"If I have to check one more voicemail, I'll scream!"
I am not a phone person. I love talking to people, but my phone stresses me out. I don't pick up if I don't recognize the number. I hate the back and forth of leaving messages and waiting for people to call back. I much prefer the check-when-I-want-to-ness of email and the cut-to-the-chase-iness of texting.
But once you've got your own business, people call you. And you need to pick up! You need to be available to your clients/customers/partners/suppliers/investors. You need to know if there is an emergency. You need to be contactable when people want to contact you.
You need to be all-available all the time.
Or do you?...
Because the thing is, you don't necessarily need to be available all the time, someone does. And that someone doesn't always have to be you.
Enter the Gatekeeper (or my heroes and sheroes, as I call them).
Gatekeepers can be many things, but for our purposes, they are the ones who do the screening and the filtering and the responding for you. They are the ones who get the calls, who take the messages, who arrange for things to get done so you don't have to.
Now, most leaders and business owners get gatekeepers in the form of a PA, VA, or admin support. One of the gatekeepers I started using to save my sanity was a call answering service. Anyone who calls the office number gets routed to the answering service, and they then take down the important information and email it to me so I can then address whatever the call was about in my own time. This means I don't have to be on-call all the time, and makes it much easier and less stressful to manage the day to day running of a business.
There's no point in building a business to gain your freedom only to be shackled by that business! So please start using these tips! The sooner you do, the sooner you will see the benefits in time saved, sanity gained, and money not thrown away.
It is worth it. And you are worth it.