In business, I've always had the attitude, "If it ain't broken, fix it anyway."
It was my way of ingraining in the culture of my companies this idea that everything can be improved, all the time, forever. I never wanted to hear an employee say, "That's the way we always did it." To me, if that's the culture of your business, that is the kiss of death.
One of my favorite Will Rogers quotes is, "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."
For example, I've met entrepreneurs (and have also had managers who worked for me) who love to talk about their best customers, best performing employees, etc., but fail to admit the things that aren't working well. And why would they? It's human nature to want to focus on your strengths and ignore your weaknesses.
But all throughout my career, I've seen this habit appear so many times that I've learned how and why it arises in the first place. This is something I talk a lot about in my book on entrepreneurship, All In, is this idea of training yourself to focus on your business as a whole--not just a series of tasks.
A story here for you is: I had a sales manager that worked at my first company. Every time I turned around, he was talking to or working with our best performers--and virtually ignored the bottom performers. Well, top performers typically don't need a lot of coaching, which means the more time you invest in them starts to suffer from "diminishing returns." In reality, a manager's focus (as well as the entire leadership team) needs to be on the entire team, on everybody involved, to bring that gap between bottom performers and top performers closer and closer together.
1. Invest in mentoring your employees.
I live by the mantra, "People don't do what's expected--they do what's inspected."
Call it management. Call it mentorship. Regardless, what's important is that you spend time looking at everyone within your business. Every team. Every manager. Even individual. Entry-level employees, if that's what it takes in order to continue improving efficiencies and moving forward effectively.
2. If you don't enjoy working on some aspect of your business, that's the part you need to work on the most.
Chances are, if there's something about your business you absolutely dread working on, that's a neon sign telling you to pay attention to it.
Building a profitable and successful business isn't always exciting. It's not always fun, either. The reward largely comes in the form of a feeling you feel when you overcome an obstacle, or work through a problem that is keeping you from the next level of success. And, as someone who has built (and invested in) many companies, I'm telling you: it's the stuff you want to avoid that's keeping you from leveling up.
3. If you aren't willing to master all facets of your business, go get a job.
By definition, entrepreneurship is the act of building a business based on whatever it is you believe that business should be.
There's a lot of creative freedom that comes with this path in life. Your business is yours to create. As the founder, you're the one deciding what the rules of your own game are, how you want employees to interact with one another, and what you ultimately want the whole thing to become. Which means, unless you're willing to be personally invested and involved in every facet of your business, don't even bother. Go get a job. Because if you're looking to only do the things you want to do, and not all the things required for the cohesive whole, then you aren't in the market for entrepreneurship.
All in all, I have learned that "success" (as it's formally defined) tends to come down to whether or not you, the founder, are truly committed to the process. And yes, the process of building a business requires you to get your hands dirty and step into every role within the company. So, if you aren't willing to do so, then I suggest you start polishing off your resume.