Creating Freedom as a Business Owner

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Like you don’t have enough time in the day or week to keep up with the responsibilities of running a business, much less spend time with friends and family?

I know I’ve felt that way! As I manage multiple businesses, I want to make sure I’m giving my two kids focused time, have the chance to hang out with my closest friends, and get a little quiet to myself.

There are many ways that we can become more efficient as business owners, but one of the quickest ways to create time for ourselves is to focus on proactive tasks while minimizing reactive tasks.

On a business level, proactive tasks or activities are those that will grow our business, increasing revenue and ultimately, profit. Personally, proactive tasks help you get closer toward reaching goals.

A few examples of proactive tasks are working on your annual marketing plan, taking a client or potential client out to lunch, brainstorming a new product, or planning a bucket list vacation.

Reactive tasks are those which have to happen in order to exist – whether in our business or personal life – but have nothing to do with bettering our business or personal life. They don’t require our involvement in order to be accomplished.

Tasks such as bookkeeping, managing online brand presence, washing the dishes, or mowing the law, are all reactive tasks.

Try something: make a list of the things that you do in your business and at home on a day to day basis. In detail. Then go back through that list, and based on the criteria above, notate the tasks “proactive” or “reactive.” Ideally no more than 25% of your daily activities should be reactive in nature. That’s a 3 to 1 ratio of proactive vs reactive tasks.

How is that possible?

1. Outsource / Delegate – If you can afford to pay someone else to handle a reactive task, you should.

2. Automate – If you can’t delegate a task, figure out a way to automate it. We are surrounded by incredible technology, much of it available at minimal cost, and easily accessible online. Put that technology to work for you!

3. Simplify – It’s a funny thing: many business owners seem to get a high from sharing their incredibly complicated workflows with others. Complicated doesn’t equal cool – it just equals complicated. Minimize the number of moving parts in your business and personal life, and make sure that the tools that you do use enable you to accomplish your tasks as efficiently as possible.

Nathan Holritz is an entrepreneur based in Chattanooga, TN. Starting in professional photography 11 years ago, Nathan helped bring a modern style of premium wedding photography to the Chattanooga market via Holritz Photography.

While helping run Holritz Photography, Nathan saw both a personal and industry need for a company that could handle the post-processing of the thousands of images photographed at weddings. He created Photographer’s Edit, a company geared toward providing a simple, affordable solution for professional photographers to outsource their post-processing following weddings and large events. The company was launched in 2008, and has continued to grow since.

In his free time, Nathan enjoys spending time with his two children, reading, watching movies, and speaking his second language, Japanese.

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