How Relinquishing Control Can Make You Rich
It's not easy for an entrepreneur to change the control freak mentality. If you're someone who wants to control every little aspect of the business, you're not alone: other entrepreneurs also believe that in order to get things done right they must do it themselves. But that's simply not true.
Did you know that just 50 percent of CEOs remain in control after three years in business? And only 40 percent after four years, with fewer than 25 percent leading their companies at IPO. In fact, this Harvard Business Review study shows that four out of five entrepreneurs are actually forced by investors to step down from the CEO post. In short, relinquishing control, whether voluntarily or by force, has made many an entrepreneur very, very wealthy.
Perhaps you're not ready for an IPO, but nonetheless to achieve significant growth it's critical that you allocate your time to valuable projects and initiatives. It's time to consider that maintaining your website, doing the books, and facilitating your company's administrative needs is not your job.
I know, I know. You can't afford to hire help. Well I disagree, and you're about to learn the first steps to affording those first contractors or employees. Remember, you didn't become an entrepreneur to create a job for yourself, you did it to create freedom. Here's how.
Identify your strengths and weaknesses
Where do you shine? Are you a dynamic networker, prolific writer, or moving speaker? Which of your qualities and skills are of the most importance to your company?
Conversely, what are the things you aren't so great at but force yourself to do anyway? Bookkeeping, record keeping, technical tasks, and many other tedious, yet necessary jobs are probably among them.
Identify what you love doing, and what you don't
You may be really good at keeping financial records but loathe doing so. Make a list of the things you must force yourself to do because you don't like doing them. Then consider what business-related activities you most look forward to. Don't forget about the quiet time you need to tap into your creativity.
Understand your value
Let's place a modest value of $150 an hour on your time. You are worth much more to your company but I don't want to scare you away here. Now take a look at all of the things you spend your time on-- especially those you dislike doing or aren't particularly good at.
Are any of these tasks worth $150 an hour? Probably not. But the things you love doing, the areas in which you are truly talented? These things are worth that and far more.
Track your time
Devote five days to keeping track of everything you do; my productivity time-tracker will help with this. How many hours do you spend on any given activity? Please don't forget the hours of putting off those pesky duties you don't like, while procrastinating in social media hangouts.
Are you networking? Establishing your brand? Do you spend any time at all developing your speaking, leadership, or relationship building skills?
Use this formula
Add up the hours you devoted to work that an entrepreneur should not be doing during your five-day stint. If you're not sure what those are, ask yourself, "Would Richard Branson do this?"
Don't forget to include those hours it took to sufficiently procrastinate before doing the things you don't enjoy. Let's say it comes to 20 hours in five days; again, a modest estimate. Now we'll estimate an hourly wage of $25 an hour for others to execute some of these tasks: that's $500 a week, or $2,000 a month.
Now answer these questions:
What money-making activities could you engage in if you literally bought yourself an additional twenty hours a week? Be thorough here, make a list. Imagine the possibilities!
How many weeks or months would it take you to bring in an additional $2,000 a month?
Most entrepreneurs are able to produce this additional revenue very quickly if they devote every minute of their newly found time to revenue producing activities. These usually include connecting with clients, prospects, and influential people. Perhaps you can launch that new product or service. The possibilities are endless.
The psychology of relinquishing control is a very complex topic, but hopefully these steps will remove one of the barriers for you. Stop using the excuse that you can't afford help, because you can.
Marla Tabaka is a small-business advisor who helps entrepreneurs around the globe grow their businesses well into the millions. She has over 25 years of experience in corporate and start-up ventures and speaks widely on combining strategic and creative thinking for optimum success and happiness.