girl working at computer with coffee

If Your Life Isn’t Adding Up…. Subtract

By Eric Greene

Let’s face it.  True work-life balance is a myth for entrepreneurs.  Yes, you are your own boss, but we all know that doesn’t equate to total freedom.  THE HARD TRUTH: Your business is in your head constantly… practically every hour of every day of every year. 

Be careful. You are dealing with the non-stop stress of competitive threats, market hurdles, employee issues, you name it.  Oh, and don’t forget COVID, family, finances and everything else life throws at you. If we don’t all watch out, stress can overwhelm us, cause burnout, and result in diminishing productivity, returns and happiness.

Don’t worry, there’s a solution: IF YOU’RE LIFE ISN’T ADDING UP… SUBTRACT. 
Not everything you focus on and fret over is created equal.  Simplify and you can literally and figuratively eliminate a lot of things that drain you.  

The simple action step here is to ask yourself: What can I stop doing, do less of, say ‘no’ to, delegate/hire out, or eliminate? 

Get creative and be real here.  Then subtract.  This will leave you with time to focus on the tasks that truly move the needle for your business and matter to you professionally and personally. The outcome will be increased happiness, a stronger business and less stress.

Woman writing at desk

Here’s a real-world example of this: I have a client who is the Founder/CEO of a Western Colorado based manufacturing business. Not long ago, he was working from dawn until late at night, 7 days a week.  He essentially gave up on a personal life, stopped sleeping at home and instead put a cot in his office where he stayed most nights.

Why was he doing this? In his words, there just weren’t enough hours in the day.  He was dealing with perfecting and manufacturing his product (crazy important), growing and servicing a list of customers (crazy important), and hiring and training staff (crazy important).  On top of that, he was developing new product ideas, doing his own accounting, serving as his own IT guy, making local appearances in the community, listening to any vendor sales pitch that came his way, answering emails right as they came in, monitoring social media, plus many more things.  

The predictable outcome? Intense burnout. Feeling lost and overwhelmed. Diminishing output across the board because he was spread so thin. And a business that wasn’t firing on all cylinders.

Because his life wasn’t adding up, he started subtracting. He eliminated, did less of, and delegated all of the items that weren’t marked as “crazy important.”

The result? His business is now clicking at over $1 million in annual revenue and turning a profit. His product is optimized; his customer list is growing; he has other people focusing on things that aren’t a top priority. He has eliminated other things altogether.  

Most importantly, he is less stressed, more balanced, and happier.

Remember, there’s a simple formula if your life isn’t adding up: subtract.  Don’t wait. Don’t say someday.  DO IT NOW. You and your business will be better for it.

Eric Greene is a proven executive and entrepreneur turned success/executive coach + team facilitator at the Greenehouse ( Pouring my experience (startup, 3 successful entrepreneurial ventures, former President, CxO, EVP/GM) into helping you work smarter. Lead better. Stress less. Kick ass.  And find more joy in doing it.