Are you guilty of saying this?

“My business [or nonprofit] is my baby.”

Ever said that before? I have.

We love our work! We take pride in the change we’re making in the world and take things personally because we’ve poured so much heart and soul into what we do.

I also have a real life human baby. Noelle is 9 months old now and she is super amazing and fun. She’s starting to talk and when she says Mamamamama, my heart just explodes. She’s crawling everywhere, trying to stand by herself, and I’m constantly chasing after her. Her half gummy/half toothy grin could melt even the coldest of hearts.

But she’s still a baby.

As her mama, I meet her needs and am at her beck and call 24/7. I love her so much that helping her grow and supporting her brings me so much joy, and I wouldn’t trade that responsibility for the world.

Now, thinking back to my business…do I really want my BUSINESS to be my baby too?

Demanding. Needy. Full of responsibilities that ONLY I can fulfill.

That’s a hard NO.

So if our work isn’t our baby, what SHOULD it be?

How about a race car!

You learn how it works, what buttons to push, what features to add to make it go further and faster, and the right mechanics to make it all run smoothly. Then those people (your team) can operate the race car to help it cross the finish line.

It’s a team effort and you’re all in alignment towards the same goal, but you don’t do everything.

So, how do we shift our work from being a baby to a race car?

  1. Automate. Take stock of all of your software and make sure it talks to each other, and there are no redundancies or gaps. For example, are you invoicing clients or donors in Quickbooks AND Dubsado? Choose one and stick with it. Is your CRM like Salesforce talking to your project management system like Asana? Link those babies up!
  2. Hire the right people. Figure out what roles you need on your team and hire for the roles, not the people. Maybe you need financial analysis and strategy and are trying to force a square peg into a round hole by asking your bookkeeper to do that work. They’re different skill sets, so get the right people into the right seats.
  3. Create a routine. Surely there are tasks in your organization that need to happen weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually. Take an hour and write it all down, then map it out on your calendar, spreadsheet, or project management system. Consistency is the only way to make progress on any of your goals, and getting it all in one place will help you stick to the routine.

What do you think? Is your business your (demanding, needy, yet lovable) baby? Or is it a well-oiled machine ready to cross the finish line to your world-changing goals?

PS – Did you see my Instagram post this week? Check it out and let me know what you think!