Have you heard of this concept?

It’s different from downsizing which is what you do when there is a change of circumstances. This term has been used most often when kids leave home and the family home is sold for a much smaller property that is better suited for the next phase of life. 

In August 2021 when I decided to get off the hamster wheel of onboarding and offboarding staff, growing my practice and constantly being in a stress cycle, I said I was downsizing. 

In hindsight, I was right-sizing. 

Right-sizing is adjusting your perspective and realigning your life to your needs. 

Let me explain. 

I started in private practice in 2004 – 2005. Initially, it was 1 day from home and I got SO excited about every client that came on board. In 2006, I was ready to take the leap into full-time private practice so I bought Speech Therapy Services which was being sold at a no-brainer price and allowed me to draw a full-time income pretty quickly. 

However, with the practice came staff and subleasees. Not only that but I needed another therapist ASAP and I hired one really easily. From there, my ambition was always to grow the practice. But like all ambitions, it was a rollercoaster. 

I never once stopped to ask myself one very important question.

“Given my values and personality, what size practice is ideal for me?”

As a perfectionist, type A personality, and people pleaser, having staff and tenants was never ideal. I constantly felt like I was letting someone down or not doing enough. There were great times but also so many really low points. 

In hindsight, if I had asked myself that question, I would have said the right-size of practice is me or me plus one AHA. It’s incredibly manageable. I don’t need to stay up at night worrying about whether I can make payroll, what fires will need to be put out the next day or what the next unexpected expense will be. 

The same goes for debt

In my late 20’s I had two properties along with the business lease which meant I had substantial payments to make each month. It was stressful. So many sleepless nights worrying about unexpected expenses, generating enough income and trying to work out how to keep all the balls from falling. 

Again, if I had asked myself that question, I would have said the right size of debt would be one that I could easily repay even if the business had 1-2 bad weeks. 

Another example would be friendships. I’ve always joked that I can have no more than a handful of good friends. Any more and I can’t manage. I worry that I’m not being a good friend. That they’ll think I’m not putting in the effort. All my weekends would be spent trying to fit everyone in leaving me exhausted. Paul manages so many close friendships, talking to many of his mates multiple times a week. I’m constantly amazed but it’s not for me. I have learnt what right-sizing looks like in this area of my life. 

As you read this, what comes to mind for you? Where do you need to right-size things?

Often we are filled with obligations, ambitions, FOMO and everything else in between. We make decisions that leave us stressed out, losing sleep and unsure of how we will ever gain life-work balance. 

I think right-sizing goes a long way to helping with this. 

It’s about asking ourselves that important question – what does the right-size look like for me in this situation or opportunity? 

By doing so, you step out of obligation, ambition and FOMO to look at the situation or opportunity more accurately. And because you are deciding with your personality, values and needs in mind, it will be more sustainable and closer to what you actually want. 

The bonus? 

You will avoid burnout and feel infinitely more successful.