by Sarah Mullins - SpitsenAs all of my Lincoln, Seward, Beatrice & York BNI members know, I’m just a few weeks away from going on maternity leave. This is the first time in my life I’ve taken off work for anything but a vacation, and let me tell you - I don’t know that I’ve ever had a vacation I didn’t work, at least a little bit, during my time away.
Although I’ve had plenty of time to begin coping with this, the task of stepping away from work, and from BNI for at least a month had me terrified. However, I sit before you (or at least my computer) mere weeks away from time off, and I’m completely confident that not only my BNI chapters, but the company I run will not only survive, but thrive, without me.
I began meeting with a business coach months before my due date. Overwhelmed with how to set up a company and how to set up my BNI chapters for success while I - the person who was supposed to help lead them, was out for a month or more. We worked continuously on my mindset, reframing my mentality of ‘if you want something done right, do it yourself’ to → ‘who can do this better than me and how do I train them’.
Slowly but surely I delegated tasks one by one that I never fathomed giving up in my work life. I began taking a few hours off weekly to prepare my nursery at home and spend more time with family because my ‘to-do’ lists were shortened to the tasks of actual importance, not just ‘do-all-the-things’. I began actually smiling and enjoying the moments where questions would come through my inbox, and I would respond with, "I think so-and-so can handle this," instead of "I’ll get right on it."
Now, a few short weeks away from our due date, my company is running better than when I did all tasks, we’re more profitable, more efficient, and I can gratefully say that when I recap what’s to be done while I’m away, my Director team in the Heartland is set up for success, and they’re willing to step in while I’m out.
I’m not recommending everyone drop it all and take a month off from what you’re currently doing. But I do challenge you to take a step back for 1 hour this week. Find 3 tasks that someone could do better than you, and gradually start thinking like a boss getting ready to take a month or more leave.
Thought tips: First, keep things in house: Do you have employees who are naturally going above and beyond? Challenge them a step further with more responsibility.
Second: Don’t have anyone who would qualify in your company to take over certain tasks? Who in your BNI chapter could take them on, or who could your fellow members introduce you to?
Third: Let them do the work once you’ve handed it over! Once you delegate your tasks, your job now becomes even better - you’re the one that gets to celebrate those around you when you, and your company take leaps and bounds forwards!
Take it from me, getting to work on your business instead of in it is a key to success I’ll not soon forget. Thankfully, if you’re in BNI, you not only have limitless support through Directors, Executive Directors, BNI University and members worldwide, but you likely have members within your own chapters that can help you on your way to being the best in business you can possibly be!
Happy Networking - and I’ll see you all in a few months time!