You have a passion. That’s why you started your business.
Taking the conventional route wasn’t for you, so instead you decided to design your life around doing something that truly resonates with your idea of success.
But what we tend to forget as business owners is that it’s usually a particular skill set that gets us into our line of work – perhaps you’re a gifted artist, a powerful coder, or take pride in teaching others to reach their full potential – and yet we spend the majority of our days trying to blanket cover every aspect of running a company as a one man show.
Would you hire someone expecting them to be an expert in marketing and finance, communications and tax? Of course not. So why would you expect that from yourself?
To build something truly sustainable, we – and the teams we grow around us – have to play to our strengths. Passion alone isn’t enough to empower excellence. We need to find people that complement our skill set in order to work as a cohesive whole, rather than an overextended, overstressed, and overworked one.
That’s why we all got into business in the first place, isn’t it? To take what we love, excel, and turn it into something bigger than ourselves?
You need to be honest with yourself and decide – how can I bring the most value into my business? Take the time to sit down and have an honest dialogue with yourself – What are my greatest strengths, and greatest weaknesses as a business owner? What aspects of my job do I love, and what important things do I put off because I find them tedious, difficult or simply uninteresting?
More often than not, your answers will align with the passions that got you started in the first place. “I’m an artist who loves to paint, but hates dealing with the financial side of my business.” “I’m a creative with a knack for bringing ideas to live through visual storytelling, but I can’t stand spending my hours on admin and emails”.
Once you have your answers, it’s important to first remember – don’t feel guilty. Running a business isn’t about being the ultimate one man show. It’s about being self-aware enough to see where your skills can be used to the greatest advantage, and where hiring a qualified team to fill the expertise gaps would work to the business’s (and your sanity’s) benefit.
When you’re just starting out, it’s inevitable that you’ll need to multitask like a pro. But once you’ve started gaining traction, you’ll soon see that the opportunity cost of you not focusing on your strengths starts outweighing the benefits of being a one man band. When that point comes, it’s time to take your brand to the next level – hiring a team.
But what, or who, do you look for? It’s important to remember that you’re not looking for ‘another you’ – a quality team is about balancing your skills with theirs. You want to find people that are specialised in handling your weak points, so that together you become a true force of nature.
No time for admin? Hire a customer service guru. Marketing’s not your strong point? Find a social media extraordinaire who can create content and curate ads in their sleep. No matter what your business needs, know that there are super humans out there ready to take on these roles and make them truly their own, giving you the space and freedom you need to nail your specialty and turn it into an industry must-have.
The thought of letting others work on your brand makes you nervous? Check out 7 Common Barriers to Delegation Keeping You from Scaling Your Business.
For business owners, there’s a driving force behind why we choose to do what we do for ourselves, and not as an intrapreneur at another firm.
There’s a pride that comes with working hard and directly reaping the benefits, growing something from scratch into a game-changer, and having total autonomy over the direction your business takes.
That same sense of pride in autonomy is what makes a good team, great. When everyone has total ownership over his or her part of a business, motivation grows, momentum builds, and a sense of accomplishment drives you towards bigger and better achievements day in and day out.
This is important for us to recognise as business owners, because all too often we can fall into the deadly trap that is ‘micro-management’. We don’t hire experts in their field so we can tell them how to do their job, otherwise we end up right back where we started. We hire them because they know far better than we do what their specialty requires in order to take the business to new levels.
Letting your team understand that they have the authority to own and grow their patch makes for better results than micro-management ever could. Giving them opportunities to challenge themselves, expand their knowledge, and experiment with new ideas leads to the greatest gift of all – a team of people who take pride in the work of your brand just as much as you do.
So you see, you’re not in this alone. Starting a brand automatically mean you have to be an expert in every aspect of business (because, let’s be honest, who is?). Focus on your strengths, find a team that can do the same, and together your brand will reach heights you never dreamed were possible when you decided to take your passion and bring your idea of success to life – whatever that means to you.
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