I have a love/hate relationship with our plumbing business. Lately, it’s been leaning more towards hate.
The business consumes so much of my time. I know how I want to contribute my talents to the world, and the plumbing business has nothing to do with that vision. I understand that it pays my bills. It even pays for my graduate degree. I should be grateful, but it feels like an anchor more than it feels like a life raft. Lately, I have been procrastinating on my work, so when I do get around to it, it has grown into a mountain of daunting work. Work that I don’t want to do.
Mark, on the other hand, enjoys working with the business. He enjoys working with people. He enjoys figuring out how to repair mystery leaks. He is an awesome field manager, but he is not much of an office manager. I am the detail person. I keep the books, run the marketing campaigns, keep customer records. It’s a lot of work. Running a business is not for the faint of heart. I am good at it, but my heart is not in it. In fact, I downright resent it.
You might look at the title of this post and think, What does this have to do with Duck Dynasty?
I watched Duck Dynasty for the first time yesterday. I have heard so much about it, I had to see it for myself. When I watched it, I noticed that these people ran a business, but they found a way to make it fun. They don’t let running it bog them down. I realized that I need to find a way to run my own business that it doesn’t suck all emotional energy from me. I need to work to live. Right now I feel like I live to work.
In the beginning, when the business was new, it was a puzzle. Every day I was learning from mistakes, trying to figure out how to make the business profitable. I lost a lot of money during that phase, but I learned a lot of priceless lessons, too. Then, after three years, the business was working, and we were paying our bills. We were even able to pay down the debt from starting the business. I think that when I started the business, I envisioned that when it was running well, it would run smoothly with little effort on my part. Looking back, I’m not sure I thought about what I would do at this stage of business at all.
I want to work less with the business, but as a business owner that was under the poverty line for the first three years before the business took off, I have a hard time letting someone else help run the business. I might hate doing office work, but I have heard so many horror stories about employees that ruined businesses that I am a bit of a control freak. I can’t let go. How can I give power over to someone who hasn’t had to labor in the business? Someone who hasn’t experienced the tears of joy and relief that come when you receive the money you need to cover your mortgage on the day it is due? Someone who hasn’t had to figure out what to do for a Christmas when you have just $150 to spend on food and gifts and three children to spend it on.
Now, I realize that I have to relinquish some control in order to be able to accomplish my own personal goals. But it is easier said than done. But now I know that until I am able to let go, I will not be free to pursue my own lofty goals. I want my business to support my hobbies–like the Duck Dynasty clan. The first step I need to take is to trust someone else to do my bookkeeping. Just typing that last sentence scares me.
That being said, does anyone know a good bookkeeper?