This year I’m focused on getting more impact from my business, including more income, with less work on my part.
I’m seeing my high school son thinking about going overseas on an exchange program and the empty nest syndrome is beginning to rear its head.
I’m thinking about my marriage and how to redefine it in my son’s absence.
AND I’m wanting to continue to build my business while spending more time with each of them.
I’m eight years into building a business, and three years into growing a team to help.
I’ve recognized three things that help with that, and these same things seem to help my founder clients as well.
Every founder I have worked with at some point has fallen into the trap of thinking that the only way to grow was for them to work more.
Even the thought of it, especially at this time of year, can be exhausting.
But what if you ask a simple question?
“How Can My Working LESS Create More Growth?”
When you start a business you have to do a bit of everything. You have to figure out billing, sales, even product.
This is not necessarily a problem. It can be a good way to test some things cheaply.
But it can become a problem when it becomes a habit. When it looks like you HAVE to do everything, long past when you SHOULD be doing everything.
Focus On What Only You Can Do
There are things that I am really good at and love doing. These things, like enrolling one-on-one coaching clients for year-long engagements, are essential to the business and at least at this stage it doesn’t make any sense to give them up.
I also really enjoy content creation. It’s important to me to keep control of my message.
Finally, I have a vision for the company that I’m creating, one that can provide coaching to both founders and their teams as organizations grow. Coaching that can ultimately create companies as places that people dream of working, and wouldn’t think of leaving.
When I am enrolling a client, I am focused on one-on-one conversation and would not have it any other way.
When I am creating content or expanding my vision, though, I hire help to leverage both across as many people as possible.
Leverage What You Do Whenever Possible
I try not to do things many times when I can do them once.
If a message is relevant to one person, chances are it is relevant to others, too.
An email can go to a list of people. A video can go on YouTube. An article can be posted on LinkedIn.
I try to be in conversation with as many people I can. Because I want my vision to impact as many people as I can.
That leads to my last point.
To Maximize Growth, Give Up Control
One of my coaches, Rich Litvin, likes to say that if you can create your vision by yourself, your vision is too small.
What’s your vision? Likely, you need help. You need to hire. And once you grow to a certain point, you need to hire a leadership team to run the day-to-day.
Most founders mess this up. They get too attached to the vision, too focused on exactly how to execute it. They finally hire a leadership team and then tell them exactly what to do. This doesn’t save any time. It often COSTS time—micromanaging is a terrible way to get things done!
The founder concludes that there aren’t “good people” available.
The problem isn’t the people. The problem is you.
Hire people who are smarter than you, at least at the thing you are hiring them for. The finance person, the sales person, and the product person need to be better at what they do than you are. They need to be smarter than you. And you need to accept the ideas they have that are consistent with your vision.
Here’s a founder secret. The best people will ONLY work with someone who gives them leeway on HOW to execute your vision.
Because everyone likes to create in their work. Especially if they are creating in service to something bigger than themselves.
And that’s what we all want, right?