It took a year of pondering to realize that I didn’t want to grow my company BIG. I wanted to shrink it back to just what I can handle and hire freelancers to help.
It’s a huge decision and a drastic change. You see, when I started in business, making the transition from freelance writer to public relations specialist, I worked out of my home. When I needed help, I threw work toward freelance friends, but the projects ebbed and flowed.
After a few years, though, it became apparent that the client and work load were too much for me alone. I no longer wanted to work around the clock! So I hired part-timers and moved into an office.
That’s when everything changed. Yes, I still did the public relations work I so loved, but then I was also a Manager, capital M. Boss, big B.
And I’m not sure I ever really signed up for the job.
Over the years, I’ve debated whether to hire full-timers or not, and my first decision was to go for it – expand the business, hire staff, be able to step away because it would all be in capable hands. Except the few full-timers I’ve attempted to hire just weren’t me. They weren’t cut out for the work. There was too much drama. And I wanted nothing to do with it.
Along the way, I began to focus more on managing than on the creative and fulfilling aspects of the work I loved. I began resenting the company – I didn’t want to have to show up at a certain time because people were there and the editing and checking and approval process became more encumbered than simply doing the work solo.
Last week I was handed a supreme gift. My latest full-time employee realized the job was too much for her after just 5 weeks. Lack of maturity and job readiness added up to a panicked quit, followed by several apologetic emails. I know I was a good manager; the universe was sending me a message, loud and clear.
Do it yourself. Cut back. Simplify. Do what makes you happy. Enjoy the work. Enjoy your life.
So I’m following the big pointing finger in the sky. It’s the right direction. And I am back to really focusing on clients because the energy of managing is no longer there. I’m not divided in focus; I am eyes-ahead, clear and enthusiastic.
I’m reverting to my freelancer-hires for projects and assistance. That way, I know they’re capable and independent and driven without me having to crack a whip. They don’t want to be in my office – hallelujah!
It’s miraculous when everything falls into place. I know there are clients who won’t hire me because I’m not big enough, and that is so fine. I have exactly the number I need and want, and I can do their work with ease and enthusiasm and satisfy their needs.
It’s about connecting to others, filling in the blanks, assisting in a meaningful way to grow their reach, authentically, organically, and with heart.
We live in a super-size era where we think bigger is always better. It’s become readily apparent that that’s not the truth. Just look around you, metro Detroit – see how many super-stores and gigantic strip malls stand vacant and decaying. Their big-box tenants moved out with the economic downturn and no one has moved in.
We’re facing a different time. A time of creating realistic parameters so we can achieve our goals. We can be happy, healthy and wealthy without becoming a multimillion dollar corporation. Believe it because it’s true.