Own your business not your job

Graham recently had the privilege of working with a budding success story who was struggling with the overwhelm of trying to do it all in her Recruitment Business.


She had come from an HR background and had previously worked as a Recruitment Consultant with a large company, so she knew the industry well and had built up a database of quality candidates. She had always been passionate about customer service and so had a small base of loyal clients who liked to work with her and with whom she had a good relationship.

She had spent a couple of years consolidating her business and was now ready to grow but had hit a brick wall.

The fact that she had great relationships now presented her with a catch 22 situation. In order to grow she needed to work more job specs, but in order to get more job specs she needed more clients. In order to get more clients she needed time to market her services, but she spent all of her time working the job specs that she did have from the few loyal clients who had followed her when she started her own business.

Her days were consumed sourcing candidates, screening CV’s, interviewing candidates, getting employment references, getting credit, criminal and education checks, re-typing CV’s for submission to her clients in response to her job specs. Most nights she spent prepping CV’s late into the night once the kids had gone to bed. When would she ever find time to market herself and her recruitment services?

She felt overwhelmed, trapped and actually resentful of the very vehicle that was to give her freedom – her Business. She was overworked, stressed, unfulfilled and felt trapped. Scariest of all, every minute not spent working left her feeling guilty and insecure.

She was too busy and too tired working hard to find a way to work smart.


We worked together to get clarity on exactly what she wanted her business to give her – this helped to set objectives to and focus her activities congruently towards achieving those objectives.

We worked together to find a way out of her catch 22 situation.

Her business was not big enough to afford an admin person to help her with the candidate management side of her business and she was using MS excel to manage her candidate database and storing her CVs as word documents in broad categories on Windows Explorer, as well a hard copy paper CVs. This made searching her own database inefficient, relying largely on her memory, so that she was obliged to be over-reliant on advertising and the frustrating time consuming process of sourcing, screening, interviewing, checking and submitting CVs, so we found an inexpensive Candidate Management software system to leverage her time and create an effective way of storing, searching and retrieving candidates from her own database.

This speeded up her CV submission turnaround time and freed up time to grow her client database. We were able to find creative ways to leverage off innovative, inexpensive marketing initiatives using her existing Candidate data base and job specs to position herself in the marketplace and approach more clients, as well as service her existing clients to get, and work more job specs.

Now that the business was operating smoothly and she was methodically withdrawing from “Having to do everything around here”, she was able to be more strategic. She was able to look for better ways of doing things and implement innovations. She began to look for and harvest ideas and opportunities that were previously hidden or frustratingly unavailable because she was so swamped. Her business became exciting again.

She began to realize the value of her time and where best to focus her effort so as to balance the aspects of ‘doing’, managing and strategizing: finding innovative ways to leverage her time, energy, skills, resources and money to set her business up to support her ideal lifestyle instead of living in the trap that so many small business people suffer from.


Today she has set up a blue print of her ideal business: she now ‘owns her business’ instead of just ‘owning her job’…

She works less, has more fun and makes more money than she ever did before.


Graham has helped me to have kick-start myself away from the “rabbit in the headlights” syndrome that I was experiencing. I have increased business, increased confidence and increased motivation – thank you!

How about you?…