Business owners in New Zealand face a lot of issues on a daily basis. We all know how challenging some of those can be, so it may come as a surprise for you to learn the results from a recent survey conducted by a business consulting firm, where NZ SME’s were asked what the biggest issue is in their businesses.
51% of the people interviewed, identified that achieving work/life balance was the main issue in their business and 41% identified their issue as time management.
Both issues were seen as areas that needed support and something they could not fix on their own.
Considering New Zealand has approximately 500,000 SME businesses contributing 30% approximately of New Zealand's GDP, this is an issue that management training services are particularly interested in. Looking deeper into the issue, we see that this is not isolated to New Zealand business owners. Overseas business development coaches are seeing the same trends.
Business consultants and business mentors from around the world have identified work/life balance as a defined problem linked directly to poor business performance, staff inefficiency, failing systems and declining processes. They also see it as a key component for management training providers when providing professional management consulting.
Why is so hard to achieve work/life balance in business?
Professional business consultants at Business Success Partners see this occurrence regularly with their business advisor activities. Perhaps the answer to our question lies within some of the comments made from the business owners that BSP advisors speak to on a daily basis.
- ‘It is so hard to get time to spend with my family as my phone rings constantly, and I am always behind with my emails’
- ‘I can't really leave the business for any length of time, as while I am away things turn to custard’
- ‘I am not sure how I can set up a structure that would give me more time off without damaging profits’
- ‘I have tried to write a business plan and employ more staff to free me up, but it's just too busy’
- ‘My phone never stops and I spend a lot of time involved in the office side of things, when I should instead be out promoting my business’
SME business owners are being pulled in all directions and potentially this could be part of the reason they are struggling with work/life balance.
This "overwhelm factor" as business mentors like to call it, even has a name and has been diagnosed by one of the world's leading emotional health experts. It is an event known globally as ADT (Attention Deficit Trait) and is becoming the biggest threat to small businesses globally.
So what is ADT in Business?
ADT (not to be confused with ADD or ADHD) stands for Attention Deficit Trait* and put simply ADT means the brain circuits are overloaded and simply can't process any more data. This leads to the business owner gradually losing the capacity to attend fully or thoroughly to anything. Professional business coaches see this regularly and the signs of an overwhelmed brain are very obvious.
What contributes to brain overload?
- A tidal wave of tasks coming in daily
- Relentless requests from customers and staff members
- Emails mounting up
- Social media distracting and putting more data into the brain
- Smart phones and business owners being on call 24/7
- Family commitments and pressures
The list is long and there are plenty more factors, but I am sure you see the issue and most likely can relate to one or all of them. What tends to happen next is the business owner goes into total overwhelm, and the following symptoms can be seen in daily life:
- Difficulty in staying organised
- Pretending everything is fine
- Constant low level feeling of panic
- A tendency to miss deadlines
- Guilt because unable to keep up
- Working in survival mode daily
The cycle continues relentlessly 24/7 and gradually gets worse. The good news is this is not a disease but rather a state of mind that can be remedied.
However in New Zealand, we have one unique component that adds fuel to the fire...
Our brain is designed to protect us, by putting up mechanisms of defence known as "emotional-cognitive constellations".
In other words the brain (when in a state of ADT), has extremely high overwhelm factor and becomes so hyper-focused on the day to day issues, that it has no time to instruct us to go out and seek help.
Combine this with a good dose of "Kiwi pride” and the end results is business owners battling away on their own and getting more and more frustrated as time progresses.
Simple solutions that can help:
- Talk to a friend
The ear of a good friend can be helpful for business owners even if it is just to release some stress and take time to process what is going on inside the business. However, no major financial decisions should be ever taken from these conversations without seeking a second opinion from a proven source.
- Take some time out
Do something relaxing such as walking on the beach, or spending time in a quiet area such as a city park. Sometimes just giving the brain time out will give you both time to think with more clarity. Do this and you will see the benefit.
- Have an early night three times a week
Rest is important to the brain and yourself, so an early night every now and then can be very valuable.
- Resist drinking alcohol
Adding quantities of alcohol to the mix just makes things worse and will impair your brain even further. It will also add to the fatigue so stick to water!
- Reach out to someone who understands what you are going through
At Business Success Partners we have developed techniques and strategies for handling the "overwhelm factor" and these have proven to be very successful for our clients. Get in touch for a free consultation from one of our experts.
“Speaking with Business Success Partners was the best thing we ever did. If you need any help with your business these guys can help you out”
- Frank Pope, Pope Electrical
“Going it alone is very tough, and having an expert to help us was the best business decision we have ever made. We have just had 3 months of records sales and profits in a row and it's a completely different business now to what it was when we first spoke with Business Success Partners.”
- Tony Wright, Laser Plumbing
“For me it's definitely been well worth it. We implemented plans to invest in our staff which has allowed me more time to be able to focus on the strategic element of the business. Its working!”
- Chris, Powdercoating NZ
“These guys are amazing and very approachable. Take a chance and meet with Business Success Partners, that’s what business is about really, taking chances and it has paid off for us!”
- Ann-Marie Sinclair, Sinco Customs
Transform your life today with Business Success Partners. Powerful business advisory through a business success partnership. If you are looking for a business advisor, a business consultant or a business mentor, then click here to request a meeting with a Success Partner.
*Edward M. Hallowell, founder of the Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health
*Ministry Of Business Innovation and Employment
* Bizrewards Study 2016