Did I make that word up? Freak-a-zoid. OK, I did, but it seems fitting. I often hear overwhelmed entrepreneurs call themselves control freaks (as though that’s a good thing). They take pride in having their hand in everything, if not doing it all themselves. There are only two outcomes when a small business owner (I say small business owner because no business gets large when the owner is a control freakazoid) can’t let go:
- The business never becomes outrageously successful
- The entrepreneur crashes and burns
Why small business owners are overwhelmed.
You cannot do it all and have success, remain healthy, and enjoy your life. Of course, there are periods of time that you want to pull your hair out, but achieving balance is about also enjoying life outside of your business. To do that, you’ve got to let go—that’s when it’s time to have a chat with your inner control freakazoid so it takes over only when absolutely necessary.
Here’s the question I ask clients who admit to having a control issue:
If you had an extra fifteen to twenty hours a week to spend on growing your business, what would you do with those hours?
Funny, they all know the answer. And yet, they aren’t doing it! In other words, they are doing non-revenue-generating tasks instead of making money. When you put it this way it sounds crazy, doesn’t it? That’s because it is!
I hear you: “But Marla! There are always fires to put out, bookkeeping to do, customers to satisfy. I don’t have the time for those money-making activities.”
Yes, I hear you, but do you hear yourself? There’s no way this doesn’t sound, well, like your inner-freakazoid talking!
Here’s are some of the reasons it’s not working for you when you hire someone else to do some of this work:
- There is not a proper training protocol in place.
- You “don’t have the time (or patience)” to communicate EXACTLY what you expect from them.
- You bring on cheap or free labor and expect high-quality work.
- You yourself don’t really know what you want.
- You don’t know the questions to ask to identify the best person for the job.
Lastly, there’s this crazy popular belief, one that supersedes all the above issues:
I can’t afford help.
Oh, but yes you can! Actually, you can’t NOT afford to hire help. You are losing profit potential with every minute you spend doing “hired help” work. I know I don’t need to explain this to you.
Take a leap of faith.
Put a few things on the backburner, just for a little while, and properly train someone who’s qualified to do the tasks you’ve identified as non-revenue-generating. You know what they are. Invest in your company! If you truly believe in your company’s potential and you believe in yourself, this investment is not a risk—it’s a path to success.