You are the boss.
It’s your company, your business – you built it and sacrificed for it. It was your blood, sweat, tears and capital that made this thing possible. You did it.
Yeah, you had help. But it is your baby, and you are the boss.
And that’s the problem…
Get out of your own way
There are really a multitude of reasons why you should, as an owner, let go of the reins of your business and shed some of your accustomed roles. Your own personal freedom ranks high on that list. Freedom from your own self-devised “corporate bondage” of meetings, decision-making, strategizing, selling, buying, managing, fire fighting… you get the idea.
Then there’s your family and loved ones. Okay, so we won’t even go there. (Your dinner’s on the stove…)
But there are three key reasons why you should remove yourself from much of the day-to-day operations of your own business. Let’s consider them briefly:
One of the big lies that many small business owners fall for is the idea that they cannot “afford” to have other people doing the things that they, themselves, are doing. But a casual analysis will quickly show that you really can’t afford not to hire others to do them.
Let’s say for example, you as an owner were to estimate your hourly worth at, say, $250 an hour and you spend 10 hours every week doing $25 an hour work. It’s costing you an extra $225 per hour – or $2,250 a week doing it yourself. Oh… and then you need to factor in the “opportunity cost” of the 10 hours of work that really only you can do, but you didn’t because you were doing that other thing.
In other words, it cost you an additional $2,500 that week in lost work. So – in effect – the 10 hours you spent doing $25 an hour tasks cost you almost $5000. (You’re quite generous!) And we won’t even talk about the overtime you probably put in to do that high-level work anyway…
You started your business because you wanted to be freed from, well, a boss. And from the constraints of a cubicle, or a routine, or simply the dictates of a 9-to-5 job that consumed all of your weekdays. You envisioned a life where you dictated your own schedule and had time to travel (or golf, fish, play with the kids – do stuff!)
So, where’s your time? Sure, the first year or two were going to be rough. You knew that going in. Long days, long weeks, lot’s of overtime and sacrifice. But it was worth it to see this thing get off the ground and become a viable enterprise. It was an investment that would only be for a while.
And, yet, you’re still doing it. Long days, long weeks, lot’s of overtime and sacrifice. But now the honeymoon is over and the glamour of the entrepreneurial start-up rush is long gone. Now it is simply work. All work. And no play.
And it all adds up to Your Life. Ultimately, you started your own business because, in some way you may not have fully articulated back then, you wanted to have a life outside of work. Your own business was a way to enable you to be free to live a life you thought you wanted. Ownership was supposed to mean freedom, and freedom was supposed to give you the time and resources to enjoy your life.
Except that you don’t. Not really.
Oh, sure, you get to take a few vacations here and there with the family. And your laptop and cellphone. You didn’t have to miss all the games and birthday parties. But it’s still not what you had hoped for or envisioned way back then.
Pink slip anyone?
Only you can fire you.
But the really cool thing about being the boss is that you can do it in phases and incrementally. You can create an action plan that provides for “coverage” – hiring new people to do some of what you currently do (that you really shouldn’t be) or delegating it to others. You can implement processes to delegate, automate, or eliminate some of what is currently done in order to streamline your own work load.
Today’s “To Do” list:
- Create a plan
- Write it down
- Begin acting on it.
You could use the money, you need the time, and your life is waiting for you.
But it won’t wait forever…