What standards do you need to set?

When I started my business, MedRecruit, I set a standard for the results I wanted to achieve and the impact I wanted to have in the industry. To do this I worked 12-14 hours a day, seven days a week, for years. We became the fastest growing service business in the country and outgrew all our competitors by many multiples.

A standard means that it’s a must, that in the end if you haven’t achieved it then it’s not the end.

When we got pregnant with our first daughter Zara I realised that I didn’t want to be a father who was always at the office, so in the nine months Claire was carrying Zara I hired a management team and built systems so that we could continue to achieve the results I wanted, and this could happen without me working all waking hours.

Essentially at the start I set a standard for outcomes, then I added in a standard for input.

And I think this is the right order. Too often I talk with business owners just getting started, or established owners going through a major crisis that threatens the existence of their business, who are talking about work-life balance.

Forget about it. When you’re in the traction phase or fighting for your survival you need a standard for outcomes, whatever the input required.

But, once you are getting the results you want I do believe that it’s critical to add a standard for input, because otherwise you are likely to burn out and forget why you’re doing it in the first place.

The key is to be conscious about it and get the timing right.