Prioritize yourself, or someone else will prioritize for you. Whether at home or at work, if you don’t put yourself first, you run the risk of burnout and frustration. By prioritizing your own needs, you enable yourself to be of better, higher, and more strategic service to your customers, your family, and everyone with whom you come in contact.
Hey, this is Kathy Zant. Today, I wanted to talk about putting ourselves first, putting you first in your life and why it is so important. I know a lot of people who are entrepreneurs. I know a lot of high-performance people even working a full-time job. In order to do that well, you have to put yourself first.
when you’re starting out, when you’re starting a business, A lot of the focus is on getting clients, getting income and you’re willing to do more for a client at that stage. And just, get the business into the front door, but there comes a time when you have enough business.
there runs this risk of being truly reactionary. Responding to requests. Being reactive rather than being proactive in your approach.
From my own experience, and from the things that I’ve consulted with other people on. And coached other people with their businesses. I see that. It’s so easy for people to fall into this trap of just being completely and totally reactive to everything that shows up in their reality. They start Monday morning and there are 10 Slack messages that need immediate attention. There are emails from clients that Require attention. There are project requests that need to happen. There’s marketing that needs to happen still there. Is so much that needs to happen.
There’s a risk people fall into and it’s not just web dev. I think it happens in all sorts of businesses where you start out being very responsive to clients and being very reactionary to client requests. And there comes a point where you have to say. Enough’s enough. How do I scale this?
And the way you immediately start scaling it is by switching out of a reactive mode and switching into a proactive mode. How do you do that? Let me tell you some stories. So many of you know that my husband had a stroke in November of 21. And his care falls squarely on me. If I don’t prioritize myself.
I get myself into trouble and I’ve done that a number of times, for example, he is not at the place where he can move himself. It requires a lot of attention and effort from me.
And if he’s tired. It is a mess. So this weekend he did physical therapy in the morning. And then in the evening we get him showered. Get him back and it’s time to transfer. 220 plus pound person. From a shower chair. Into the bed. And my friend had lowered the bed cause you want the bed to be when you’re going back into the bed.
The bed needs to be lower than the chair, but only slightly. You don’t want it too low. Otherwise the jump is too much. I noticed that the bed was way too low. I didn’t think that was going to be a problem. Because I was always the one Loring the bed. And so I’d always lower. It just slightly lower because that was just how it was trained, but it didn’t really have the reason why in my head.
So anyway, it was too low. And it threw me completely off balance and I ended up falling. And today. My hand hurts. Not that I’m back at work and I need to work my right hand. The one that I use for the track pad and everything. That really hurts. Luckily I’m left-handed so if I need to write anything I’m okay. But using the track pad today is extremely painful.
I needed to have that. Why? The reason why. That. The battle can only be late, slightly lower than the chair. It’s for me, it’s to protect me. But, when you’re in the heat of a very reactive type of situation, which. Which I am in a lot, by being a caregiver, I have to respond to where mark is at all times. And sometimes things don’t make sense. I’m very reactive. My only focus was getting back into bed and get them all like.
Dried off and cleaned up and. Ready to just rest for a bit. So I could rest for a bit. And my focus was entirely on him and I wasn’t focused on myself at all. Had hi, Ben focused on myself and how am I going to do this thing? I probably would have adjusted the bed and I would’ve saved myself a fall and an injury.
I have to keep myself in good shape, flexible, healthy. I don’t have any backups. If anything happens to me, there’s nobody else. That’s going to come in and take care of mark. There’s nobody else that’s going to come in and parent Claire, or take care of my pets or any of this stuff. I have to take care of myself and I’m being forced to put myself into that position where I have to put myself first.
More often than not. I’m working a full-time job. I’m a single parent. I’ve got two cats, two dogs. The big old barn of a house that I have to take care of. I have mark. And I need to prioritize myself in the decisions that I make for all of that. So that means when I get a request at work that doesn’t fit within my mission at work.
I have to be able to say no. If I get a request at home. That does not fit in the mission of being a good parent. Or being a good caretaker or taking care of my life. I have to say no. I’m really learning this lesson of putting myself first, because I can’t take care of anything else unless I put myself first.
How does this apply to you in business? When you wake up and it’s Monday morning, and if you’re inundated with all of these things, First of all, can you get an assistant? Can you get a VA that can help you triage some of the stuff and take some of it off your plate? If so, you need to do that.
And you need to strategize what does your perfect life really look like? And I’m doing a lot of that myself with work, With parenting. With taking care of mark. it’s going to require a greater investment in what I’m doing. Than I can really do right now. So that requires me to strategize. Strategy so that I have the support that I need so that I can do all of this stuff. Because there is no more scaling me. if you’re in that position in your business, there’s probably no more scaling you. There’s no way for you to say, okay, I’m going to get more done.
In less time with it just being me. And I’m going to reap the profits. You have to find some way to leverage some of the profits that you do have into a place where you can do more with less. And that means hiring people. And hiring people that you know, are going to. Fit within the boundaries that you need in your life. I was just having a conversation with someone About their particular business and They had to fire some people. In the agency world. Where you hire people. And if you don’t have a strategy for working with that person, if you don’t have a.
If you don’t have a goal of okay, this person I’m hiring here to do this one thing. And in six months, this is what they will look like in my organization. And in. A year, this is what they look like in this organization. If you just hire people, without making any kind of.
Educated strategic decision-making about where it is you’re going with that relationship. Then that relationship is going to fall apart because that person is going to evolve some way. They’re either going to evolve into a lazy employee that just does the bare minimum. Or they’re going to evolve into a tremendous asset.
So it makes some decisions about when you hire them. As soon as you get into a relationship, have a vision about where it is that you’re going with a particular employee. What is your goal with them? Do you want them to be able to take over when you go on vacation because you want to sit on a beach for awhile.
Then you need to up-level them and you need to communicate with them, your expectations of what it is that you want. I don’t just expect these things to evolve on their own. Have some strategic vision for what you want for your employees. And this goes for the clients that you work with as well. Strategically. What do you want your clients to look like in six months?
You get into the relationship early on and everything’s hunky Dory. Everything is. Wine and roses and, oh, you got a new client and everything seems perfect. It’s much starting to date someone the first few months is wonderful. Isn’t it? And you think about how great it is that they’re in your life and oh, everybody’s happy. The warts haven’t been shown. All of our imperfections have not been discovered by them. And we haven’t discovered their imperfections either. The same, thing’s happening in client relationships as well. The time to define expectations and define your boundaries is before problems happen. It is when you are in that honeymoon phase, when you are in that phase of just getting to know someone.
That you explain. What it is that you expect from them and what it is that you’re going to deliver. Contracts are wonderful for this, because if you have a good contract and you say, this is what I do, this is what you do. These are my expectations. These are your expectations. And this is how you are going to pay me for doing all of these things. And this is how you’re going to work within our organization and what we can do for you.
Once all that’s defined. It just. It makes the rest of the relationship easier. Also setting strategies just in your own mind. It’s really important for you to have a goal with a client. So that when you get that client in, let’s say you have a client and this person is an author and they are starting a speaking business.
they also do consulting and things like that. They want a new website. They have an old website and let’s say they maybe had problems with their old web developer. It’s really good time to explore what those problems were, because if they had that problem with the previous web developer, the probability of having that particular problem with you as well.
Is there. So how do you define that relationship? How do you coach that client into a position where they are the best client in the world? there’s going to be some clients that come in some prospective clients that you just see all of the red flags in the world, and you say, no, I’m not going to work with this person.
It’s better to know that before you get into relationship, then to try to untangle that relationship later. Even if you like need the cash. It’s still better that you go into a relationship with a pro active mindset. So this client comes in, let’s say they’re that, that author. What do they look like in six months? You know what they’re going to look like in a few months when the website’s all done, but you have a long-term relationship of caring for this website together.
You’re like parents, and this is the baby who gets custody of what? Because you’re probably not in like project development mode for the entirety of the relationship, you go into more maintenance, you go into more maybe content development, security updates. Maybe you do some social media stuff for them defining all of that and making sure that it’s a productive relationship where you see this author who wants to become a speaker and has a consulting business.
How do you fit into where they’re going?
Understanding what their goals are and where they expect to be in six months where they expect to be in six years. And where you fit into that relationship now and where you fit into that relationship in the future, how do you help them achieve those goals? So that they are a better client. So that they are more successful so that they have a bigger budget to do more with their website so that when they are.
Famous speaker what does their website look like? Then these are all the kinds of questions you can ask a client before you get started working with them. So that you can define the way that relationship is going to go and how you can be of service and how you can best be paid for that service.
Establishing boundaries. And putting yourself first. Is so important. Not just in your personal life, but also in your professional life. When you’re dealing with clients, when you’re dealing with customers, when you’re dealing with. Gosh, boundaries are like so important when you’re dealing with your kids too.
This is what is acceptable. This is what is not, you can go here at this time, but your home at this time, Kids need that. I think our clients need that too. And as long as you are putting yourself first in those kinds of things, It expands your ability to be of service. I know a lot of web developers get into the business because they love the creativity and they love being able to solve problems, but they also.
The ones that I know at least really want to be of service to their customers and help their customers succeed. And in order to really do that, you have to be proactive. ’cause what a successful website looks like. What a successful marketing campaign looks like. And how can you best advise.
Client, how can you best be of service if you’re stretched too thin? If you’re constantly reactive instead of proactive.
Anyway, these are the thoughts that are on my mind this morning. I probably will think of more about this because it seems like. A huge issue that many of us have. If you have thoughts. Drop me a note. We’ll talk to you soon.