My email was killing me. I’m not exaggerating… While I had good procedural systems in place for my business, recent technology changes resulted in me being buried by an avalanche of email glitches and had me ready for the funny farm.
As any truly serious business owner does, I have a business email branded at my company’s domain and also have additional email addresses for my office assistant and some automated tasks. No big deal in the grand scheme of things. Three or four email addresses, only one of which I personally monitor daily.
Problem was, once I added additional devices to my business systems (iPhone, laptop, desktop), the neat little world I had known via years of using Microsoft Outlook fell to shreds. The company with which I had email service was as unhelpful as they come and I couldn’t take it any more.
I was experiencing:
- Duplicate emails
- Emails that made a return appearance in my inbox over and over despite being deleted
- Unreliable delivery (even between my own accounts!)
- Slow performance
I was ready for a straightjacket (particularly over the re-appearing deleted emails!). I crave things neat, organized, and handled and this was the antithesis of that.
Let’s remember, email is only a tool; one that is meant to enable (not disable) your business. It can be a huge time-waster if you don’t set operating procedures and boundaries around how you use it. It can leave you feeling like a slave to your business.
Yet the truth is that no one ever built their business simply by staying behind a desk looking at and responding to emails. NO ONE.
Here’s a little factual tidbit to give you a sense of just how voluminous emails are. While this report is from 2010, it’s still relevant. If anything emails have risen (think: eFax, online travel, etc.) right alongside the increase in text messages we receive (that’s for another article).
In April 2010, the Radicati Group, a technology market research firm, issued a report that estimated that in 2010, there were approximately 294 billion emails sent per day. This means that more than 2.8 million emails are sent every second and about 90 trillion emails are sent per year.
Whoa Nellie! If you don’t manage your email, it’s going to overwhelm, stifle, and bring you down.
I am not one to change technologies just for the heck of it or in response to a bright, shiny object. It has to make sense. It’s time consuming to make a change. There’s the migration to something new itself plus the learning curve of the new way of doing things.
After getting really clear that things were not working and were not about to get any better, I took the plunge. I chose a solution that would not only solve my problem now but be able to 1) Scale with me if/when I brought other devices into the mix (hint: a shiny iPad for instance) and 2) Enable me to fulfill my bigger vision of being able to work from wherever, whenever I want in the future. If I want to go hang out in another part of the country for a few weeks, no problem! If I want to be isolated to write a second book – piece of cake!
As a solopreneur with a small team, options are limited. Most IT solutions companies require a 10+-user minimum to come on board their email services. Not cost-effective for the small business owner. So I chose Google Business Apps. Initially I was very concerned about support. How good would it be at this low monthly price given the size of Google? My fears have been ungrounded. I have to say so far it has been superb!
The migration took time and effort. I will not kid you. However, I feel a 10,000-pound weight lifted from my shoulders. The power of making choices based on where you want to go (versus where you are or what you’ve always known) is huge. If you don’t begin with the bigger vision in mind and move through the resistances that show itself:
- I don’t want to change! I’ve used/done <insert technology, situation, behavior) for years!
- I’m afraid of the unknown! What if the “devil I don’t know is worse than the one I do?”
- I’m afraid of feeling uncomfortable in the short term even though I know it’ll give me long-term gains.
You will never grow.
While I am still coming up the learning curve of a new user interface and a new process for how I manage my communications and calendar, I am already more productive. I get excited when I see the possibilities of how I can streamline workflow, work better with my team, be more responsive to clients/opportunities, and be more efficient in less time.
It’s another quantum leap in my journey to shed, sift, and savor this year and fully aligned with my desire for an even more Zen way of being in my business.
My Coach’s Request to You:
So – where is email (or some other regular business process) holding you back? Keeping you stuck in overwhelm? Indulging a feeling of chaos or disorganization?
Make note of that and commit right here, right now to DO something about it.
Need help being calmer, focused, and productive in your business so you can earn more, work less, and generally enjoy your days more? Contact me for a complimentary Intuitive Intelligence Activation Session today and start going more Zen in your business.