Travel! It opens your mind to new possibilities.
My husband and I just finished a month-long trip to Norway and Spain. After we visited his family in Norway (he is from there), we enjoyed a two week stay in Barcelona.
Let me tell you, it was NOT fun packing for it, but we did it. I’ve learned to just take the clothes that I love, and since our toddler is a 2 year old, we can get away with less gear than a baby.
Going back to gaining perspective by traveling, we currently have a business that is on track to make one million dollars in revenue, and five employees.
Being stuck on your routine stifles growth
When we are at home, my husband is too focused on surviving most employee issues. I am stuck in our routine to take care of the house, work, take care of myself, and still have fun with my toddler and hubby. We severely lack family time, as it gets put on the back burner behind our routine:
Wake up-daycare/work-come back exhausted-deal with toddler-sleep
—Rinse and repeat—-
Shifting to a new way of thinking
The best test for your business is to leave it to its own devices and see if it runs without you. The reason why you want to have a business that does not need you is because you don’t want it to absorb you as a “job” would. At some point, your business needs to be scalable without you and more automatic, aka run by systems. This is one of the main objectives outlined in the book “The millionaire Fast Lane” by MJ De Marco.
Our business ran without us for one month, but we spent some hours a day monitoring it and making sure everything run smoothly.
My husband was constantly communicating with our employees by phone and slack (a great tool for working on projects, read more about slack here).
I also did photography post-processing work of my 3 weeks of back logged photo sessions (300 photos).
Time is gold, you can buy back time with money, but you can only buy limited amounts of money with time.
–“6 months to 6 figures” by Peter Voogd
Getting back TIME
We ran into several challenges during our trip. In Norway, we had very little time because my husband wanted to focus on meeting with his family after not seeing them for 2 years.
We also had issues with slow to non-existent internet connections in our hotel in Spain. We only had one laptop, and one of us had to watch our toddler while the other one worked.
My husband got more work hours than I did, and after realizing I wouldn’t be able to progress as fast as I wanted, I kind of gave up. I decided to only post-process one image per product so that at least listings on our website would have ONE decent hi-res picture.
In the first weeks of Norway, we quickly realized that one of our employees was underperforming. He refused to answer our phone calls and would show up late for work. He demotivated our best employee, who is very hardworking and kept inquiring if we were happy with this guy’s performance.
My husband had trouble getting our employee’s hours due to unanswered requests via text messages, so he decided to go over camera footage to figure out how much to issue for payroll.
We quickly realized he spent only 2 hours actually doing sloppy work and that he would sit playing Pokemon go and watching videos on his phone for the 8 hours that we paid him.
We had a difficult decision to make, and concluded that we needed to dismiss him from our company. It turns out he was actually a source of stress and demotivation to everyone. We quickly realized we actually did not need an extra employee, and his small tasks have been absorbed by our other employees.
Another new perspective we gained is that we needed to make additional income sources that are more fully automated. We want to develop our own products and start other types of businesses that are not so dependent on employees.
We came up with great business ideas while in Spain and are more focused than ever to work like crazy during the fourth quarter (Q4), the single most profitable quarter of the year.
Wish us luck!
Leave a comment below telling me How have you gained new perspective on your family life or business lately.