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Letting go

March 8, 2018

A problem I see with many entrepreneurs is that they are control freaks and do not want to let go. They are all brilliant and creative and some have an obsessive drive to succeed; yet many are just not good as managers and the lucky ones realize this before it is too late.

Even if they were great managers, I believe their talents would be better served by hiring people to do what can be delegated. I also know that a business centered primarily on one key person has less value than one with a cadre of managers in strategic positions. Also, being “too busy” is worn by many as a badge of pride when it really is a mechanism that dissipates energies and causes an early burnout for him or herself and the business.

A business becomes a body separate from its founders and owners. Businesses have a responsibility to all of its stakeholders and there is no room at the top for people that serve to retard its development and growth. Nevertheless, I want to discuss why it is in the owner’s interest to let go.

Being driven is not bad, but driving yourself to the exclusion of everything else, is. You cannot and should not disregard your spouse and children, a partner or close friends, a pet, an apartment or house that needs to be taken care of, a long ago favored hobby or sports activity, entertainment at a sporting event, show or movie, an occasional day goofing off, or even a real vacation without the smartphone. Your body needs this and so does your mind. Hopefully the gym or workout has not been abandoned.

One way to manage yourself is to manage your time better. For starters, treat your time like a valuable commodity and look at your ROI – the return or value you get for your input on what you spend time on. We would all agree that investing your money for a 1% return is not the way to go. Well, spending your time on a function that provides minuscule benefit, or a benefit substantially less than you could otherwise get doesn’t make sense either. You should pass on it. How about setting up your day with high payback functions leaving the lesser yielding or dividend paying tasks to others. Even if they totally screwed it up, it probably would not make a difference in the big picture. In doing this, you need to draw a line marking a division between the higher and lower payback tasks and not go below that line. And if perchance nothing below the line got done, what difference would it make in your life and for the business?

We always have time for funerals or to get really sick. Why not take time to better spend your time so you could enjoy your life and manage and grow your business better and extend your warranty period? It is a good investment.

I posted a previous blogs on this topic. They can be accessed in the archives. The dates are April 28, 2015, October 30, 2014, October 17, 2013, October 15, 2013, February 21, 2013 and April 2, 2015.

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