As a small business owner, you may feel like you need to do it all. You are chef and chief bottle washer, the CEO – Chief Everything Officer, and the person who must make all the decisions about where the company is going and how to get it there.
Wow, that’s a lot of hats to wear!
It’s the mindset that we believe because we get the impression from the world that that’s what you do when you own your own business. However, it doesn’t have to be true and, frankly, you’ll do better if you don’t adopt that perspective.
This is your business after all, and you can do things however you like. You don’t have to follow the rules, or the perceived rules, of being a small business owner. In fact, you can run your business any way that works for you.
I recommend figuring out the easiest way and doing things that way.
I know, what does that mean, and how do you do it? Sounds like a good idea but it can’t be that simple. Well, yes and no. Simple, possibly, easy, maybe not so much.
The reality is you believe that things should be difficult for some reason. Typically, it’s either fear or early messaging.
We all carry fear. Whether that’s fear of failure, fear of success, or fear of something completely unrelated to our business, it doesn’t matter, it still holds us back. What I’m suggesting is you take the time to examine your own mindset and how it might be getting in the way of your success.
For example, if you are afraid that if you become successful then you won’t have time for the things you love in life, you may be restricting your own success. Dig into why you have this mindset. It might be a message you received growing up. Maybe your parents were always working so you didn’t have fun family time. That happens. You need to decide if you can be successful without working all the time.
If you believe that everything is supposed to be a struggle and that you must work really hard for it, then that’s what it will be. This is the message I got. Life wasn’t supposed to be easy. It was supposed to be hard. I had to clear this false information from my life in order to find that success can come easily.
It’s not that I don’t work hard, I do. But I also find time to relax and play and get away from it all. Because I want to be successful, but I don’t want to have to work all the time as then there is no time to enjoy that success.
It’s getting clear on what’s holding you back that is the key to changing your life.
Learning this first will help you decide how to change your mindset. If you can believe that things will come to you easily, they will. I know, that sounds too simple. But it can be that straightforward. If you can, focus on how to make things easier instead of harder.
Let your creativity run free to come up with ways to change what you’re doing so it’s not such a struggle.
One of the first things to do is to look at everything you’re doing to see if you are the best person or the only person who can do it. If not, find a way to delegate it. Jim Collins in his book Good to Great talks about having the right people on the bus in the right seats. You as the business owner need to be driving that bus.
The rest of the seats can be filled by other people. Some may be employees, and some may not. That depends on your business. It takes a team. Build your team and get the right people in the right seats on the bus.
For example, hiring people to produce your product or service is usually the first step. You can’t be marketing, selling, and producing all at the same time and expect the company to grow or for you to have time off. Start there.
It takes trust. It takes believing someone else can do it as well as you do. Simple, not easy.
You need to have someone you believe can do the job and do it to your standards. That takes training and building up their confidence. This is a game changer for any small business. Having help is paramount to your growth. You only have so many hours in each day, and you don’t want to be working seven days a week forever.
Next, outsource. You don’t need employees for everything. Some pieces of the business need a specialist which a small business cannot afford to have on the payroll. This is for specialty things like marketing, accounting, human resources, and other legal aspects. It could be sales, research and development, or any number of other things.
It’s your business so you get to decide what you are best at and should keep as your responsibilities and what you should hire someone else to handle.
The smartest thing you can do is figure out what is holding you back as it’s likely a mindset issue. Then figure out how to clear that mindset and believe it’s possible for things to be easy. Then set it up so they are easy. One step at a time; decide what to keep doing and what to have someone else do.
Once you get it set, watch your business grow!
As your business gets bigger, you’ll have to repeat this process again and again. No resting on your laurels or you’ll find yourself right back where you started working all the time, struggling to get everything done and wearing too many hats.
When that starts to happen, reevaluate what needs to shift (it might be your mindset again) and rearrange things to work differently. Delegate something new, hire another person, outsource a new responsibility. It can be easy as well as simple.
Sherry Lutz Herrington is the owner of Sherrington Financial Fitness, a business consulting and accounting firm specializing in strategic business planning and solid financial accounting for businesses. She is also the author of Strong Women Thriving (www.strongwomenthriving.com), a blog which focuses on empowering women to be financially savvy, particularly after experiencing financial abuse. Sherry is currently writing a book that both shares her personal story and addresses financial abuse. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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