“I’m Sam, I’m sitting in a happy place now.
I had a fair share of stress last year. They were dangerous levels of stress from September to Christmas. It was really trying for both the business and personal life as well. I suffered from anxiety. 85% of it was coming from the stress from work. The busy-ness and carrying too much responsibility – I couldn’t switch my brain off of an evening and it had a butterfly effect through other areas at home. The way I was relating with my family, how I was sleeping … it’s the opposite to how you want it to happen. It’s a balancing act because you want to grow your business and make more money.
I was taking other people’s monkeys off their backs and putting them onto mine. I was saying ‘leave it with me’ ten times a day and adding their problems to mine. Instead of telling staff to work it out themselves I was taking it on.
I’ve been in business for nearly 15 years. For the first 12 it was growing in the wrong spots. Jobs that were harder and made less money were easier to go out and find.
For us it happened quickly without the systems in place. It was too much growth without enough infrastructure. And then I was carrying the burden of that more than I should have been. I wasn’t sleeping and I’d get the shits up. And I didn’t know why.
I had a good break over Christmas. I just changed. I was relaxed. I noticed that now work had shut down, I wasn’t grumpy or anxious and was sleeping OK.
Since then, it’s been really good. You still get challenges like staffing. There are personal reasons that can take them out for a while.
One shift has been finding better jobs rather than more. We’ve seen growth in those areas, in particular since Christmas.
Profitability is better now and the jobs are more enjoyable.
I couldn’t stress how important it is to have good systems in your business. Doing things ad hoc is not advantageous and you need to be able to delegate if you can’t make it into work on a given day.
It’s easy to say don’t do things that stress you out, but you often don’t know what it is.
I see that stressful period as a good thing. You learn from your mistakes and there’s no regret.
I didn’t know I needed this at the time, but when I sat down and thought about what it was that stressed me out, the common denominator was whether there was a happy outcome or not – in business or parenting.
These days I always finish out my decision making by asking ‘will it make me happy?’. If the answer is no then I don’t do it. I’ve used this as my decision making tool since January. I trialed it out and it’s been working amazingly.”
I have a few businesses but the one that feeds the family right now is the electrical business: