One of the most common struggles in any relationship is how to keep the fire alive as time goes on, and new things get in the way. This is especially true if you have children. Suddenly, all the time you and your partner devoted to each other is taken up by the responsibilities of raising your kids.
The same concept applies to the relationship you have with your business. The more your business grows, the less time you have to concentrate on things besides administrative tasks and paperwork, especially once you start hiring employees.
This does not mean that the passion you once felt for your business is gone, though. So, how do you keep the passion going (for your business), even after you start having kids (employees) to care for?
Focus on What You Loved in the First Place
One of the biggest things that can get in the way of your love for your business is when things like logistics and small details start taking up all of your time, and keep you away from the creatively fulfilling parts of your business.
You likely did not start a business because you want to deal with the regulatory compliance and paperwork that comes along with it. You probably started a business because you are passionate about the product or service the company delivers, and believe you have something unique to offer the industry. However, the more successful you are at delivering your vision, the more likely you are to need help continuing to deliver it. This means hiring employees, which means taking care of those employees, which means taking time away from other parts of your business to make sure your employees (and all the details that come with them) are taken care of.
If you are feeling burnt out, and find yourself constantly filling out paperwork and dealing with logistics instead of leading the creative vision for your company, it is probably time that you find ways to get back in touch with what made you passionate for the company in the first place and fall in love all over again.
Use Your Passion to Lead Others to Success
One way you can do this is by focusing on the big picture. Even if you cannot be as closely involved in the day to day details as you once were, your vision for the company as a whole is still vital to the company’s overall direction.
By setting company goals and communicating to your employees how their work fits into achieving these goals, you can translate your original passion into a company-wide philosophy. While it still might feel difficult for you at times to be more removed from the daily grind of your business, it will also be incredibly rewarding to see your employees succeed in carrying out your vision.
As stated by Suneera Madhani, founder and CEO of Fattmerchant, in an article for Fortune, this is essential to keeping your passion alive when faced with the monotony that can come with running a business.
“Finding a team that is as enthusiastic and inspired by your business as you are is the key to not losing sight of the inspiration you had when you started. Your team members will be in the trenches with you every day, so it’s important they believe in your idea as much as you do. On the days you might be overwhelmed by the roadblocks or bogged down by the monotonous tasks, having the support system of a strong team allows that unique spark in you to be reignited.
It’s an empowering feeling knowing you have a close network around you that is just as committed to the success of the business, and it’s a completely different motivation than when you first launch a business solo. My team at Fattmerchant is the reason I wake up everyday excited to get to the office. There is no one else I would rather go into battle with.”
Great parents want to see their kids grow up and be successful, using the wisdom they absorbed along the way to guide them. Even if it is hard to let their kids go, they know that it’s the best thing, and will be rewarded through the pride of shaping their child into the adult they have become.
This same concept is true in business, and there are few things as rewarding as seeing your employees take your vision and run with it. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs find the most joy in seeing others succeed. They are happy when an employee becomes more skilled or more successful than themselves. It only means good things for the business
Delegate and Get Back in the Trenches
Another thing you should consider is whether or not your talents and passion are being best utilized, or if it would be better for your company if you delegated some of your administrative duties to better focus on what your love and do best, your strengths.
Passing the responsibilities that have come between you and the passion you once had is like taking a second honeymoon with your business. It takes away the obstacles and obligations that have come up, and allows you to rediscover what made things so great at the beginning.
This also gives you the chance to gain a newfound perspective on where your company, and the industry as a whole, currently stands, and how that has changed while you have been busy running the company. By more closely collaborating with your employees, you have an amazing opportunity to learn from each other and find new solutions or ideas that haven’t yet been explored.
Removing the distraction of administrative tasks and getting back to basics can also give you greater insight into your own strengths and weaknesses running the company. As your company grows, you may realize that the best thing for both its continued growth and success, as well as your personal health, wellbeing, and continued passion for the business, is to put other people in the position to run the business so you can continue the work and innovation that brought you success in the first place.
This does not mean letting go of some of these responsibilities will necessarily be easy. Rand Fishkin, founder and former CEO of Moz, discussed his transition away from running the company he started at length in a blog post last year. Fishkin says that, while this transition was difficult in many ways, the best aspects of it come from his ability to focus on the parts of the company he is passionate about, and the chance to reconnect with Moz’s employees.
“There are a great number of things I love about not being CEO. Almost all of it fits under the auspices of freedom. I’m (mostly) free to do the things I believe I’m best at, and to let other folks handle things at which I struggle and don’t have passion for.”
“The greatest gift of this period, though, has been exposure to the experience of being an employee, and the empathy that brings with it.”
While your transition away from administrative tasks may not be as large as Fishkin’s was, it still shows the positives that can come from getting back into the trenches with your employees and focusing on what your company does on a day-to-day basis.
Having kids is incredibly hard, and can make it difficult to feel the same passion and excitement that there once was, but is also rewarding in many special and unique ways. The same can be true for running a business when it comes time to hire employees. This growth brings new challenges, and it is important to adjust in order to keep the passion for your business alive. If you are looking for ways to manage the administrative details that keep you away from the parts of your business you love, then you should consider leveraging a PEO in order to take care of those challenges for you. That way, you can get back to leading your business instead of the hassles and paperwork of being an employer.