Is time on your side? If not, you aren't alone--and you may have to come to terms with being a control freak and learning to let go in order to propel your business forward.
When I speak with entrepreneurs, I ask a variety of questions to get a feel for how their business is doing. The question that often proves most illuminating is the one asked in the lead paragraph of this post.
More often than not, time (or the lack thereof) is a major factor for entrepreneurial success.
Yes, I realize that any entrepreneur worth his or her salt is going to be busy. There are numerous tasks that can only be entrusted to the business owner. Many of those tasks take significant amounts of time to complete. And only the entrepreneur with everything to lose is going to care the most about the end result.
That doesn't mean you can't free up time.
Lean on me
It does mean you need to lean on your support team.
Again, I realize nobody's going to care about your business as much as you are, but if you've selected your team well, they'll be nearly invested as you and strive to do good work.
As the head of your company, you need to be looking at the big picture and making all the vitally important decisions.
Meantime, let your team handle the rest. That's what you're paying them for, after all. They'll probably be more productive without you breathing down their necks anyway.
Relinquishing control is a difficult thing to do for a control freak. Even if you back off for a while, the temptation will always be there to resume control.
That's why you need to give a trusted employee or two the authority to let you know when to back off. Don't take it personally--just heed their warnings.
It also will be helpful to realize that no matter how much (or how little) you control your business, things are going to go wrong. That's OK and should be expected.
Take it a step at a time
Still not convinced? You don't have to go "cold turkey" with your hands-off approach.
Start small and begin by delegating relatively minor tasks; even if your employee screws up, there won't be a huge impact on the company. When an employee proves their worth, delegate more to them. Do the same with your other employees. Gradually, you'll begin stepping back.
Be sure to put your newfound "free time" to good use. That could include concentrating on big picture tasks or it could involve stepping back--yes, taking time away.
Everyone needs a little vacation time now and again to recharge their batteries and gain some perspective. A bit of distance might provide you some fresh insight into making the company improve its growth rate.
I'm well aware that none of this is easy. Your classic workaholic, Type A control freak is never going to turn into a laid-back person. But by taking baby steps, not only can you help your company and your staff, but you can give yourself some peace of mind, too.