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When Am I Ever Going to Get Caught Up?

When Am I Ever Going to Get Caught Up?

I just can’t catch up. My inbox is constantly overloaded, the phone is always ringing, the projects just keep coming. When is it going to end? I wake up early, I work late, I try to hire subcontractors to help out, I raise my rates, I say no to projects, I postpone, I delay, I get work done. But it’s never enough.

Of course, I’m asking all of the wrong questions and looking at the whole thing from the wrong perspective. I’m looking at it passively, as if it’s just going to go away or get better on its own. What’s the definition of insanity? Something like keep doing the same thing while hoping for a different outcome? Yeah, that would be me: insane.

Sure, it’s all good: too much work, too many clients. But it’s been that way for years. This can’t be the goal, this shouldn’t be the standard operating procedure. Right? I’m supposed to “grow” and hire people and let them do the work. I’m an idiot for doing it all, not outsourcing (and I don’t mean just to Bangladesh, but to ANYone else), not skyrocketing my rates or saying no enough. I know it’s not a new thing, in fact, it’s an old thing. I’m a pure case study for The E-Myth. I’ve read the book, I understand the foundation of what it says: I’m an accidental entrepreneur and I’m doing it all, all facets of the business, when I should really be just a part of the business (sales or “the technician”). I can see my challenges and I’m pretty sure I even know how to solve them.

So why am I writing this? To look back on and (hopefully) laugh about how much I’ve improved since back then.

It’s a new year. 2012. Still early, but it’s almost March. The new year’s resolutions aren’t that new anymore. You can’t really say Happy New Year to anyone even if you haven’t seen them since last year. I’ve been making some progress on my business since November 2011 when I started making more concrete goals, actually taking some small steps towards change. Am I just impatient? Maybe I’m making progress but I just can’t tell. There’s some saying about not being able to measure success if you’re not measuring anything.

But it’s almost March and I feel like I’m just creeping back into the “comfort zone.” The Comfort Zone for me being: I do everything, I work all the time, I give away quite a bit of time, I then don’t have much time, I get frustrated, I think about working at Trader Joe’s, I catch up slightly, but it’s usually just forgetting half of my project list unconsciously, and then at some point, I’m back to where I started. Sense a cycle?

Peaceful times in Namibia

How am I going to get out of it? What’s going to be the trigger? Who’s it going to come from? Hmm, that’s a toughie: there’s only one person who is going to make this happen and it’s not a real difficult question: me. Will it be a slow transition or a big avalanche? I ask these questions as if someone else has control (that’s how it feels anyway). But no one is in control of this other than me.

I hope I’m writing this so I can come back to it and see it “used to be” and how much better I’m doing it all then (in the future). Will that be a month from now? A year? Ten years? Ugh, the thought. I better stop this tirade before I delete it out of frustration. OK, publish. Hey, that’s a goal for 2012: publish. That’s one thing off the To Do List. That’s a start.

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