A Reminder to Entrepreneurs: You Can’t (and Shouldn’t) Do Everything Yourself
As entrepreneurs, we think we are the only one who can get the job done. It is difficult to let the reins go and let other qualified people help us. But if you don’t learn to allow others to assist you, especially in areas that you are weak in, you will surely become overwhelmed and frustrated.
Accept the fact that you can’t do it all by yourself. You need a team. Studies show that one of the biggest challenges for many entrepreneurs is building a solid team to grow their brand and business. To determine where you need help, you must honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses. The right team must include people who have skill sets that complement your skills and can help the business grow. The benefit of team members is they can also contribute information and resources that you may not have.
Your “team” can take many shapes whether you are bringing in co-founders, hiring staff, or outsourcing tasks. Whether it’s choosing a co-founder, hiring an employee, or selecting a vendor, using a solid and well-defined set of core values is a great place to start. Your core values determine your priorities, goals and the decisions you’re willing to make. Anyone you bring aboard must understand and share those same core values.
Delegating and outsourcing tasks to the right people so you can focus on what’s really important for your company can be a of great value. Just as finding the right help to hire is crucial, entrepreneurs must carefully choose the people they outsource tasks to. Communication is the key for interacting with all employees, both full-time and independent contractors. Being on the same page is the best way to ensure a successful partnership.
Most importantly, you must trust your team. If they were hired or chosen to perform a certain role and are qualified to perform in that role, then you must let them do what they are skilled at and stop constantly checking on them. Trusting them to fulfill their roles without watching their every move shows faith and allows the team to grow. It also shows great leadership.
I recall being on a business flight soon after launching my own practice and sitting next to a very accomplished business man, who also happened to be a NASA engineer – yes, an actual rocket scientist. We began to chat about our professions and I shared with him some of my early frustrations with running my own solo practice. He asked me what I liked the least about my job and I told him it was time-keeping and billing. He advised me to outsource that task immediately explaining that the time I was wasting avoiding the task on top of the time I was taking to complete the task was a complete drain to my overall bottom line. It wasn’t rocket science. Basically, it would cost me less to outsource than it was costing me to do it myself. This was a big light bulb moment for me as a young attorney and a huge turning point in the success of my business.
So, the other lesson is not only can you not do it all yourself, but you shouldn’t. It isn’t worth it!