It was time. Arrangements were made and papers were signed to move my parents into an assisted living. The rigors of keeping house and every day personal care ended up being too much as my father went into his thirteenth year with dementia, while my mom continued her own journey with increased memory loss.
This was certainly for the best.
We planned to do the big move on the weekend, but wanted to take a few boxes of smaller things over to the apartment during the week, to ease them into this transition.
When we arrived at the facility, I went to grab the first box out of the car...and couldn't. It was too heavy. I opened up the box to check the contents and, to my dismay, was met with a large stack of china flatware and crystal holiday cups that came out of her hutch, a piece of furniture we were not planning on moving. Before I said anything, my mom came up behind me, looked over my shoulder to peer into the box and said, confused, "I don't need this stuff. Why did I pack these?"
Though I knew she was struggling with memory loss and confusion, I never anticipated that she wouldn't know how to pack. I thought her reasoning skills and life-long problem solving would kick in when choosing what she should pack for her new home but that was not the case. She needed help.
I find that this kind of thing happens for business owners as well. Like my incorrect assumptions that my mom would know what to do when packing, people may have the same assumptions that if you take the leap into entrepreneurship, you know everything you need to know to run your business successfully. Though we aren't suffering from dementia, confusion, or memory loss, there are times when our lack of experience, education, and struggles with time management impede our judgement in the decisions we make in our business.
Do we fill up our days like a moving box with busywork and meetings that don't propel our business forward in the long run? Do we pack our boxes with TOO many to-do's and inconsistent efforts, thinking we will miss out on potential opportunities but ultimately overwhelming ourselves in the process? Like the crystal holiday cups and the china flatware, are we bringing things unnecessarily into our businesses and complicating it further?
My mother struggles with her pride in knowing that she is slowly losing more and more control over her memory and her cognitive abilities. Similarly, us business owners have a hard time swallowing our pride and accepting that we may not be the best fit for each aspect of our business.
If we start our businesses not knowing how to do our bookkeeping, should we not start the business? Absolutely not! We find a bookkeeper or use resources that's available for us to learn what we need to tackle the financial part of our business.
If we start a business without any kind of marketing background and scared to death of engaging on social media, should we shelve our dreams about launching our company? Absolutely not! We research how other people in our industry are successful with their marketing tools, we seek advice from marketing gurus, or hire a marketing agency.
If my mom needs to move into a place for her betterment and she can't pack herself, should she receive help? Without question, even if it means someone needs to intervene and walk through the packing process with her, guiding her decisions and actions.
If a business owner needs help guiding their decisions and actions for different parts of their company, should they ask for the help they need? Yes.
Bookkeepers, graphic designers, virtual assistants, business coaches, copywriters, management consultants, web designers -- if you don't know how to "pack" and find yourself burdened by all of the time-consuming work you have, reach out for help.
Whether you may know them yet or not, people want to see you succeed in business and in life, and the best way to do so is to not do it alone.