It started so well. The vision was clear; your creative juices were flowing and the excitement of having your own venue and doing what you love every day made it all feel very possible.

Then, you began fit-out, and a whole set of problems you hadn’t accounted for came to light. Somehow you got through it, albeit a little more stressed than you’d anticipated. “Once I open, it‘ll be different,” you thought. “I’ll be living and breathing everything I imagined.” Once you opened, reality began to reveal itself. The dream quickly turned into a nightmare, and you’re feeling lost and out of control.

From someone who has been there, here’s my advice to get you back to the place
you started. Delegate your operational and administration tasks. You need to let go of things you’re not actually good at and hence, drown you in their execution. Maintaining the big-picture vision you began with will be stymied if you’re stuck in ‘I must do everything’ land.

Compile a list of all your to-dos, and separate everything that creates high anxiety for you. If members on your team have skills in areas that would help you outside of their current job role, include them in those extras. They’ll feel valued and trusted by you to help share the enormous load.

Find experts outside of your business to help you streamline your tasks. Yes it costs money, but your business will flourish under your joyful, not-overwhelmed leadership.

If your venue is owner– operated, close at least one day a week. I can hear the push back already. But unless you have a chance to totally wind down and engage in some uninterrupted me-time, you’ll end up running on empty very quickly, making trading seven days a week dangerous in the long term.

Have a clear look at your end-of- day figures and choose your quietest day. Your customers will understand, and when you’re back on the boards, you’ll be refreshed enough to be gracious not resentful.

Above all else, quit the high and unrealistic expectations of your team and especially of yourself. It’s okay for it to not be perfect. If your baseline vision is being executed everyday, your guests have a clear picture of who you are and your team are fulfilling their roles, let it go and live a little.

The question I ask myself when I’m on the edge of a perfectionist meltdown is: “Does it really matter?” Perfection is overrated, and puts so much undue pressure on a day that is already full of it. It’s not worth the price of relationships and sanity it demands you pay.

Image credit: AD