You started your business to be the boss and call the shots. To find flexibility and fulfillment. To create and to help others. But after a while, it started to control you. It sucked you into working around the clock to keep up, sacrificing time with family and friends, your favorite hobbies, and more.
Some recent anecdotes I’ve heard from business owners facing this dilemma include: “I’ve been working until 10 p.m. each night” and “I’ve worked seven days a week for 29 months.” And the worst part is that even though these businesses are growing, staff is ramping up, and profits are strong, they would collapse if you took the owner out of the equation.
It’s a scenario I often find business owners in, and one that brings them to realize they need Kleriti. Because there’s nothing worse than putting in so much tireless work to realize there’s nothing left if you step out. Simply put, a business that relies on its owner to run is unsellable, and all your hard work and sacrifice will be lost. But fear not — there is another way!
Here are 3 practices to get into right away to help build a sustainable business that will allow you to step out for that much-deserved vacation, passion project or eventual exit.
1. Define and Document Your Way
After I had a project returned to my desk no fewer than three times in a past job, I found myself marching into my boss’ office declaring, “I’m never going to get to what’s in your head. So can you please share it with me?” The fact is that people need to clearly understand what’s expected of them to succeed in your organization.
So what is your way? Define it and put it on paper. That makes how you do what you do every day teachable and replicable.
2. Don’t Be the Lynchpin in Your Process
If every document requires your approval, every meeting requires your attendance, or every decision requires your OK, you’re just as stuck as if you were doing all of the work yourself.
Hire right. Train well. Then let the people manage the process and the day-to-day.
Empower people to raise their hand when they identify an issue/lapse/areas of opportunity, and have them propose the solution. This helps you step back rather than be seen as the only one who can solve a problem.
3. Step Into the Role you Really Want and Don’t Go Back
When a long-time client of Kleriti’s first engaged with us, she said, “My ultimate goal is to not to have to be here. I’m working 60-70 hours each week now, and I want this to run without me.” Last month, she looked at me and asked, “What should I be doing now?” With standard operating procedures, checklists and forms, a restructured team, and clear internal and external accountabilities, her business is operating like never before. Employee turnover is down 17 percent, and monthly revenue is up 24 percent — and she’s out of the work she had previously been doing for over 25 years.
She got what she asked for and is now fully stepping into the CEO role, embracing this as the new normal without slipping back into old habits.
Business is an evolution — it’s never perfect, and it’s never 100 percent “landed.” As an owner, you’re constantly learning, shifting, getting closer and closer to where you want to be.
Once you break free from the trap, incredible potential opens up for exploration, creativity, innovation and impact. You owe it to yourself, your team and the world to get out!
If your business is running you and you need help flipping the situation, get in touch with Kleriti Business Solutions today to learn more about how we can help you get off the work treadmill and into your ideal role as a business owner.
Is something keeping you in the owner’s trap? Tell us what it is in the comments below.