I have changed what I was going to write about this week as two business coaching clients have presented the same issue this week, so there is obviously something in the air!
And the issue relates to time. They are both successful entrepreneurs with a small number of employees where they still make all the big decisions and are working very long hours. We have looked at the activities only they can do and they have both agreed that that is what they need to focus on. The problem is that they don’t want to let go of anything that they currently do. Not, I have to say because they have some perverse pleasure in working very long hours or thinking that nobody can do it as well as they can … but because they said they don’t have the time/ resources to train someone up or outsource it.
The trouble is if you are genuinely going to grow the business, or at the very least get yourself some real work/life balance and control over your life ( which was part of the reason for setting up your business wasn’t it?) then you need to be able to ask yourself the following:
What are You Prepared to Give Up?
We all fill 24 hours a day if you need to squeeze something in you have to squeeze something out. Yes I know that is stating the obvious but I do see a number of clients who think they can do it all.
One way to see where you are the bottleneck ( and I promise you, as the business owner, you are the bottleneck) is to do a system diagram following the processes that happen in your business and follow where all the decisions and actions are needed with input from you.
Having worked out where the bottleneck is and knowing where you add the most value and what only you can do ( see previous post) you then need to prise yourself away from doing those activities that can be done by others that are holding you back from progressing. That inevitably means that you will have to invest time or money ( or both) rationalising and documenting the process and training someone up and being able to accept that they will not be able to do it as well as you. The biggest concern business owners have is that this will impact on the quality of service to which the question is:
What is the impact if you continue as you are?
This can be done in very specific impacts on their business, their lack of growth in the business, not meeting their goals, impacts on a personal level such as health or relationships.
Ask yourself in relation to your own business.. really be present to the pain and suffering of continuing as you are. Unless the pain of continuing is greater than the inconvenience of investing those resources now you won’t do it. Sorry but that is my experience with a number of clients.
So your task for this week is to check where you are the bottleneck and what you can do about it.
Good luck… and believe me, I know it is not easy to let go, especially when you think ” I can’t afford to do that”. Can you afford not to?