As a business owner, what is the most frustrating problem you face while you go about running your business? Originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others, and better understand the world.
Becoming a business owner helps many people to solve problems they are having in their lives (financial, freedom, 9 to 5 work struggles), but business ownership is not easy.
For more than a decade, I have been self-employed, starting, growing, and selling businesses. In my experience, I have found these to be my biggest challenges. But, I will never offer problems without solutions, so I have included some brief solutions as well.
When you own a business, it is easy to become obsessed. I have started five businesses and with each one I worked around the clock in the beginning stages. Even when I was taking a shower, watching a movie, and even sleeping, I was mulling over details and strategies in my head. There have been times that I have not been mentally present for my children because I lacked work/life balance.
One solution is simple and one is a bit more difficult. The first is to create a designated work space. I have a home office and at the end of my work day (I work varied hours so the end of my work day is different) I close the doors to my office. This simple act of closing the doors deters me from making my way back to the laptop during my family time. This simple practice has allowed me to enjoy my children and form a clearer separation between work and personal.
Entrepreneurs, in general, tend to be detail oriented and meticulous about our businesses. It took me many years to step away from the controls and learn to delegate. It may be true that no one will do as good of a job as the owner, but it is impossible to grow and diversify unless you trust others to help out.
I hired a close friend to complete day to day tasks. From there, I began using virtual assistants for tasks until I found one who has an immense amount of talent and who I trust. Start small by delegating small tasks and grow from there.
I manage several projects at one time. I work from my home office and have many distractions. My biggest distraction is myself. I enjoy some projects more than others and I have to be careful to budget my time across multiple responsibilities and not focus my efforts exclusively on the projects I love.
There are many digital tools out there, but I use a standard Day Planner to block time. Every afternoon before I shut my office doors, I make a list and block out time for the next day. I treat that list with respect and work through it every day. I also hold myself accountable by setting “check in” calls with colleagues. This forces me to complete tasks on a schedule in order to be prepared for the call.