In the first few years of business, you are getting things off the ground - finding your space in your industry and trying to get the word out to as many people as possible. There’s a beautiful hustle that is driven by your desire to create freedom, and provide a wealthy life for your family.
And then it happens, sometimes unknowingly - you reach capacity. You wake up and realize that your calendar is maxed out, you are always thinking about work and trying to manage all the moving parts consumes you.
Yet, you know there is no turning back - this isn’t just your lifeline, it’s your legacy.
You want to keep serving more customers and making a difference in the world. Slowing down isn’t an option.
This threshold is one many women reach and don’t know exactly how to move forward. On one hand you are overwhelmed with so much on your plate, and on the other you still have the desire to keep growing. This is where the most common answer is to just…keep…pushing. But we make this choice without thinking about the long-term effects.
When there’s no more capacity in the business, and you're working so much you can’t even step back to get a full-picture view. Then what?
Recognizing Capacities & Re-evaluating Priorities
The trap that most women fall into is adapting the belief that when you run your own business it’s a 24/7 job. It’s normalized in entrepreneurship to work long hours and basically ignore your quality of life for the business. When you reach this point of capacity, most times it’s ignored. You stretch yourself and your team past limits, creating a ripple effect of overwhelm.
It’s fueled by the fear of “what if” and driven by scarcity that you felt at the beginning stages of business. You feel the overwhelm, the chronic stress and the exhaustion but taking a break or saying no feels even worse.
So, you continue to say yes to all the incoming work.
The problem is, while your intention is to continue growing the business and making a difference with your work - continuing to push yourself and your team past capacity does the opposite of what you want.
Because we only have so much to give, since we are human, the quality of your service and leadership will start to decline. And with that it starts a ripple effect in the other direction. When your quality of work starts to suffer, your clients see and feel it. And then they will start seeking alternate solutions. Your team will operate differently and likely feel the pressure to perform at a level that is beyond what they can give to meet your standards, as unrealistic as they may be. And before long you’ll be in the position to start chasing new sales like when you first started. There’s only one option when you reach capacity, and it’s not to keep overlooking your human needs.
It’s to recommit to excellence and raise the value of what you are offering.
Recommitting To Excellence
Instead of putting your head down and driving forward hoping that you and the team will get a chance eventually to come up for air, you have to step back and evaluate. When the demand is there for you to reach max capacity, the temptation to take all the business you can get is heavy - but it will crush you if you do. Your focus has to shift from width to depth.
The answer for your business isn’t raising quantity anymore, it’s raising quality. There are various business models depending on your industry that have options for you reaching more people and scaling to impact as many people as possible, but this requires capacity. The only way you can continue to raise revenue when capacity is capped is by adding more value to how you are already serving. You choose to step back - so that you can step forward. Here’s what to do; Take a look at everything you are currently offering for services and identify what is no longer serving you or your team. Think about the things that aren’t profitable or enjoyable for you, because those things aren’t serving your clients either. Evaluate the gaps that you are seeing in your industry and where you know you can help on a deeper level. Taking this depth approach naturally elevates your services and meeting the needs of clients in a deeper way allows you to raise your pricing as well. You have to take the opportunity to get honest with yourself about how you really want to serve, because it’s only then that you will do your best work - and lead your team best.
When you are overworked and overwhelmed you know that you aren’t doing your best work. Being at capacity is an opportunity to recommit to excellence so that your work isn’t declining and your business continues to grow.
The Advantages of Serving Deeper
Having a busy business is a privilege that you’ve worked hard for. When you recognize you are in a place of overwhelm and not getting the space you need to take care of yourself and your family, it’s time to evaluate how you can keep moving forward without the constant stress.
And when you go back to a birds-eye view as the visionary of your business and commit to serving in a deeper way, incredible things happen.
You no longer have to chase sales and feel like you have to take on every client and project. You can be selective about who you want to serve and how you want to serve, and you can serve those people in such a great way that referrals come in easily.
Your work does the work for you. If you are ready to recommit to excellence and serve in a deeper way to continue growing your business, join me inside of Female Founders Inner Circle.