
And why are you continuing to do work that isn’t benefitting the business or you?
You get to be a kinder boss to yourself. You have that power.