I was recently in a meeting with a group of business leaders. We were playing a home edition of Family Feud and the question presented was, “What is the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?” Common thoughts were to pay off debt, give to charity, go on vacation, buy a new house, help out a family member, etc. No one in this group jumped to the response to quit their job, but you may not be surprised to find that was the number one answer in the game.
To the people in that room, they go to work everyday and most of the time, they are doing something they love. The idea of not working as a result of an influx of new money wasn’t on their radar. Unfortunately, that isn’t true for a large part of the population who toil daily doing things they don’t love.
One reason people book a strategy session is because they are unhappy at work. My formula goes something like this: you should love at least 80% of what you do. No one has a job that doesn’t have some tasks that aren’t fun. Everyone has days when they would prefer to be doing something else. If those two unpleasant realities are 20% or less of your working life, then you are doing great.
But what if you like 20% of what you do and you hate 80% of your job? Then it is time to make a change. If you are an employee, that might mean finding a new job or looking for a way to make a move within the organization where you currently work.
If you are a business owner, you need to evaluate your to-do list. There are some things that only you can do. There are other things that you enjoy doing. Then there is the rest of the stuff that has to happen. Business owners often assume they need to do everything. The reality is that you are responsible for ensuring that everything is done. The difference is that you don’t personally have to do everything.
When I talk about, “Do more of what you love,” people assume I’m talking about being at work less and doing more leisure activities. That is only part of the equation. Many of my clients are working on creating down time and leaving work behind at least some of the time. But nearly all of my clients also are working on better defining what tasks they will personally do and which ones they will get someone else to do.
Getting the work done elsewhere can mean having employees. It can also mean hiring services that specialize in the tasks you need done – such as an accountant or bookkeeper – or hiring a virtual assistant to handle certain tasks. Start by looking at the things that you procrastinate about. That is often an easy way to identify the things that you don’t love to do.
If there is something you hate to do at work, determine if there is a way to get someone else to do it. You will be happier, your business will operate better and you will be more productive which will allow you to also have more leisure time.
Charlise Latour a business coach and owner of Accelerate Your Success. She works with each client to determine what their goals are and create a plan so they can achieve them. She is actively involved in Dancing & Singing With The King which raises money to promote dance education including working with local schools to offer dance classes during the school day. This is a natural fit as she is an avid ballroom dancer.