It feels like a long time ago.
I’m going to guess ten years, but likely it was only 6-7 years ago.
I stood on stage, as the commencement speaker for a university graduation ceremony.
It was quite a cool experience – 500+ people in front of me – a huge range of ages…
From the graduates themselves,
To all of their families, young and old,
And it was my job to share some words of wisdom.
Approached by the dean of the university who’d been following me for a long time online, and had asked me to talk to the graduating group, in a hope to inspire them, in readiness for the journey ahead.
Whilst I could probably try and regurgitate the whole thing for you, i wont right now, but the main takeaway I remember from it was this:
“to be successful in life, you have to do the work when no one is looking”
so many people nowadays seem to only want to work when they get credit
and posting every aspect of what they do online is some form of recognition for them
But from my experience
Whether it’s the times i’ve had the most success
to the times where my business has been at its slowest
it all comes down to “doing the work when no one is looking”.
If you’ve followed me for a bit, you’ve likely seen my life change over time
From childless, to not
From married, to not
From single, to not
And a lot of other experiences in between
But the challenge of a marriage ending, with kids you want to protect at all costs, is a very heavy one to bear.
Both emotional and energy.
and that takes away the ability to “do the work when no one is looking”
it did for me, for almost two years
The time spent instead looking after myself, and rebuilding the inner parts of me, so i could be stronger on the other side, not only for myself, but for my girls.
And when you own your own business, you need to have things in place, in case something happens to you.
For me, I’ve shared the above, but I had an amazing team that kept my business running, and consistently getting clients amazing results – when all i could contribute was about thirty minutes a day, with the energy I had available.
And I didn’t know that was going to happen,
I didn’t really see it coming.
But what i am thankful for is that I’d spent almost ten years building my business in a way that it didn’t need me to operate.
To where I am today, filled with the first world problems of “what do i fill my day with today” after my work is usually finished by 10am (and I start sometimes at 9am).
Quality time with the kids. Yep.
Self care / exercise / spa. Yep.
Spend more time with my team if they need me, so they can be even more awesome. Yep.
And it all starts with “doing the work when no one else is looking”
But making sure that work is building something that can work mostly without you, eventually.
I’ve done it.
I’m in New Zealand.
I have no other team members in NZ.
They’re all over the world.
The joys of a connected world.
And it’s completely doable.
You just need to follow three steps:
- Decide you want to do this
- Pick one task you repeat often, and create training (we call it a standard operating procedure (SOP)
- Hire someone to do it for you, and delegate the SOP to them
Bugger, sorry, that was 4 steps. 😉
But you get the point.
It starts with you deciding.
The rest is pretty easy, you just need to get started.
Then it snowballs.
Then you have first world problems like me.