Having a growing business is the name of the game when you are an entrepreneur, especially when you are first starting out.
When you finally reach the point where there is more business than you are able to handle on your own, it’s usually the time that you start thinking about getting help.
Yet for some entrepreneurs, it can be really difficult to let go, and for others, they just don’t know where to start.
Or more importantly, they don’t know how to accept the help they’ve asked for!
Amy Vetter wrote a great article for Entrepreneur.com that spoke about some of the practical ways that entrepreneurs can cope with stress. One of the points that she made was in regards to the importance of investing in help early on, and she’s right.
If you can afford to outsource some of your non-value added work (such as behind the scenes administrative work, or standard accounting and bookkeeping functions) then I, also, say do it.
But before you do, it’s important to remember that the minute you introduce the variable of managing people to your to-do list, a mind-shift will have to take place in order for it to be successful.
As an entrepreneur we are really great at setting goals, meeting our own expectations, and making plans (sometimes) with little to no advanced planning.
But this is not how others work when they are taking direction from you.
You do not pay someone to read your mind, you pay them to provide a specific outcome. So be prepared to get as clear and detailed as necessary, especially in the beginning.
Another aspect that entrepreneurs should be aware of is the difference between effective leadership, and management.
This is where the ability to accept the help you have asked for, is found.
Whether it is your first hire, or you have a team of 20, there are three areas in particular that you will need to self-regulate in, if you want to increase your chances of positive and sustainable outcomes.
This one is easier said than done, as it can be hard to let go and allow others to find their own way to deliver on objectives.
Especially when you are new to outsourcing your tasks. But it’s a pretty quick way to alienate those that are trying to support you!
When you have hired someone on to perform a job, and you have trained them well, it is important that you trust them to do it.
This means you stop doing all of the things that have been assigned to them, so that they can contribute, and you can be more productive with your new-found time!
Lack of Trust
Speaking of trust, this is also an area where entrepreneurs are hesitant to move forward with.
It’s commonplace for entrepreneurs to keep a tight lip on activities until they are either super-close to being made public, or even after initiatives have been launched.
But when you have other team members involved in getting a project up off of the ground, sharing information and communicating is important to its success.
This is true even if you have been disappointed or ‘burned’ in the past. For example:
- Assistants leaving after you have shared all of your plans with them.
- Individuals building on your ideas and attempting to strike out on their own.
- Even the blatant stealing of ideas, repackaging them as their own, and competing against you.
These are the associated risks that come with doing business, regardless of size, even when you are incredibly thorough with your vetting process.
At some point letting go and placing trust in the individuals you surround yourself with, is the focus is you want in order to move ahead in a positive and growth-minded way.
The Shift Between Empowering and Doing
As entrepreneurs we are used to doing it all ourselves – wearing all of the hats, performing each task as it needs to get done.
Yet when we bring people on board to help us, some of us find it difficult to let go and we still find ourselves doing the tasks, instead of monitoring progress.
We have to get out of our own way!
Even having just one employee means that you are now responsible for the individual, not the tasks.
This means a shift in mindset and going from functionally focused, to human focused.
The Bottom Line
A growing business is something that so many individuals seek to achieve every year, in the hopes of building something they can call their own. Recognize when you could be more efficient with your time and when to bring on help or support in your business.
Then accept the help you asked for! Because the market won’t care that you worked 90hrs last week… if you can’t deliver, it can’t see you.