Real business stuff, details edited out.
1. On the phone, client says he's burning out. I say, that's not okay, we need to fix the systemtic flaws that are going on.
2. He emails me a while later, excerpt -
Whew, yep. Been crazy but fun building business. As noted, burn out only lasts about 4 to 12 hours for me. I've burned out a few times over the past few months, but been back at it the following day so long as I've got a resolution up.
Next on the resolution list:
Email outsourcer (make email more responsive / provide customer service buffer)
Automating lots of support (take the manual updating off my plate... we're at -- customers and growing fast, all of whom I have to update -- manually. delivery should start immediately following successful billing)
Building up clarity / streamlining deliveries / making everything more customer friendly
Fixing the double charge problem we're seeing frequently
I'd like to get as painless and automated as possible very soon before it starts getting too difficult. I see this as a core piece of the business to start throwing funds at in the immediate future. It'll get quite messy if we start ramping things up and sales keep growing fast. Just this part very quickly becomes a 3 - 4 hours a day operation without further automation.
3. I reply -
Agreed. I think better to find someone with great ratings and pay them a little more. Maybe they can even help write/streamline the processes themselves. Like, someone good enough that you could just tell them what's going on and your goal, and they'll figure out a solution. We can look for one on Odesk.
4. We talk about it on the phone. He says, "Well, why don't we go cheaper, go halfway on cost?" I say, well, who cares? A better person needs less supervision. They can even build the processes themselves instead of us building them. Yeah, it'll cost a few hundred dollars more a month and frugality is great, but you're in fast growth. He says he'll think about it, and then...
5. ...sends me this awesome email just now:
Okay, see your point on this. Having someone who's on point would be superior to someone who's mediocre. We want a big business, not a medium-sized one that's scraping for cash around the edges.
That's the most perfect phrasing of that idea I've seen -
"We want a big business, not a medium-sized one that's scraping for cash around the edges."
INTERNAL SCORECARD #2 --
I've been lagging behind in my blogging lately, and a lot of other things. I think it's because I've been too easy on myself.
I've noticed that my productivity and happiness are inversely correlated with the number of physical comforts I allow myself. It's ironic, but the more comforts I allow, the less happy I am in the long-run.
When I get in doldrums like this it always starts slowly. First I decide that it'll be okay to have fast food just this one time. Next I decide that I'll be just fine skipping my daily Spanish tapes just this once.
Eventually I've tumbled way off course and I find I spend my evenings watching TV and my work-days slacking.
I think at least for me the only way to live completely productively and happy is to never let up on myself. I am a powerful human being and I deserve to act like one.