A principle we often discuss with owners is getting your business so well organised that it will work without you.

I’m sometimes asked if this is really possible?

It is… by creating the necessary systems and processes, accompanied by the staff training and motivation.

But how to achieve it is not the topic here… When talking to an owner recently about his business working without him, he responded

“but I don’t want my business to run without me! I love what I do – why would I stop?”

It’s not the first time I’ve been confronted with this response, so I promised to think about it; here are my thoughts…

Some owners feel that their business is tiresome, or even torture!

They’d like nothing better than to stop doing it – provided that they kept getting paid. But there are also people out there who really love what they do, and would continue doing it even if they didn’t have to.

And maybe now is a good time to say this includes me!

Some people just love the work they do, so why would they want to stop?

The point is, although we talk about getting the business to the stage where it will work without you, we’re not saying that’s what everyone should do.

If your ideal is to get a little more freedom, that’s OK.

But before you set your sights on that, I’d like you to think about the alternative.

Think beyond your company needing you.

Imagine your business is running without you, either because you’ve got it organised or because you’ve got a great manager in there?

You’d be free to ‘work’ as and when you choose.

If your business were carpentry, for example, and you could think of nothing better than making wood-shavings all day, how would it be if you suddenly had the time and resources to make anything that you want to, not just what customers are willing to pay for?

Or maybe you like passing on your skills, so imagine if you could now take the time to train an enthusiastic apprentice.

Taking off the pressure can allow us to create our best ‘work’ and to enjoy it more too.

Then it doesn’t feel like work.

But to get to that point… you really need to have the business at a stage where it CAN run without you.

It’s not about stopping work, it’s about freedom.

Alan Smith is a certified Business Coach who understands the time pressures of running a business and who is committed to helping SME owners make the necessary changes to themselves and to their business to create the lifestyle they got into business to have in the first place.