Small Business Epiphany: You Can’t Do it All
As a business owner, you likely wake up at least one day a week thinking, Where do I start? Whether it’s a mental to-do list, an overflowing email box, a development conversation with a team member, a networking meeting with a potential power partner or a goal setting session with your business partner, you are constantly confronted with a slew of tasks, each calling for a different thought process.
The transition between these tasks often requires a mental switch, a change in brain pattern which forces you to go from strategic, high-level thinking, to a managerial mindset, to tactical number crunching and back again.
The idea behind business owners not always having the “chops” to be successful is discussed in the seminal business book, The E-Myth (Entrepreneurial Myth), by Michael E. Gerber. I have always respected his opinion because I see the phenomenon he writes about reincarnated every day in the businesses I work with.
An interior designer might have a keen eye for creating beautiful spaces, but doesn’t know how to delegate to his team members. A physician might know every medicinal remedy out there, but hasn’t a clue how to market or grow her business.
Michael E. Gerber would call these people, “Technicians.” They have developed a particular skill or trade but aren’t necessarily equipped to run a successful business.
Gerber explains that these folks must expand beyond the “Technician” role to embody the “Manager” and the “Entrepreneur” as well.
So, how can a business owner truly begin to create a sustainable, successful business and not feel burnt out from wearing so many hats?
Five reminders I send to my clients on a regular basis:
- Stay Flexible: Know that priorities will shift, so remain fluid with an unwavering sense of where you’re going and what will be most important to get there.
- You’ve only got one head: So, wear one hat at a time. All hats are necessary for the owner to build a thriving business, but not all are of equal importance at all times.
- Get some help: Outsource what you hate, give away what you’re not good at and get rid of what doesn’t make you money. If you’re a visionary at heart, don’t do the data entry!
- Go mind meld— Create a network of other business owners who can support you— people to bounce ideas off of and get some perspective. You don’t have to go it alone!
- Make it a ritual — Is there a specific area of your business where you thrive? Schedule uninterrupted time to give energy to this pursuit. This feeling is the ultimate reminder of why you started this business.
As a business owner, you most likely started on this journey: 1) To make money doing what you love and/or 2) To find more freedom to do what you love.
The way I see it, neither one of these goals can be accomplished if you try to do everything on your own. Remind yourself what really matters and when in doubt, slow down to go (and grow) faster.
As a business owner, do you ever wish for more freedom? Tell us in the comments below!