I have been reading Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin. It is a fantastic book and this particular paragraph stuck with me:
“I don’t want habits to deaden me to Jamie’s (her husband) presence. I don’t want to take him for granted, to listen to him with only half my attention, to look at him with without seeing him. I want my habits to help free me to pay more attention to him, and to everything else that’s important to me. “
This is how I feel about business systems. I don’t want them to be so automated that I lose all contact with my clients. Part of the reason I am in business is that I love talking to other small business owners and supporting them to do amazing things.
And I don’t want them to immoveable so that I have no flexibility in my business.
What can this mean in practice?
For me it means automating the boring conversations like what time would be good to chat or can you sign this contract so that I have time to talk to clients whether it is via messenger, email or on zoom to find out how they are going (and not having to charge for this time).
It can mean having a social media schedule with content planned so you aren’t feeling under pressure to be creative every day. And allowing yourself to be creative and posting on social media when inspiration takes you rather than sticking strictly to the posting schedule. Sometimes life creates magical moments and thoughts that are too good not to share.
It can mean having clear payment terms in place so you don’t have to make this decision every time someone asks you but offering a different payment plan to allow a dream client to work with you.
It can mean having set days for appointments so you have other days that don’t have client work for creating in your business and dreaming of the future.
Implement systems that support you in doing what you love in your business rather than systems that are so automated that you lose all the joy in your business.
Be the boss of your systems and processes rather than letting them be the boss of you. It is always ok to bend the rules if you want to. That is one of the joys of working for yourself!