Recently I had lunch with a good friend of mine, who’s also an entrepreneur.
As usual, we got talking about business, and she was chatting about a few issues that she’s having with her business, and I was giving her my thoughts and advice. Which included, the need for her to get some strong systems in place.
Her response to me was, “You know systems aren’t sexy, right?”
The shock! I mean really, who says that?
Of course, they’re sexy!
Jokes aside, we had a bit of a laugh about it, but I did say to her,
Honestly, how sexy is having a thriving business?
How sexy is having a great bank account?
How sexy is having a fabulous lifestyle? One that lets you travel and do the things that you want to do?
All of that’s pretty sexy. She agreed.
Because that’s what systems do. They give you a great business.
Sexy is not a word I use, certainly not relation to my business, but I looked it up and sure enough, the Oxford dictionary says the informal definition of sexy is, “very exciting and appealing”.
So, systems are definitely sexy. Like I said, we were having a chuckle, but underneath that humour is a really strong point I like to make.
That systems are a key ingredient to success.
I know a lot of people avoid putting systems in place because they seem to be, labour intensive, or they sound boring. They’ve got a bad rap for what they are, because they really are fabulous.
I honestly think that systems are the biggest productivity hack out there.
Everything changes when you’ve got good systems in place. I love them. I’ve always loved them.
I’m a mother of six, after all. A working mother of six at that. So right through my life, I’ve had to be very organized. With six kids at school, sport, my work, and studies… and everything else. I had to run a pretty tight ship. Which I did.
We also moved 20 times in about 15 years. So, I had to be organized to navigate that terrain. I was well systemised, I could pack up a house at a days’ notice.
There is no doubt that having systems makes everything so much easier. I have a saying, and I tend to throw this around a lot. “If it’s worth doing twice, it’s worth having a system in place”.
The good news is, you only need to get that system in place once, and then you just follow it.
I speak from personal experience. I’ve got my many checklists, as do most other successful business owners. It’s just not sustainable to fly by the seat of your pants without having those fundamentals in place.
Being systemised lets you grow your business. I know that having systems played a key role in saving my business when we were in a world of trouble.
About ten years ago, I did an advanced leadership program which included a 12-month goal to have 80% of my time spent on leadership, and 20% of my time spent on management. I needed the bulk of my time to work ON the business. And only 20% of the time to work IN the business.
To say that was a game changer, is an understatement.
And then there was a major downturn in our industry, and my business was in a world of trouble.
Thankfully, because I had strong systems in place, I could step back to focus on saving our business. Knowing that most things would keep getting done. No matter how lean our team became, things still happened, because I had systemized, delegated, and automated.
We managed to save our business. And then as we rebuilt, because those systems were so strong, we were able to get back up to a seven figure revenue on a really lean team.
The mentorship program that I have (and I LOVE), is called “Solo by Design”, This program is all about staying lean, while growing. The goal is to get better, not bigger. To grow and scale without the stress of employees, overheads and other obligations.
We have a really lean team, and we now earn more than we did when we had a team of 25. It’s so liberating.
So, yeah, I think systems are pretty sexy, that’s for sure. Everything comes down to how well you can run your business without your presence. Because that’s what makes it a saleable asset.
It’s also what lets you travel the world while your business keeps going.
I love it that I’m able to travel, and my family’s able to have a much nicer lifestyle because we’re so systemised.
So how about you? How systemised are you?
Leave me a note in the comments and let me know.