Updated: Jun 17, 2022
✦ With Mother’s Day top-of-mind this month, this one’s for all the Business Mums who are ready to make their businesses work for them.
Does this sound familiar?
After developing a skill set and career from your early 20s, you found yourself facing the infamous crossroads of work and family when it came time to pursue your next life-long project: motherhood.
With a tenacious pivot, you turned your talents into a business that could support your aspirations in both parts of your life. You essentially started raising two different kinds of babies: one that needed endless snacks, cuddles, patience and many sleepless nights; the other ‘baby’ was your ever-evolving business, the mammoth task of shaping your unique skills into a sustainable income stream. One that required constant improvements, refining your offer, growing a team and a lot of sleepless nights there too.
The chaotic mishmash of life works on some level. But as time goes on, something starts to stink.
Whether it’s the out of date cheese in the fridge, or the unwanted fruit buried in the bottom of the backpack, neglecting the bigger picture starts to fester.
The longer you live in the daily chaos, the longer the detective work needed to keep things in check gets left by the wayside. If something stinks inside your business, it’s time to figure it out.
Where to from here?
If you’re sitting there nodding (and groaning) along, it’s time to swap the hustle for sustainable growth. Not only that, but growth in a direction that affords you true freedom, flexibility and most importantly - time.
You’ve spent years pouring energy into both your business and your family, so both could reach their full potential under your watchful eye.
Now, it’s time to switch gears, become a true CEO and make this business work for YOU (not the other way around). Because THAT’s the true reason that set you on this path in the first place.
It wasn’t so you could drop your work, run off to soccer practice, then rush back and pick up where you left off (although I’m sure they appreciate all that flying around town). It was more than that:
It was about being the master of your own destiny. The keeper of your own time.
Your next steps to success
Step 1 - Get savvy with your numbers
I know you don’t want to talk about this, but *sorry not sorry* it’s for your own good. You’ve gotta become the expert on your finances.
This isn’t to say you sack your accountant and bookkeeper and do it all yourself (that’s not the CEO direction we’re heading in). But instead of writing this off as something you should ‘leave to the experts’ - BE the expert.
This is about acquiring a knowledge of your business’ numbers that is equal to theirs, so you can discuss your finances with these key support people on equal footing.
The by-product of this knowledge is confidence. When you take that deep dive into your numbers and become familiar with how they relate to your business ‘in real life’. Your belief in your ability to make critical decisions increases exponentially.
After all: knowledge is power.
Client Success Stories:
"The gentle guidance and encouragement from Liz has allowed me to take full control of my business in a way that allows me to have a clearer vision and strength in realising my dreams. After continually being pushed outside of my comfort zone, my business and I have grown exponentially since working with Liz and her team at Better Business Decisions." - Liv Thwaites, Green Hip Workwear
Step 2 - A clear goal and a reverse-engineered game plan
Armed with your wealth of knowledge, the next step is to cast the vision, and lay out the roadmap towards it. This is critical in ensuring every decision you make from here is connected to the bigger picture.
Vision casting is one of those woo-woo terms that is easy to dismiss. But don’t let it daunt you - think of it the same way you would plan your annual family holiday (which you SHOULD be taking, P.S.). You work backwards from the destination, to activities, logistics, packing - suddenly, you’re putting one foot in front of the other all the way to Bali.
Consider how a clear vision can affect your immediate decision making in your business:
If you’re bursting at the seams right now, your first thought might be to hire an entry level staff member at the lowest rate, just to take care of the basics. But if your 5-year plan is to move from running the business to stepping back into development, is a junior really the best next hire?
Perhaps investing a little more in someone who instead is qualified with experience is the next best person, one whom you can spend the coming 5 years coaching into filling your space in an operational management role.
Sound numbers knowledge, combined with a clear vision for the future and a framework to get there, guides objective decision making. It's about building your business upwards, not outwards.
Step 3 - Collaborating with the right team to bring it all to life
You’re probably already seeing the benefits of having an accountant, bookkeeper, a few contractors or perhaps some team members to direct so you can step back and manage.
But the big question is: who’s directing you?
Knowing your numbers and seeing that clear vision will go to waste if you don’t have the right people holding you accountable to the game plan. Just like every elite athlete needs a coach, in business we all need someone ‘outside the bubble’ who can call us out when we’re getting distracted, cheer us on through the wins and keep pushing us forward.
In my own experience moving from Business Accounting into Business Advisory, I’ve seen clearly time and time again the strong foundation financial intelligence provides. The numbers don’t lie (although to be honest they can be very badly organised). Once your financial reporting accurately reflects your business, you can use it to see the past, present and future.
Step 3 is all about adding accountability to that clarity. That’s where the rubber hits the road and the real momentum kicks in.
Final thoughts for my dedicated Business Mums
As an accountant and business adviser of over 35 years, I have seen many business owners find that their businesses have started taking more out of them than they give, and enough is finally enough.
Reaching this point of wanting more marks a brilliant step forward in your CEO mindset. It doesn’t mean you’ve missed something, or that you’ve spent too long stuck in daily ‘doing’. It means you’ve realised you are deserving of a business that makes your life easier, more rewarding and more free.
Now is the time to make this business work for you, and I can’t wait to help make that vision a reality. Head over to my website and book a FREE 30 min chat with me, and we can develop a game plan for sustainable growth in this fantastic enterprise you raised.
Disclaimer: These are yuck and boring but unfortunately a legal requirement for professionals in my industry. So just a reminder, the information contained here is general in nature and you should seek financial and business advice tailored to your own personal circumstances. Which, by no small coincidence, I can help you out with. Head over to my website and book a free 30 minute chat with me: https://betterbusinessdecisions.com.au/
Liz Jarvis BEc CA
Better Business Decisions
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd_7znD53DbzVfmLoFPVZWQ
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