Sales Masters Guild Mentor, Jo Driver’s asks “Have you ever felt that your life in business could relate to that of a Hamster being on a Hamster Wheel?”
You’re running so hard you can’t slow down or stop, you’re working so hard to keep up day to day, that you’re not in control, you’re getting nowhere and aren’t achieving much? The income and the lifestyle you started your business for, is nowhere in sight.
Too often I meet business owners that are just so busy being busy that they are reacting to the demands of those around them and everything that is happening to them, that they’ve lost focus of where they are going and how to get there. I’m sure most of us can relate to this at some point in our business. I call it the Hamster Wheel Syndrome. Let’s take a look at the effects of this in more detail, how damaging it can be to your business and how to avoid it.
As a young child, I kept a couple of pet hamsters, I would watch the hamsters get on their wheels, they would have to put in a fair amount of work to get the wheel going but then the momentum would get so much it would take over and they’d end up running just to keep up, running and running getting nowhere, as they were on a wheel, often running they would get out of control, the wheel would get the better of them and they would flip out, looking rather bewildered at what had just happened, only to repeat this cycle again and again. I thought surely, they would learn, but no, that wasn’t the case.
Fast forward a number of years to my life in business and I started to see similarities with people, especially business owners. They were running their business like they were a hamster on its wheel. Their behaviour, choices and decision making were becoming ineffective, they were reacting to everything that needed to be done, trying to meet demands from everyone around them, constantly chasing any potential sale, worrying about where the money would come from and meeting deadlines. They were running around in circles every month getting nowhere, not achieving anything of great significance, just about getting by and with no work-life balance, or even exhausted and burnt out. To put it another way, their Business is running them!
If you can relate to this in any way, here are some tips on how to get off that ‘Hamster Wheel’
- The first step is you have to admit to yourself that you are on it and it is not benefitting you or your business.
- Commit to getting off the wheel and take the control of your life and business back. You have to be responsible for the choices and decisions you make. You can choose to stay as you are, or you can choose to do something about it.
- Be honest with yourself. What does success mean to you? How much money do you need and want to make? What lifestyle do you want? Then ask yourself – Where is the business at the moment? What challenges do you have? What has been working well? What hasn’t been working well? What skills do you need to learn or improve on? What needs to change?
- Prioritise and Focus on what needs to be done. To stop yourself getting distracted or dragged back on to the hamster wheel you need a plan and will need to keep focused on implementing your plan tweaking it along the way.
- Be open minded and flexible. Neither life or business will ever go smoothly, there will always be challenges to face and work around, skills, knowledge and learnings to gain.
- Step out of working ‘in’ the business on a regular basis. For the above to be effective you will need to make time each month where you step back from the day to day and ‘work on’ your business to plan how you are going to achieve what you want to achieve, putting the milestones and goals in place to ensure it happens.
- Get someone to hold you to account. It can be too easy to slip back into bad habits and find yourself back on that Hamster wheel.
If you need help getting off and staying off that Hamster Wheel, want to work towards making a greater income and having a better work life balance, being part of a mentored peer group can be of great benefit to you and your business. You will be able to rely on your mentor and peers to hold you to account and support you when it’s challenging so that you never feel alone on your journey, as they share with you their knowledge and experience to give you the confidence to try new tactics and strategies to move you forward towards your goals.
If you’ve not had an opportunity to see what a mentored peer group is all about and how it can benefit you, why not try? Take advantage of being invited as a guest for this very purpose and see for yourself whether a mentored peer group is for you.
Jo Driver is a Sales Masters Guild Personal Business Mentor.
Jo’s transition to becoming a business entrepreneur began back in 1995, starting her own Training and Consultancy business. Jo has also built a Health & Wellness business and is a co-founding partner of JRD Property, a property investing business.