December '17

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46 THE SHOP DECEMBER 2017 n a LinkedIn article that appeared a few months ago, Mandi Ellefson, The Hands-Off CEO, wrote about 5 Steps for Owners to Free up 40 Hours a Month and Make Their Business Run Without Them, which coincided with the notion that you can have it all—a bal- ance between the work you do and life outside of it. With this in mind, we took some of the points Ellefson made, and compared them with the experiences of some of our own industry veterans. A PASSION TO DO MORE When you're stuck in a routine, it's hard to keep up, and even harder to grow. You need help to catch up, but can't justify the extra expense. According to Ellefson, the three main challenges she discovered in her research regarding business owners who felt they couldn't get away to pursue a life outside of work were: 1. There's not enough time for life and to grow my business; 2. Customers just want me; 3. I can't delegate enough to get ahead. The common thread, Ellefson says, is that these businesses are overly dependent on one person: the owner or manager. This creates a capacity gap, which is why it is so difficult to reach your targets without working harder and longer hours. Income plateaus in business happen when you are stuck in the day-to-day, and in many cases, you're working 60-70 hours a week and can't do more—even if you want to. QUOTE: Kathryn Reinhardt, MagnaFlow's director of marketing, declares, "I think a lot of my success stems from the fact that I love my job. I love being able to be creative in the marketing department. I like to be able to manage great ideas from our next genera- tion of forward-thinkers and help make these plans. Passion for what you do in any job can be the difference-maker in your success. When we are looking for team members, we are looking for people with spirit, people who have ideas, people who want success. They may not know our computer systems, our handbook or even our product line, but these are all things I can teach. I haven't had much success teaching passion, and that's the foundation for our achievements." We would all be thrilled with the pros- pect of a business that ran more smoothly and profitably without having to work harder for it to grow to the next level. The thought of having a team or department that can be accountable and run the busi- ness is appealing, and so is one that can continue making a profit, whether you're physically there or not. So, how do you run a successful shop or department, care for your employees, co-workers and customers, while at the same time maintain a healthy, happy life outside of work? QUOTE: Henk Van Dongen, director of marketing for Omix-ADA, says, "Run- ning a successful depart- ment is based on having the right team members. This starts with not just filling a seat, but making sure the right person is in that seat. I would rather have a few stressful months with lim- ited resources and take the time to find the right team member versus bringing the wrong team member into the team in just a week because we are busy. "When you have the right team in place, it is a matter of setting priorities, being flexible and listening. For one, nobody works for me, but everyone works with me. Just because I lead the department doesn't make me the authority; we all have our unique skills that make the wheels turn. With this in place, if members need to leave early to go spend time with their children at school, a play or just need some time away to recharge, I try to be flexible whenever we can. The focus is not on working 40 hours, but getting specific tasks done. In return, when a project is running up against a deadline, we all pull together to make sure we meet this deadline, regardless if it means we have to put in a few extra hours. "Years ago, someone told me that when your team members are happy and balanced at home, they will be better at work. That is what I try to keep in mind." MAXIMIZING THE TIME YOU HAVE An aspect to remember is that you can make more money, but you can't make more time. Once it's gone, you can't replace it. To f re e y o u r t i m e , Ellefson recommends first identifying what's keeping you needlessly busy. In so doing, you may recapture those 40 hours a month without a schedule over- haul or hiring extra staff. QUOTE: "I have personally found that getting to work early is the best for me. I get to the office around 6:30 a.m., which gives me about 90 minutes to plan my day, get some immediate things out of the way before the By Jason R. Sakurai Finding a Work/Life Balance Strategies for getting ahead without leaving yourself behind. I MagnaFlow's Kathryn Rein- hardt says that loving what she does makes it easy to work hard. When it comes to striving for balance, she rec- ommends being fully present in every moment—whether it be in a meeting at work or at your child's baseball game.

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