One of the biggest challenges for any small-business owner is finding the time to work on the business, rather than in it; building the future rather than just dealing with the present. Why?
Quite simply, you don’t have enough good people to run the business properly without you. And there are only two possible reasons for that. The good news is that both of them are entirely in your head.
Poverty mentality: You “can’t afford” to hire more quality people, because margins are too thin, or you’re not confident about sales. If it’s the latter, I’ve got news for you: unless you hire, you won’t get more sales, because you don’t have the headroom to generate them. If it’s the former, to grow margins you need two things: a distinctly better offer than your competitors, and the confidence to charge for it. Develop your proposition, learn to negotiate, stop chasing cheap sales and walk away from bad business.
Shift to an abundance mentality.
Control mentality: Others “won’t do it properly” if you’re not involved. So recruit good people with the same standards and attitudes as you. Be clear about the quality you expect, and let them decide how they will achieve it every time. Get them to put measures in place that you can see and trust, then step back and watch them succeed. If they don’t meet your standards, read this.
Shift to an empowerment mentality.
It takes courage to make the shift. It means taking risks and trusting others. But if you want growth, it’s a shift you have to make. Here are two techniques that will help:
Define your future role: It’s not actually about “letting go”, it’s about reaching out for something new. Picture your business after five years of remarkable growth. What would your team need to look like? Who do you know who’s in a position like that, and how do they work with their people? Visualise that role and that team, then start planning for it.
Accountability Partner: Set yourself goals around the shifts you need to make, and share them with someone you trust: spouse, mentor, advisor; and talk to them regularly about your challenges and progress.
Bottom Line: When starting your own business, you have to roll up your sleeves and do pretty much everything yourself. But if you want your business to become big, at some point you have to learn to stop doing, and start leading, teaching and empowering others instead. It’s the one thing you simply can’t avoid. So you might as well start now.