Stop for a second. Put down the phone. Turn off the podcast. Close your scheduler.
What are you doing?
If you are like most business owners, you are running around like a maniac, trying to use this app or this hack and listening to 413 "experts" try to upsell you on a system that promises plenty but requires two things from you - time and attention.
Two things that, along with money, may be somewhat hard to find.
Take a step back with me, to the beginning of what you sought when you started this company - last month, last year, or a lifetime ago.
You wanted to control your own destiny. You wanted to make your own schedule. You wanted, I daresay, to change the state of your industry, such as it were.
I hate to say it, but the same thing happened to you that happens to millions of other small companies - they got busy.
And as they got busy, time became a priority - you had to fly out of the office to get the kids, you had to be a spouse, you had to be an accountant, a software engineer, and a widget maker.
In short, you became the company.
As time became more and more valuable, you discovered that this employee or that employee could be stretched over to handle this job or that task, but - again - to save time, you didn't orchestrate a structure for how that organization actually looked, it just sort of happened organically.
Since we're taking a step back here - remember - let's think about a key tenet that you need to stay aware of - it's up to you to dictate your business's rate of growth as best you can by understanding the key processes that need to be performed, the key objectives that need to be achieved, and the key position you are aiming your business to hold in the marketplace.
That's one of your first jobs!
And, I'll dare to be the one to say it - your only job!
Everything else is just window dressing.
Now, that may stand in stark contrast to what many of you are doing, but that doesn't mean that it isn't true. Your first job, as an owner and an entrepreneur, has to be to understand how the business is going to actually work.
Guess what? When it starts to actually work - and gets "busy" - your job isn't to do the job (although you may need to, from time to time) but rather to understand how to make the business more efficient, what pieces of the client acquisition and client fulfillment process need to be realigned, and how to ensure that every client is taken care of every single time.
In short, how to take the complicated series of human interactions that make up the buying and selling process and replicate that into what is, essentially, a flowchart or a computer program - "if this happens, do this..."
Why make it more complicated than it needs to be? Certainly, it is the nature of the beast - we only want simple when we've hopelessly complicated something. Up until then, we dream of a great, writhing mass of interconnected machinations.
Once we get tangled up in that, then we pine longingly for an easier way - it is an unfortunate small business cycle that I've seen repeated again and again.