Entrepreneurs, I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news.
You are great at starting and growing businesses. You are full of energy and ideas. You make things happen.
That’s the good news.
Because you are great at solving problems, are quick with your decisions, are great at firefighting, you, knowingly or unknowingly, make yourself the hub of the wheel. Consciously or not, you train everyone around you to come to you for every decision. Doing this stunts the growth of your staff and will chase away your most talented people.
That’s the bad news.
You start to wonder why you have to do everything and why your staff can’t seem to do anything. Catch 22. Look in the mirror.
You must be intentional about which decisions you really have to make yourself. Yes, it is your business. Yes, you are probably the best person to make most of the decisions at your enterprise. Yes, allowing others to make decisions is going to cause mistakes, errors and lost business. It also means having a company that can’t grow beyond your reach, which, despite your optimism, energy and ability, is in fact limited.
As your business grows, you need to change the way you run it. As you add employees, you need to become less an entrepreneur and more a leader and manager. You need to learn how to attract and hire qualified people to lead your sales team, your production team and your finances/back office. This means letting go and trusting.
To change how you lead your growing company requires self-awareness. What are your strengths? What are your challenges – you know … the things you don’t do quite so well? The things you’d rather leave for next week? How can you build a team around yourself that complements your strengths, compensates for your weaknesses and thereby ensures that your business continues to thrive?
It’s hard to let go of something you’re passionate about. Something that feels like “your baby.” But ask yourself this: Do you own your business to be the hub of the wheel? To be the indispensable one? Or do you own it to earn money and make a difference in the world for yourself, your staff, your customers, your family and your community?
Being indispensable may be gratifying at first. But sooner or later (and usually sooner), it stops being fun. Choose to not be the hub of the wheel.