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Recently I visited Hawaii for the first time. There were a lot of “firsts” on that trip, including snorkeling. Some friends and I were in an absolutely beautiful cove where the water was completely clear and there were what seemed like thousands of fish and colorful coral. We had to kayak out there (another first) and passed a pod of dolphins.
The thing is, I hadn’t really thought too much about snorkeling one way or another because I’m a pretty strong swimmer, until I was actually standing on some wet rocks, with my fins on, trying to maneuver in the water without stepping on sea urchins or coral. What made it more complicated is because of the amount of coral, there was really no way to step on the bottom once you got in the water.
Luckily, the friends I was with had snorkeled before and were able to give me some advice. The most important advice was “relax.”
It still took me awhile. I ended up coughing and choking on a lot of sea water before I finally figured out what I needed to do — which was basically put my head straight down and stop fighting the breathing apparatus.
In other words, relax.
So, what does this have to do with your business? Sometimes you need to relax in your business as well.
A lot of us started our businesses because we didn’t want to work for someone else and we wanted to do what we love. We probably wanted to set our own hours and be in control of our destiny.
While that’s all well and good, running a business is more than just the output of your business. For example, my copywriting and marketing business is not just about my skills as a copywriter and marketing consultant. It’s also about me learning how to run a successful business.
When I first realized this, it scared me. What did I know about business? I’ve never taken a business course in my life.
But the more I did it, the more I realized I had a knack for leadership and running a business. And, I also realized the more I relaxed, the better I was.
When I tightened up and got all concerned about what I knew and didn’t know, that was when I was more likely to make mistakes. But just relaxing and enjoying the ride made it easier and more enjoyable.
And, I had to take relaxing one step further. When I first started delegating, I was nervous. Is the work getting done, or not getting done? I would wake up in the middle of the night wondering if tasks were being completed or not. Then I wondered if I should check on the person doing it — should I get up and email them now or call in the morning or am I being paranoid?
Again, once I learned to relax and let things happen, then everything started to fall into place. I found ways to keep tabs on tasks without micromanaging (and allowing me to sleep at night).
When you start to study billionaires and other successful business people, you realize a lot them view business as fun, or as a game. They’re enjoying themselves while they run their business (or businesses). And maybe that’s one of the reasons they’ve been so successful.
But most of all, when I started to relax about running my business, that’s when it became far more enjoyable.