In this blog post, I’m going to introduce you to the idea of firing yourself. What does this mean? Well, because you’re your own boss, you need to not only be aware of when to fire staff, but also yourself. Still not with me? Read on…
When you start out in business, you are everything to everyone. You’re the receptionist answering and making phone calls. You’re ordering stationary. You’re sales, you’re marketing, you’re production, you’re the accountant, you’re HR, you’re a developer, you’re a researcher… that’s just the way it is. I know there’s going to be people reading this right now thinking back to their early days in business and nodding their heads going, ‘Yup. Been there.’
However, this will quickly become a problem – and can seriously stunt the growth of your business. Now, you don’t want to be doing all of the above forever. Your business just isn’t going to grow, and you’re going to become frustrated.
Surround yourself with people way more talented than you are
The answer? Literally fire yourself from all of the tasks that other people could do a better or more efficient job of. You have to surround yourself with people way more talented than you are, and as quickly as you can afford it.
I say ‘fire’ because everything on your to-do list is technically somebody else’s job. You get to a stage where you think, ‘Right, this is what I should actually be doing as the head of the business: growing the business.’ And there’s no one else that can do that at this moment in time. However, for all the other stuff, there’s a department or group of people who could be doing that – and you’re acting on their behalf at the moment.
Take control of your inability to give up control
Most business owners are a very unique breed – we’re very possessive, we can’t let go and we have to control everything. That’s why ‘fire’ isn’t too strong of a word – you literally have to fire yourself from those things holding you back.
In the early days, I did everything. I thought I was good at everything and nobody was ever going to do as good a job as me. How naive was I! Little did I know at the time that I was letting my ego slowly ruin my business – all because I just couldn’t let go!
In fact – and I realise this looking back – I actually didn’t know how to let go. It’s not that I didn’t want to let go, I just couldn’t see it. It was a new experience for me. I also didn’t have anybody guiding me. Yes, I had people on the sidelines saying, ‘You should get someone else to do that’ – but I just couldn’t. I was also stressing myself out – I was getting more and more frustrated, and it was getting worse. I was even getting ill at times.
Don’t waste time doing things you don’t enjoy
Then, I started to resent certain aspects of my business. I was doing things that I wasn’t very good at (I thought I was, but in reality, I wasn’t), and also, quite frankly, that I didn’t enjoy doing. Some people enjoy crunching numbers, organising things and assisting – I am not one of them. Yet there I was, trying to do all of these jobs and getting frustrated because there’s not enough hours in the day.
Make your money work for you
Another thing stopping me from firing myself was that I didn’t want to spend the money to hire anyone. Why would I, when I could do it all myself? There’s enough hours in the day, right? Wrong! Very wrong.
A great piece of advice I read somewhere was that you need to make your money work for you. It’s alright having a healthy amount sitting in your account, and they say you should have 3 months of operating costs in there at all times, which I completely agree with. However, anything above that, if you’re growing a business, that money needs to be working for you. You need to invest it – hiring staff, investing in property, whatever it might be.
The minute I started hiring people and I could see the return on that investment, it was a no brainer.
Thank you for reading this chapter of the Diary of an Entrepreneur. I must stress, I’m not trying to teach you anything. I’m just sharing my journey, and if it motivates you, then great – job done!
If you want to hear more about my entrepreneurial journey, check out the Diary of an Entrepreneur podcast on all available platforms – I talk all things business in terms of my OWN journey and experience. It’s not one to miss!