I got home to Abilene, TX, a night earlier from Louisville, KY. Friday morning, I moved the clothes from the washer to the dryer. I love being at home. A thought came across my mind. I can get other people to clean my clients’ homes, and even get a talented person to run my company, but I can’t, nor do I want, someone to be my husband’s spouse. Only I can be that. How did I want the next year to be different than the past 2.5 years as I commuted from Louisville, KY, to Dayton, OH, driving 5 hours round trip repeatedly or flying from Abilene, TX, to Louisville, KY, the past four months as my husband’s military career had moved our home base? And so, over the next few hours, I started looking at my work and my businesses in a different light.
What can only I do?
What can I get someone else to do?
I am learning that saying no gives me the power to say yes to the critical things that only I can do. Delegating as an owner and as a leader requires skill, but it’s a complete game-changer! This also helps me with time management and the long to-do list.
So I sat down at the kitchen table and broke my day/ tasks into categories.
Professional: office, management, marketing and sales
Personal: home-related (errands, cooking, laundry, cleaning), relationships, friendships, etc.
Then I split the next few pages of paper into boxes:
What do I like? What do I dislike?
There was no pressure to dissuade me of things I ought to do, though I might not like it. I jotted down what popped into my mind immediately. What comes naturally to me became very apparent on paper, and I was getting excited about my to-do list. I didn’t feel any sense of shame. Instead, I thought of people around me or potential business agencies that could take some of this pressure off me, so I could have the time to do what I love. The time to spend intentionally with my spouse means adding a margin to my life, so I am not just flying by the seat of my pants from one project to another. This was a refreshing exercise because I think women especially feel a sense of guilt if they don’t accomplish everything at home, at work, or have time to do great things like helping a neighbor or being involved in church or a charity. We put so much pressure on ourselves, but more time than any place in history, women’s demands are high.
Being an effective leader is essential for the health of your business and your personal sanity. So often, we believe the lie that we need to be all things to all people. We demand from ourselves more than what is practical. If you want to scale your business, you cannot do it alone. You need other trustworthy and dynamic people to be in your corner.
I have also had the joy of seeing those around me when I ask for their help and employ them to use their different skill sets that genuinely balance my weaknesses. So, instead of thinking, how does this reflect on me to ask for help, I ask myself instead, am I robbing someone of the blessing of using their God-given passions and talents?
What can you say no to so you can empathically say yes to things that are most important to you?
I am a cleaning business owner and business mentor. I have served over 700 residential clients with a team of over 50 employees over the past 7+years. I have managed the Freedom Cleaning when it had 2 locations an hour apart, continued to operate and manage from afar: 2.5 hours away for 2yrs and over 1,000miles away for a year (military spouse life)!
I take great joy in mentoring other cleaning business owners, helping them grow their businesses, and creating a culture where their employees have their backs and clients' trust and are satisfied with their services.
Whether you’re just launching a new cleaning business or have been in the business for some time, having one person who has your back and is there for you can make a world of difference.