Are you in constant firefighter mode?

Written by Dennis Riley

March 3, 2022

I know this is not a foreign question for you as a business owner. Nowadays, the stress of owning a business is high and the tasks each day mount.

And I bet you even plan out the day sometimes, yet something happens and you are back in putting out fires.

That is a common theme I get from my clients. And I get it. But just remember 1 important thing…

Firefighters are not constantly battling fires ALL day. Most of the time, they are in the firehouse or training. (At least that is what I am assuming.) When they have to go on a call, that is when they may be putting out a fire depending on the false alarms they probably frequently have.

You get my point… You cant be in firefighter mode if you constantly spend all the hours in your day putting out fires… Even THEY don’t do that! 

That pace is unsustainable and you will get burnt out. (Appropriate choice of words, don’t you think?)

How about doing some fire prevention like Smokey the Bear says. (OK, I need to stop with these fire analogies!)

Ask yourself the following:

  1. What areas of my business are always in reactionary mode?
  2. What are the usual steps that occur to lead up to the fire?
  3. Are there any processes you have in place that are not working?
  4. Are there communication issues?
  5. Are the right people doing the right jobs?

These 5 questions will probably reveal a TON. The results probably have to do with the existing systems or a lack of systems. 

Let me guess.. I bet clients are involved too…correct? You may have to look at ways the client can be put in a better position as well. 

Start with ONE fire area at a time. I have a feeling you will find more than one. Put the focus on ONE issue and get that completely solved. THEN move onto the next one.

The key is to fix the problems BEFORE they start.

So put down the axe and pick up the clipboard and map it out! 

Remember…only YOU can prevent forest fires… (I HAD to say that!)

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