In my last post, I talked about my business superpower, and like any other amazing skill we have, there’s always a flip side. During my discussion with Richard on The HERO Podcast, we deemed this as the “fatal flaw” — the thing that has held me back in my business journey. 

For me, the fatal flaw is one that so many business owners can relate to. 

I tend to operate under the assumption that I can do anything, which is great when you’re an entrepreneur, but the way this manifests can be problematic.

Just because I can do something, it doesn’t mean I should. 

I have a problem with overdelivering. If I wanted to get all philosophical, I would probably say it stems from the constant need to prove myself when I was a child.  As a result, it’s really challenging for me when I see something I am able to do, to just NOT do it. 

For example, when I create a video, I think to myself: “I should edit this,” when in fact, there really is no reason for me to do it. I don’t need to spend my time on that task; yet because I’m capable of doing it, I feel like I should. 

Another example of how this plays out in my business is when I work on business plans for my clients. I sometimes have clients who want to pivot into a slightly different industry, so they want to revamp their business plan to suit the new venture. My instinct is to just do it, when in reality, what they’re now asking of me is not in the scope of our project and should be a whole new project. I’m not being compensated for the extra time if I just go ahead and dive in. 

Your Business Needs Boundaries

What I’ve had to learn is how to set boundaries in my business. I need to spend my time on what matters and is important to my business. I’m passionate about my work, but without my boundaries in place, my work-life balance is not intact, and my family and personal life can suffer. 

What’s made tackling this so challenging is that I love what I do — helping people reach their goals. Learning how to pull back and not overdo it by contributing what is beyond reasonable has been a work in progress. 

Having to say no to new clients because my roster is already full is a nice problem to have, but it can create an internal struggle because I want to help everyone. I’ve had to learn to be okay with letting people wait for my services because I can only work so many hours and create so many business plans in a week. I have to honor my time and my boundaries. 

Giving Myself Permission to Play 

One of the reasons I went into business for myself was to have flexibility, which rings true for so many entrepreneurs. But because we’re passionate people, we can fall into the trap of filling our free time with more work. We’re ambitious, and in pursuit of our “next big thing,” we can forget to actually pause to appreciate (and celebrate!) when we meet our goals.

Learning to resist my urge to overdeliver means I can actually take advantage of that flexibility I craved when I started my business and give myself permission to play once in a while. I can have the work-life balance that I wanted in the very beginning, and keep it in perspective. 

In working to overcome my own fatal flaw, I’ve learned to enjoy what I’ve built and stopped pushing myself so hard. As long as your priorities are in the right place, and your business is being taken care of effectively, the money tends to follow. 

Ashley Cheeks

Author Ashley Cheeks

Ashley Cheeks is a Business Plan Consultant. Her core business plan writer expertise is in designing business plans for bank and investor funding. She founded Written Success after years of being a professional business plan writer as a freelance consultant, and working for companies including GE and Fluor. She lives in Houston with her husband, daughter and son.

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