As your business starts to shift into new stages of growth, it’s natural to feel uneasy and even question whether you’re spending your time on the right things. From how you spend your time to what you begin to pass on to others, there are a lot of decisions to make every day.
The sooner you accept that you don’t need to make the “right” decision on every item in your business but rather shift to a growth mindset leveraging the strengths of others to help your vision become a reality, the smoother your growth will become.
Ultimately, choosing to “fight fires” or stay “in the weeds” of your business leads to three key issues that can kill the growth of your business.
When you are growing a business, you have to accept that things won’t always go the way you want. Things need to get done, but if you’re consistently striving to deliver 110% all the time, you’re likely getting mired in the work, are not fully delegating, and your mental space will be too distracted to take on the higher priority items that need your focus.
You know the 80/20 rule: 80% of your outcomes result from 20% of the work you put in. As a leader, your job is to focus on the 20% of the work that gets stellar results. For anything that’s outside your specific area of expertise, having another set of eyes, a different perspective, or more expertise on the task at hand will likely improve the outcome. I even go so far as to choose one priority to focus on each so that I can truly focus and make an impact on the things that will make a difference in my business and avoid perfectionism.
Protect your energy and your business growth by not worrying over every little detail so you can be fully present and make the most of the time you spend on your business.
2. Doing it All Yourself
Trying to do everything yourself puts a limit on your capacity to take on work and ultimately your growth. As the brains of your business, your time is worth a lot—and the hours you spend on tasks that aren’t in your area of expertise add up quickly. It’s much more efficient to automate, delegate or eliminate them. But that doesn’t mean losing complete control! You can decide how you want things done and train someone. As I have brought more people into my business and processes, I’ve been delighted by the personality, efficiency and great ideas they bring to their work. Building trust is just as important as training, and when you let your team share their expertise, everyone benefits from the collaborative and trusting working environment you’ve built together.
To decide on what to hand off first, try this little activity: create 3 columns and list what must be done by you in column 1, what you currently do but could be done by someone else in column 2, and what others are already doing in column 3. When I tried this activity, I found there were less than 5 things I really needed to do myself!
3. Lack of (Documented) Processes
There are plenty of tasks you will have to repeat over and over, and it takes some experimenting to get things right. However, at some point, you have to stop reinventing the wheel and create a standard procedure. For me, this includes saving text to copy and paste for emails I send regularly and tracking the steps I take with both administrative tasks and the work I do for clients. The goal is to save yourself from decision fatigue and set yourself up to delegate these tasks with ease when you are ready to let them go. The great news is that you don’t have to create folders of documents for everything you do. Consider voice notes or screen recording tools that can track you as you work so your future team can see exactly what you’re doing and how to complete tasks without your involvement.
By creating processes you no longer have to rely on motivation! You can follow the steps you’ve put in place and save energy for the bigger items on your list. And it is easier to on board and train new team members.
Remember, if things are changing, you are growing! It takes a lot of courage to rework your business from the inside, but if you don’t fully embrace that change by tackling these growth-killers, you will likely be limiting the growth and success of your business. Following the steps above will help you enjoy the journey.