For so many small business owners, the tendency to want to do it all can be incredibly strong. It’s not hard to see why. The more you personally do, the lens to be running a one-man band, odds are that by trying to perform every function yourself, you’re actually doing yourself a tremendous disservice, both professionally and personally.
Professional downside: If you’re trying to be personally responsible for the complete range of operational, strategic, networking, and growth-oriented parts of your business, not one of those areas is going to be getting the adequate attention and focus it needs to truly be done as well as it should be. The whole “there are only so many hours in a day” thing rings painfully true here.
Personal downside: Again, there are so many hours in a day. Even if you don’t have a family who would like to see your face every now and then, or a dog who needs walking, or even friends who probably miss your workaholic self, chances are you still need to sleep. And eat. And shower. Regardless of what parts make up your personal life, when you’re trying to carry most or all of the weight in a small business, it’s highly likely that those personal things are getting neglected. A rested, healthy business owner is an effective, successful business owner. It’s perfectly okay – it’s great, actually – to love what you do and to want to work hard, but he who doesn’t take care of himself is the first to burn out.
The bottom line: you probably can do it all, but you probably shouldn’t. The inclination to make yourself personally accountable for every aspect of your small business’ operations and growth makes perfect sense; who knows your business better than you, the person who gave birth to it?
So, okay, you get it now: doing it all isn’t the best idea. But how do you actually go about getting yourself mentally and logistically prepared to start delegating?
The key to letting go and letting others take over some of the workload comes from sitting down and really figuring out what your best strengths are. Maybe you’re amazing at networking – no one can get people on their side quite like you – and maybe you thrive at sales and client relations. If that’s where you see the most return on your energy, then those are the areas where you should be spending the big majority of your time. That doesn’t mean you can’t do things like manage payroll and design logos and run social media – but that’s not where your effort is maximized. And for other people, those areas are where they shine.
Think about it like this: you can either attempt to do everything yourself and suffer the negative consequences of that, or you can identify what functions you do want to be primarily responsible and then find a team of people you trust who are highly skilled at everything else. A small business always functions best when its being run by a team of people who are all putting their energy into precisely the tasks that utilize their very best skills.