There's this mentality among a lot of founders and leaders that they've got to always hustle, 24/7, and be the single biggest drivers of their companies' growth to make any kind of difference. I'm probably the last person to make a case against hard work -- growing a company takes a lot of hard work. But if you're not applying it to the right areas, you might be making a lot of noise but not a lot of music.
When you focus on applying that hustle to the right areas of your business, magic can happen. And by "magic," I mean your hard work effectively increases growth and truly leads your team to the next level in a meaningful way. To help you, here are five signs you could be doing more for your company:
1. You're overly focused on the big picture -- and not focused enough on the teams helping you get there.
No one can do anything alone. Even if your company started out as an idea that you had while showering one morning, it's highly unlikely that it grew into an actual company under your guidance alone. You've built a team and surrounded yourself with smart, talented people, and those employees matter.
All leaders need to remain focused on the overall vision for their company and lead their teams to it -- but don't neglect time with those who are working with you toward that vision, either. You want to train your employees well and treat them even better so they'll stick with you and help you do the most for your company.
2. You aren't creating content.
If you aren't creating your own content, you're missing out on a valuable chance to establish yourself as a thought leader. With the importance of digital media increasing daily, creating and executing a content strategy is beneficial for both you and your company.
On a personal level, creating content allows you to build your brand and your influence as a thought leader, which opens doors to connect with other industry professionals and create more opportunity. For your company, it helps you generate leads, enable sales, and build trust with your audience. If you're not already producing content, that's step No. 1 in doing more for your company; take stock of all the free content marketing tools out there, and get started.
3. You're not using that content to build your brand.
Perhaps you are already creating content; you're in the content flow and creating some high-quality work. That's great, but you can't stop there. If you're just letting your content sit without doing any extra legwork, your content isn't going to do much for you or your company.
Consistently distributing your content in creative ways, across multiple departments, and through different channels allows you to reach more of the right audiences and keep them engaged. That ongoing engagement is key to becoming a resource and staying top of mind; then, if those audience members -- or partners of theirs -- need something you provide, you're the first call they'll make.
4. You're too comfortable.
Everyone wants to be comfortable. Evolutionarily speaking, comfort signals that our basic needs are met and we're not in danger of being eaten by bears. As a growing company (maybe one that's afraid of the bears in your own industry), it's important to get to a place where things are a little more predictable. However, there's a difference between stability and stagnation -- and when you're too comfortable, you risk limiting your own growth.
For example, if I had said, "No, thanks, I'm pretty comfortable right now," when my team and I started thinking about writing a book, we'd have missed out on the countless benefits that "Top of Mind" has delivered -- to our company, our audience, and even to me personally. Instead, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to write and publish a book, and our company is now able to roll out a book-writing service for clients.
5. You don't see relationship opportunities everywhere you look.
Success in business is all about solid relationships. Every interaction is an opportunity to either add value to an existing relationship or forge a new one. Whether that means producing valuable content to deepen the loyalty of your consumer base, networking with industry leaders, or simply asking your contacts how you can be helpful to them, building meaningful relationships with others is one of the easiest and most valuable ways to lead your company in the right direction.
As a company, Influence & Co. has benefited tremendously by implementing partner programs, launching co-branded marketing initiatives and projects, and building strong relationships with other leaders in our space. Looking to connect with people in ways that matter to them can be a huge catalyst for your company's growth -- plus, it's pretty easy, and it's the right thing to do.
If you've realized a few of these red flags apply to you, don't freak out. It doesn't mean you're a bad leader; it just means you might need to focus your efforts in different places. As a leader, there's always work to be done, and you've got to constantly challenge and grade yourself. Start here to make sure your hustle truly grows your company.