Letting Go So You Can Build Your Business

Letting Go So You Can Build Your Business

One of the most common questions a business owner asks when reflecting on his/her company and its performance is whether he/she is too involved in the day to day dealings of the business. A very valid question. After all, when you started your company, you set out to build a business, not work for it. And the truth is that if you have asked yourself this question, the answer is ‘yes.’

That involvement, the neverending pursuit of excellent customer service, the non-stop tweaking of every marketing message and sales pitch, is what got your company to where it is today. But being overly involved in the day to day functions of your business could also be the reason why you are no longer growing as quickly as you once were. Not to mention the toll that operating in this fashion is likely taking on your personal life and your health.

While you may be too involved in the day to day dealings of your company, this is no reason to lose heart. Letting go isn’t easy, but if you want to continue growing your business, it is a necessity you are going to have to get used to.

Nobody Will Ever Do It Like You (At Least Not Completely)
The first hurdle you are going to have to overcome is resolving yourself to the fact that nobody else out there is going to do things exactly as you would. And that’s okay. First off, there is nobody else on this planet like you. Everyone will approach problems and opportunities in different ways. Secondly, the strongest teams are made up of individuals with different backgrounds, work experiences and ways of overcoming challenges. That diversity is essential to finding and implementing the best solutions. There are tons of talented people out there that can help you grow your business. Find the right ones and hire those people.

Hire Smart People
This all revolves around hiring smart people. You need to hire the smartest people you can possibly afford, in order to grow your company in the most optimized way. Too many times business owners get hung up on wanting to always be right or wanting to be the smartest person in the room. Some of the most successful companies on the planet were founded by people who knew they were nowhere near the smartest people in the room. Instead, those founders put together brilliant teams able to make their dreams a reality.

Hiring the most talented people you can find does require a little bit of courage and a fair amount of confidence. Again, you aren’t looking for a version of yourself. Hire people that complement your skillset. Hire people that are great at functions you need for your business that you are not great at. And most importantly, when you find those people, empower them to go out and excel in their positions. Let them do their jobs without getting in the way.

Be Prepared For Failure
Empowering people to go out there and get things done does have a downside. It all but guarantees that they will fail sometimes. Failing is a natural part of building any business. Failing means a team member tried and it simply didn’t work. What they take away and learn from that failure, and how you react to that failure, is going to be the difference between future successes and ultimate defeat.

You need to remember that your team members aren’t you. As a result, they aren’t going to go about things the exact way you would have. To set employees up for success, be very clear on your conditions for satisfaction – the outcomes you expect. And manage to those outcomes, not the way the person goes about getting there.

You also have to remember that team members are human, as are you, and that all humans make mistakes. Deal with a failure in a constructive way, possibly even sharing with your employee a failure of your own from the past. This will show them that you know there will be failures and that what’s really essential is how they respond and shift gears after the failure.

This approach will foster creativity, keep your employees pushing forward and help your business increase its bottom line.

It’s Never Easy, But It’s Necessary
Letting go so you can work “on” your company and not “in” it is never easy. The truth of the matter though, is that if you want to continue growing a long-lasting, profitable business, and one that operates effectively while you’re not present, it is something you absolutely have to do. Start taking the steps now to get back to building a business rather than working for it.

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Death to the “Should”

Death to the “Should”

I recently returned from a business planning retreat, where my mastermind group escaped to the mountains for two full days of visioning, strategy, idea sharing and prioritizing activities for the year ahead. During the course of the retreat, I met one-on-one with each member of the group for a coaching session, and in every single session, the word “should” came up. “I should be doing more on social media.” “People tell me I should raise my prices.” “I should develop an online program.” And on and on and on.

Every day, you receive messages of what you “should” be doing. Whether from an article you read, a guru you follow, the wisdom (solicited or not) from business contacts, family members, and goons. The messages are seemingly never ending.

“Should” overwhelms us.

“Should” keeps us stuck.

“Should” brings us guilt.

No good comes from these messages. Inspired by Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, “Do. Or do not. There is no should.” I suggest erasing this word from your vocabulary immediately. Here’s how:

Be Selective

It’s great to get advice and perspective from others who have been there, done that; or from people who are there, doing that. But that advise needs to be put through a filtering mechanism to decide if you will take the advice now, take the advice later, or not take the advice at all. There is no benefit from internalizing this advice as a “should.” Process it and assign it one of these three categories.

Park It

Don’t for a second let advice take up space in your head.

If the advice you get is advice you decide to take now, capture it in your project management system, your calendar, or whatever system you have to manage your priorities and your time. Then don’t think about it for another second until it’s time to focus all of your attention on it. When it is, focus on it, and do it well.

If the advice you get is advice you decide to take later, capture it on a master project list where it can live safely and securely until it’s appropriate to decide to pursue it or cross it off the list. Creating a parking lot for “future ideas” keeps them from taking up brain space (and energy).

Gauge Success

Don’t continue taking the advice (or doing anything in business for that matter) without carefully evaluating success to determine if it’s worth the time, energy, money, etc. to continue doing it over and over again. Sometimes advice becomes so engrained and habitual (send a monthly e-newsletter, cold call 10 prospects/day, etc.), you may fall into the routine of doing it, without pausing to evaluate if it’s bringing you the results you expect and need. Pause, evaluate, and then decide to continue or not.

And for goodness sake, stop “should-ing” yourself. DEATH TO THE “SHOULD.”

5 Ways to Stop Standing in the Way of Your Success

5 Ways to Stop Standing in the Way of Your Success

As a business owner, you typically start the new year with promises to yourself that this will be your most successful year yet. If you’ve made similar promises in past years but didn’t follow through, it’s time to consider what went wrong, so this can finally be THE year — YOUR year. Not sure what’s slowing you down? Here are 5 ways to stop standing in the way of your own success.

1. You delegate responsibility without authority. Delegating duties can be amazingly freeing, allowing you to focus your efforts on other, more appropriate priorities. But delegating work can actually set your business back if the person you assign to do a job doesn’t have the authority to make necessary decisions that go along with the work. This leads to bottlenecks, with the person coming back to you for your OK, rather than being empowered to move forward independently. To keep things moving, be intentional and thorough when you delegate work, and make sure to give the appropriate authority along with the responsibility.

2. You’re staying in the work. As the saying goes, working in the business is different than working on the business. Think about why you launched your organization in the first place. If you want to grow a successful business that thrives even when you’re not around (think beach vacation!), you cannot be the one depended on to manage client accounts every day. To build a sustainable organization, get the right people in the right roles with the right training and the right systems to do the work, and relinquish control to them so that you can serve a higher purpose.

3. You lack focus and defined priorities. Ever feel like your attention is being split in a million different directions? It’s next to impossible to do anything really well in business if you aren’t clear on your specific goals. To maintain focus, take the time to define what you want to achieve, and prioritize where your time and energy needs to be spent in order to get there. Intentional action will always be more effective and efficient than throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.

4. You try to do it all. Success in business means knowing what you don’t know. Do you love brainstorming new services to meet your clients’ latest needs but struggle with sales? Hiring a sales manager or sales coach can help take your business to the next level. Not great with accounting? Hire a bookkeeper to track the finances instead of spending your nights fighting with stacks of receipts. To thrive, surround yourself with people whose strengths are your weaknesses, and outsource expertise that doesn’t exist in your organization. Do what you do well, and get help with the rest.

5. You’re stuck in the past. Industries change fast, thanks to new technologies, consumer demands and an ever-evolving economy. Sticking your head in the sand and doing the same thing the same way “because that’s how it’s always been done” can negatively impact your company’s competitiveness and prove dangerous for its longevity. To continue evolving, remain open to new ways of thinking and doing, and be brave enough to think big.

If you recognize any of these obstacles in your business, make it a goal this year to get past them and realize the success you’ve been reaching for. Not sure how? We’re here to help! Click here to contact Kleriti today.

What’s holding you back from achieving your goals? Tell us in the comments below.

The Ultimate New Year’s Resolution for Your Business: Let Go

The Ultimate New Year’s Resolution for Your Business: Let Go

The countdown to January 1st has begun, and many are in a mindset of New Year’s Resolutions. It’s a familiar ritual to set goals for your business and yourself. You have high hopes for the coming year, and dive into Q1 with a hefty amount of gusto. You may set your sights on landing the next big client, launching a new service line or implementing a robust marketing strategy. By March or April (or even earlier!), however, you can start to loose momentum and it’s a struggle to get back on track.


Before taking on new commitments, it’s important to look at outcomes from previous goals you’ve set for your business as well as the success of strategies and tactics you’ve tried. Reviewing what you’ve accomplished should greatly inform whether a goal makes “the cut” for the upcoming year. Is there something you’ve had on your New Year’s to-do list for 2 years now and it still isn’t completed? It’s time to get clear on what kind of change you truly want to see in your business — to create intentional goals based on your core values and to define for yourself what success really looks like.


All of this is possible only if you commit to the this New Year’s Resolution: Let Go. This means saying “goodbye” to all the things you said you would do and didn’t, making peace with the discontinuation of an old product or service, or shelving a full-blown rebranding effort until your financials are in better shape.


So how do you know it’s time to let go of old business goals? Here are three things to look for:


1. You are no longer excited


Running a business is hard enough. If you are hanging on to a goal solely because you think you should, that is not enough of a reason to keep it around. It takes a lot of energy to achieve a goal and if every step is an uphill battle because you are no longer “jazzed up,” then the probability of success decreases substantially.


2. The goal no longer aligns with market demand or your business position


It seems like an obvious statement, but many business owners remain attached to a given pursuit and forget to see the forest for the trees. You may have spent the past two years developing a new offering, but if your target market is asking for something else, then it’s time to pay attention.


3. The benefits don’t outweigh the cost to pursue it


Every project you pursue has a cost. Whether it’s time, money, or even your creativity, if the effort put forth to achieve the goal is more than the reward after completion, then it’s time to move on.


Choosing to let go means making room for what is possible. Hopefully, without the weight of obligatory goals that may have been holding your business back, you have the headspace to really move with intentionality toward the future. It’s now time to set some lofty (yet attainable) goals for next year. Envision your business at its utmost success and create a measurable goal that is (seemingly) out of reach. If you find yourself hesitant, remember this quote:


“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars” — Norman Vincent Peale


The most disruptive companies are born from founders who were not attached to an old idea. They resolved to let go and look beyond what was familiar. And in doing so, they built a business that thrived.



What business goals are you willing to let go of this year? Let us know in the comments below!

Business Goals: Where Do You Spend Most of Your Time?

Business Goals: Where Do You Spend Most of Your Time?

In order to run a sustainable company, there are many areas of business that need daily attention. In early stage companies, I often see business owners focused solely on growth and expansion, with no time devoted to establishing the necessary operational or administrative systems that will serve as the backbone for the company to support this growth.


I have also encountered veteran business owners who thought they had it “figured out.” They created a successful business and then put it on cruise control. But as markets grow or shrink, and customer demands change, they find their original way of doing things may not transition well. To stay afloat, they may need to implement a different marketing strategy, launch a new product or service or completely overall their staffing model. To maintain a thriving business, companies should remain flexible while continuing to uphold the core elements that led to their success.


Whether you’re a startup or an established enterprise, it is important to give dedicated attention to each essential business function. Throughout the company life cycle, the amount of time allocated to each function will ebb and flow.


Below are five aspects of business where I see clients misappropriating their time or giving very little attention at all:


  1. Business growth/development — This includes actions like acquiring new customers through marketing and sales. If you do not yet have a sales team, you should at least have a strategy in place for which customers you are targeting and how. Be clear about what you are selling and why, and be able to clearly articulate the benefits of your product or service.


  1. Customer service — Are you having trouble managing customer complaints or securing repeat business? Having a streamlined operations system in place that can handle your current customer base as well as a follow-up strategy to address client concerns is crucial for longevity.


  1. Back-end Admin — If possible, train support staff and delegate administrative tasks such as email, scheduling and bookkeeping. If you’re in the early stages, find a time when your brain is awake and you feel you’ve already “moved your business forward” for the day to work on these mundane tasks.


  1. Management — A knowledgeable, committed team will take some time to build, and it is essential if you ever expect to create a company strong enough to run without you. It takes effort and understanding to get to know your staff, and it has been proven time and again that making employees feel valued within the company lowers employee turnover and elicits higher quality work.


  1. Visioning/planning — To grow a business, you need to carve out time to dream, to plan, or even to pivot on a new idea. Maybe your unique value proposition or target market isn’t what you thought it was. You’ll never discover this if you are too bogged down by daily operations or mind-numbing admin work.


So, how do you decide where to focus your time and attention? Consider your goals. Are you at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey and still need to establish basic administrative structures (operations manual, lead tracking systems, etc.)? Or maybe it’s time to build a strong team who can keep operations moving forward while you focus on strategic planning? Where you decide to spend your time can change daily, and being clear about your goals will help you decide which tasks to tackle first.


As a business owner, what do you spend most of your time doing? Does this level of commitment align with your company goals? Please share in the comments below.


Small Business Epiphany: You Can’t Do it All

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:


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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!


  1. 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!


  1. 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!