Do you believe it’s your responsibility to keep everyone happy in order to have a successful business? Do you think “the customers always right” and would you go to the ends of the earth to make sure your people have everything they need?
While there’s truth and importance in those statements, if you’re not careful, you’ll end up pushing yourself and the people around you a little too hard.
We’re not saying you should slack off and give up on caring what your valuable customers and team members think, in fact, that’s one of the most important parts of running a successful business.
But where do you draw the line? While it’s important to meet the needs of the people you serve, you should put just as much of a priority on meeting your own needs and keeping healthy boundaries to avoid exhaustion and being taken advantage of.
So what are the signs you might be giving too much, and what can you do about it?
Too often, you give away your services or products for free or at a huge discount
If you’re a Pacific person… you know exactly what we’re talking about. There’s nothing wrong with volunteering to help people who are less fortunate and taking part in good deeds by helping a friend or a family member at no cost every now and then.
When is it unacceptable? When you find yourself doing it so often that your business is at a loss. Even if you’re not offering a tangible product, your services are still valuable and the more you give them away for free, the more time you lose and the more your service goes down in value.
Take note personal trainers, advisors, creatives and consultants – even if your service is predominantly delivered through your words – it’s still valuable and not worth giving away for free just because you find it hard to say no.
Even though you have a team, you still do most of the work
This one is pretty self explanatory and if it’s happening to you, we can see you rolling your eyes and sighing so loud your neighbors can hear.
Doing most of the work will probably give you comfort knowing where everything is at and knowing that it’ll all get done just how you like it. But guess what? You can’t do everything and sooner or later you’ll burn out with exhaustion or start making errors here and there. That’s the last thing you want to do when you’re chasing your dream.
There are two problems that could be at the root of this, and by addressing them you’ll start to see change. One, you find it hard to delegate or say no to people who should be helping you, or two, you’re a control freak. Yes. We said it.
Your challenge, should you accept? Find your voice and start speaking up to your team – let them know how you’re feeling and ask them for help. If they’re the kind and talented and amazing people you believe them to be, they’ll be more than happy to share the load. Heck, they probably didn’t even realise you felt that way.
The challenge is just as hard if you’re a control freak, because you’re going to have to start learning to let go and delegate tasks to your team. That’s why they’re there and the truth is they might make mistakes. Reality is, so can you, so it might be a good start to give them a chance to do well and to help you achieve your goals along the way.
After working with your customers, you feel drained rather than motivated and excited
If you’re lucky enough to do what you love, working with your customers will give you joy, energy and motivation to push forward and do the best that you can to meet their needs. But if you’re feeling empty and lost after spending time with them, something is definitely wrong.
Are you balancing your time between serving your customers and doing what you love, your work? Or is it time to take a step back and reevaluate what you’re doing and how it relates back to your ultimate goal or dream?
It’s not fair on your customers and on yourself to be spending time with them when you don’t really want to, or if you find yourself mentally exhausted by the time you part ways. Set aside some quiet time alone to really think about why you’re feeling that way and what’s causing it.
If you’re having trouble pin pointing it, speak with someone you trust, who has experience in what you’re doing, and ask for their advice and their opinion. Once you’ve figured it out, start making moves to change things so that you’re nailing the balance between giving your best to your people, while not giving too much of yourself in the process.
Hopefully these points have helped you think about where you’re at and given you some direction if you’re feeling like you’re trying too hard. The main thing to take away from this is that giving your best is not the problem, giving too much is. Learn to focus on what you do best and don’t forget to pull away and revisit your goals and dreams if you’re feeling a bit lost or defeated.
We know how easy it is to get caught up in the day-to-day routine of life, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you’ve realised you’re off balance and giving too much in the wrong areas. Remember, how you feel or how you fail don’t determine who you are, it’s how you choose to respond and push forward that makes the difference at the end of every day.
Want to know more about how we can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses to achieve your goals? Read more about Talanoa and our services.
Photo credit: @msmelev