I recently read an interesting article from Forbes listing the 10 Critical Business Mistakes that Might Sabotage Your Future Success. While articles like this tend to be entrepreneur clickbait, I have to say I agree with many of them. Let’s face it, starting a new business is not for the faint of heart. Not only are you risking your expected and traditional levels of revenue, but you could also lose a lot of money too.
One of the things emphasized in the article I absolutely agree with is “Go slow”. This is especially important when spending money out of the gate. You don’t need a big office, a $10,000 website, a room full of paid employees, the top office equipment and computers and a big branding campaign.
I also wholeheartedly agree with and want to focus on – when you refuse to delegate tasks to team members. I get it. And it’s a problem. Not that I would personally know anything about this. Okay, I do. I’m a perfectionist. Perfectionists believe that they and only they can solve problems, develop goals and objectives and, for lack of a more grandiose way to describe this – kill themselves mentally in an effort to do everything on their own.
Empowerment and Acceleration of a Business IQ
As business owners and entrepreneurs, it’s our company, right? And in my case, my name is on it. So, of course, I’m the only one who can do things the “right” way. Right? Wrong. This all goes back to hiring. If you’re just trying to fill desks and bring people in because they convinced you they “really needed this job,” you’re surrounding yourself with the wrong people. But if you do your due diligence, hire slowly and don’t waver from your vision for the company, you’ll eventually surround yourself with intelligent people with ideas that add value to yours.
As a business owner, you have an insular perspective. People talk all the time about how our politicians have lost touch with those who elected them because they spend too much time “inside the D.C. beltway.” The same can be said for business owners who spend too much time in their own heads. And, like politicians, hire people who agree with them all the time because they think that’s the best way to maintain the status quo.
It’s all about perspective and if you hire the right people, they can sometimes share a point of view you never thought about before. You really don’t have to do everything. Let them fail too. Don’t be afraid to fail together. And give them the freedom to say they disagree with you. It’s what starting and maintaining a business is all about.
I can tell you from personal experience that we do things much differently in my business than we did when it started over 25 years ago. Yes, I still kill myself sometimes by wanting to do things myself, but I’ve learned over the years that I don’t have all the answers and empowering my senior counselors was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. We all need checks, balances and … perspective.
So, you’re a perfectionist. You have a vision. What you also need are strong people around you. Hire slow. Hire smart. And you don’t necessarily hire someone you want to go to a football game with. You’re not hiring new friends. You’re hiring talented people who you’ve given autonomy and the permission to tell you when you’re wrong (on the rare occasion, of course), all the while with the collective goal of supporting your vision.