For a short period of time I was between bookkeepers. The job fell on my shoulders for a few months. While this was a godsend in one way because it helped me better understand the job and the skills necessary to do the job well, it also frustrated me because one of the most important tasks was filing papers. I hate filing papers.
I would have a small stack of papers, a nice, neat, organized set of file drawers, and folders already labeled and waiting, yet I couldn’t muster the energy to spend the ten or fifteen minutes to put those papers away.
Mock me all you want (those papers did) but it just wasn’t something I liked to do. My desk at Toy House was almost always a mess of piles.
I’m still that way. My keyboard is surrounded by piles of papers that just need to be put away. My mouse has the barest minimum of space to work. No one would look at my office here at home or at the store and accuse me of being a neat-freak.
Yet when I was out on the floor I was constantly straightening products on shelves, cleaning up messes, and rearranging merchandise to keep it organized and pleasing to the eye. I detested a messy store and worked long hours to keep it clean and neat.
Why the Jekyll and Hyde?
The office was for me. The sales floor was for my customers.
As you remember, one of my Core Values is Helping Others. Keeping a clean and organized office helps me. Keeping a clean and organized sales floor helps my customers. When you look at it through that prism, you can see why the former was so difficult and the latter was so easy.
This is just one of the many reasons why knowing your Core Values is so important. It helps you understand the decisions you make. It helps you understand why you put your priorities in a certain order.
As you’re evaluating the previous year and plotting your course for 2019, I encourage you to evaluate last year’s results through the prism of your Core Values. See just how much influence those values have on your everyday existence. You’ll be surprised to see how much of your pain was from when your business and your values were at odds and how much of your joy was when they were aligned.
When you begin to see it, you realize you have the power to harness your Values to bring you more joy.
I hired a bookkeeper to do the stuff that helps me and spent my time doing the stuff that helps others.
PS Sometimes you have to do the painful stuff yourself. I wrote about how to muscle through that here. Sometimes you need to hire someone to do the things you don’t like to do, don’t want to do, or don’t have the talent to do. I wrote about how to find those people here.
PPS If you aren’t sure of your Core Values, here is a worksheet I use to help people identify them. You’ll know it is a true value of yours when you see it in your business, too.