Starting your first business is a huge challenge for budding entrepreneurs. But once you've achieved success in your company and automated some of your processes, you might find yourself thinking about putting some of your other great ideas to the test. However, with so much of your time and energy already spoken for, it can seem overwhelming to consider adding a whole new startup into the mix.
That being said, there are reasons that so many of the most successful entrepreneurs have their toes dipped in multiple businesses, including introducing new revenue streams and exploring a variety of interests all at once. So how do you manage your time and resources between several companies without becoming totally overworked and burnt out?
Throughout my career as an entrepreneur, I've gathered some key reminders along the way that allow me to continue diversifying my portfolio without sacrificing the quality of my work. Here are some of my favorite tips for staying focused on what really matters.
Use what you've learned from your work thus far.
Just because you're starting a new business doesn't mean you have to start from scratch. As an already established entrepreneur, chances are you've made your fair share of mistakes while learning how to run a successful business. That's why you should be using every advantage at your disposal to benefit your newest company.
After all, you've already put in the effort to develop systems and processes that work, so why not put what you've learned to good use and save yourself from unnecessary stress? A great place to start is by looking back at the journey you took in establishing your first business, and identifying the challenges you faced, and how you navigated them.
I can't tell you how many mistakes I made when I was first starting out. One that particularly stands out was when I needed to draft employee and client contracts. At the time, paying a lawyer a few thousand dollars was way out of my budget. So instead, I piecemealed agreements to create my own legal jargon. Unfortunately, I didn't have a non-compete clause in one of my contracts, and it ended up costing me far more than paying a qualified lawyer ever would have. Let's just say, I never made this mistake again.
Hire a team you can trust.
Let's face it: no one likes being micromanaged, and you probably don't like feeling like you have to double check every single thing that your employees do to ensure quality control. This is even more integral when you're running multiple businesses and your time is already stretched thin. While it might feel like your business is your baby, and you have the impulse to constantly make sure that everything is done exactly as it should be, you need to release some of that control if you want to be successful on a large scale.
When you put the time into hiring and training employees you trust, it takes some of that added pressure off. Plus, employees will work harder and do better work when they feel valued and appreciated, rather than feeling like you don't trust them to do the job they were hired for. That being said, don't be afraid to offer valuable feedback. However, if you find yourself consistently checking in to the extent that you don't have time to focus on your own work, you need to reevaluate your team as well as your role in the business.
Prioritize your time off.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: you can't pour from an empty cup. It can be difficult to even think about taking time for yourself when you're adding a new business to your already full roster, but you won't be able to build an empire that's sustainable if you don't commit to taking care of yourself as well as the businesses.
Block off time away from work to devote to self-care, whether it's a day or two per week with no commitments, or turning off your phone at a certain time every evening. When you invest in your mental and physical health, you will find yourself with so much more energy to successfully manage multiple businesses long-term.