I am not quite ready to retire, but I'd certainly like to slow up and take more time off for other activities. I am finding this difficult - my clients need me at unpredictable times and I continue to be always on the go. Do you have any suggestions for slowing up without retiring?
Effectively setting expectations with your clients is critical in achieving this. Here are two suggestions:
- Determine specifically what you want your new slower lifestyle to look like. Are you looking to take summers off? Specific days off? Do you want to scale back to working half days? After you have determined what your new work arrangements will look like, focus on communicating it to your clients. Make your new work schedule a "known" with new clients. Sit down with your existing clients and let them know of your plans, when they will be implemented and the expected impact on them, if any (reduced fee, etc.).
- Consider bringing in assistance in the form of a junior or senior associate. You might even be able to farm out some of the work to other trusted colleagues. Although this might represent a significant change in your basic business model (and will almost certainly introduce some new financial and business complexities), it might well provide you with the elusive answer you have been seeking to reduce your workload without permanently eroding your existing client base.
Consciously slowing down can be challenging and should be carefully executed. Have a plan and a timetable. Communicate your plans clearly to your clients and prospects. © 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA