Lately thinking bigger has represented thinking outside of the box, looking outside of the bounds of my regular day-to-day life. It’s meant stretching myself and pushing myself to step into spaces that feel scary and intimidating. It has meant taking time to get a bit meta: to work on something rather than just in something, to paraphrase the E-Myth.
Last week I was on an unofficial retreat with my friends Sonja and Moni. For the whole week, we thought bigger. We put aside our everyday responsibilities and worked on our lives, businesses, relationships and blocks, rather than just in them. It made me realize how rarely, in my business life, it is that I do the kinds of tasks that the great Stephen Covey would consider “Sharpening the Saw”. For example, my website usually gets the bare minimum of attention, and my bookkeeping system hasn’t changed in 2 years since my business has grown. Every work day is usually consumed with my task list and answering emails rather than setting myself up for future success. Every weekend day is for relaxing and connecting with loved ones. Sharpening the saw of my business happens only rarely, because (until now) it felt hard to justify taking non-billable hours to work on my business itself.
How silly and ridiculous it feels to write that! Of course those hours are billable, you just don’t happen to see the return right away. Of course working on your business is a good idea and well worth the investment of time and money. Of course it’s important to think bigger and plan ahead for the future. Of course it’s necessary to work on making your work life more sustainable and enriching for everyone involved. Of course.
But of course this is one of those simple, hard things to remember. When every day feels full and sometimes overwhelming, thinking bigger can feel like a luxury you can’t afford.
From now on though, I’m giving myself permission to take one work morning a week to devote to sharpening the saw of my business: working on my systems, setting up my workflows, optimizing my website, trying new apps, designing better invoices. Anything that will move the needle towards greater sustainability for myself and my business. I’m calling it Thinking Bigger Time and it’s now a recurring event in my calendar. Today was my first day, and so far it’s been great.
PS. Want to see what I’ve been working on? You can check out my new services on my website here!