Monday, November 21, 2011

Who's Running This Household?

Day 11 of 365 Tiny Changes

I have a plan.  In fact, I have a lot of detailed plans.  This particular plan, though, is one of the reasons I created this blog.

I plan to start another business.  I have quite a few ideas of what this might be, how it might be structured, and all of that.

I’ve actually owned a business in the past.  It was a residential cleaning service.  The business part of it went very well.  I had lot’s of customers and 6 employees.  The part that didn’t go so well was the personal side. 

Where my business failed was in the personal support area.  I didn’t take the time to really build a team of people that I could go to with questions, or ideas.  There were members of my family that were supportive, but I found that the caring of the family doesn’t always translate into the kind of business support I needed.

The result was pure exhaustion.  My business failed because I was just so tired.  Actually, it didn’t fail, I shut it down, because I just couldn’t carry the load, alone, any longer.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that I really needed to bring in a manager at that point.  Someone who could take over the daily running of the business, while I went out and did the PR work.  I was just too tired to realize what I needed, and I didn’t have the outside support system to point it out to me.

The only thing that is worse than learning from experience is not learning from experience.
                                ~ Linda Ellerbee

I have learned from my experience of business ownership.  This time I am going to do things differently.

Part of the reason I was so exhausted was that I was running the business and running a household with 2 young teenagers. 

I had spent a lot of time and energy getting efficient systems in place for the cleaning side of the business.  I spent a lot of time training my employees to be efficient and highly productive.

I didn’t take the time to do the same with my household.  I went from a 9 to 5 job, that left me hours in the day to meet the household needs to running a business out of my home that took 12 hours a day, plus. 

I never took the time to look at the system I was using to run the household, to find places for more efficient ways to do things.  I’m not talking about multitasking, I’m talking about real changes in procedure for the things I needed to do to keep the household running smoothly.  I just ran the household the way I had always done it and continue to do it.

I had my first apartment right out of high school.  You would think that by now I’d have all the kinks worked out.  However, I have found that running a household 32 years ago and running a household today is completely different. 

Back then, the only way outside information got to me was by snail mail, or telephone.  If I wasn’t there to answer the phone, it was on the caller to call back.  If they couldn’t reach me, they sent a letter via snail mail. 

My required response time was also lengthened, because I only had those same two options available to me.

Today, with all the ways I can be reached, my required response time has gone from 7-10 days to 7-10 hours, sometimes 7-10 minutes!

I feel that today there is much more reason to find ways to streamline the household responsibilities, just to be able to stay on top of all of the outside influences.

I have read some of Iyanla Vanzant’s books.  In one of them she wrote something that really hit home with me.  I’ll paraphrase it.  “There are people out there trying to save the world, and they haven’t even figured out how to keep the dishes out of the kitchen sink.” 

That is where I’m at.  I have spent so much of my life focused on other peoples wants and needs, my own kitchen sink is piled high with my own dirty dishes.  (Figuratively speaking.
We do have a dishwasher.)

This year is about not only washing my dirty dishes, but drying them and putting them away.  It’s also about building a support system, a sort of a mastermind group that I can go to for help and advise when I launch my new business. 

First things first.  In order to do this I need to create a better organized day.  The place to start this organization is the moment I wake up.

Tiny Change 11:  Take my shower, immediately upon waking.

I’ve been getting side tracked with other activities first thing, and have had to stop my forward progression in the day, to take my shower, before I can leave the house.  Better to get it out of the way first thing.

Feel free to share any shortcuts to running a household that you have discovered.  I may never get these dishes finished on my own.

Best Regards,


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