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Is it possible to work less and earn more?

dave fuller articleRecently, I asked one of my clients what they had learned in the past year. He said: “I learned that I can earn more by working less!” My response: “You just learned in a year what most MBA students never learn in a lifetime.” Not only had my client doubled his income over the past year, but he also significantly reduced his stress levels. 

 

Recently, I asked one of my clients what they had learned in the past year. He said: “I learned that I can earn more by working less!” My response: “You just learned in a year what most MBA students never learn in a lifetime.” Not only had my client doubled his income over the past year, but he also significantly reduced his stress levels.

You might think that this story is an exaggeration or isn’t possible.  How can someone double their take home pay in just one year? However, here is the testimonial I received and it is similar to what I hear from my clients on a regular basis. 

 "As the owners of a company with 10 employees, we have been working with Dave for the past year in trying to take our business to the next level.  As a result of Dave's coaching, we have doubled the amount of income that we took home this year over the previous year, and our stress levels have dropped significantly.” D&J December 2018

 In 2014, one of the professors in my MBA program asked the question: “Why are you here?”  As he went around the class, many people responded, “To further my career,” “To earn more money,” or “To get a better job.”   When it came to me, I responded with, “I am here to learn how to work less and make more money.”   When I said that, there were gasps of disbelief in the room and several people said out loud that that is not possible. “How can you work less and earn more?”   

Earning more and working less is a concept beyond imagination for most health food retailers. Many retailers believe that they need to work more to earn more.  They are stuck in the mindset of an hourly employee.  At some levels of business, where there is not enough income to hire people, this is sometimes the case.  However, in order to take our stores to that next level, to get to the point where we can work less and earn more, we need to have the right systems and people in place.  This will allow us to step back as owners and focus on doing those things that will really make the company successful. 

The challenge for most retailers is that we have a hard time seeing beyond the day-to-day operations of the business.  We get up, go into work and fail to have a plan that will enable us to increase our margins, generate more sales or develop new markets.  Those are the things that might allow us to work less and earn more. 

 

So, what did my client do that allowed him to earn more and stress less?  First, he recognized that what had worked in the past was not working anymore for him and his partner.  They needed to think differently about their business, as sales were going up, but profits were going down.  They decided not to focus on sales but focus more on profitable business.  As a result, in 2018 their sales dropped 20 per cent but their bottom line doubled. 

Second, the partners recognized that they had great employees, and decided to delegate more while keeping their employees more accountable.  They started having regular staff meetings that were “uncomfortable“ for them at first, but they noticed improved morale and communication. These changes enabled them to step back from the day-to-day work and focus more on the high-level operations like working on margins, and developing meaningful relationships with their customers.  

Thirdly, they started planning.  They developed a plan for 2018 and recently 2019, that will help them to strategically focus their energies and their operations.  In the past, like many retailers, they were floating from year to year.  Now with some concrete objectives and guidelines about what they should and shouldn’t do, which they developed for themselves, they have clarity on what they need to do to be successful. 

Many retailers would be able to earn more if they thought like these owners.  Thinking differently, delegating more, and strategically planning are keys to earning more and worrying less.  Perhaps it is time you decided to implement some of these processes into your plan for 2019

 

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