When you’re ready to implement big change – like a transition to a completely new venture or just a new model for your existing one – you’re not likely able to abruptly stop what you’re doing and start the big change. This chicken or egg moment itself might be keeping you from the changes you want to make. But with a 3 step plan, you can shift time and space without losing focus on your current source of sustaining moola.
Follow these 3 steps inspired by my favorite concept from Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week: first Eliminate, then Automate, then Delegate.
- Eliminate everything, everyone, every activity that isn’t moving you toward the big change or sustaining your existing income. A couple years ago in my business, I stopped working with not-for-profit organizations, shaved peripheral socializing, and clustered all client-facing time into one week each month to leave the rest of the month for focused makeover activities.
- Automate what is left to make even more space for big change. I completely changed how I engage with clients in my mentoring work in order to work on my makeover. Instead of unpredictable and ad hoc hourly work with commensurate pop-up annoying administrative tasks, I went to value-priced programs that are committed a year in advance, and automatically billed and renewed. Spot Treatments infill last-minute cancellations for bonus moola, but even that is automated on my website for hands off payment and scheduling.
- Delegate what remains after that to make more space still. I use contractors and have up to 15 working with me at a time on various projects, with a core handful dedicated to ongoing functions like bookkeeping, marketing coordination, and website maintenance. Next, I’ll be delegating marketing strategy, marketing project management, and marketing copy writing. Your own delegation list will depend on your skills, preferences, and financial resources.
It may take a year or more to complete these steps, especially if you need to add new people or tools, or if you need to change how you do your current business to make way for your big change. You may even exert a bubble of extra effort before you see the reward of space to make your big change.
As a bonus for this capacity scrub, you will have moved into the ideal position for nimble entrepreneurship freeing you to work on that which only you CAN do, and eventually that which only you WANT to do.
Homework: For each step, brainstorm with a hired mentor (hint hint) or colleagues (Circle of Trust anyone?) to make sure you’re really challenging your assumptions about what’s possible. It’s hard to see ways to break your own well established patterns.
Teacher’s Pet: For extra credit, check out my Jetstream program! It’s a video series and workbook that uses a travel metaphor to teach you how to turn ideas into specific actionable plans. Matching big change’s required resources with available resources, can be tricky, but I’ve made it fun. It’s just one of many things you’ll learn then use again and again while growing your fun and profitable business.