Is your business an extension of you or does it have its own identity? This is an important question for every entrepreneur because it’s very rare for an entrepreneur to start with the latter in mind. They start to create something that solves a problem that matters to them. They have a personal interest in the problem being solved so they set out to create their solution to it.
In my opinion that’s what you need to make it through start-up. You need to have a tight control over what’s going on, you need to set the tone, you need to go and make it happen your way.
Yet to scale you’ve got to change your mindset. As you bring people on you’ve got to stop micro-managing and let your team do things their own way. You’re going to have to trust the judgement of people who have expertise that you don’t have. And if you are looking for investment to grow then you are going to have to cede some legal control as well.
Most entrepreneurs I meet say they are looking to create something big, something that has impact. To do that you have to let go and allow others to do things their way.
- What aspects of your business are you looking to let go in terms of control?
- What are you not willing to let go of?
- How much autonomy do your team have?
- How have you empowered them?
- What was the last thing they did without your permission?
It never ceases to amaze me how much entrepreneurs don’t actively play to their strengths or have a defined development plan for them. You’ve got unique innate abilities that you should be leveraging:
The point here is that I rarely see a strategy that moves the entrepreneur into a role other than CEO. Why? There is zero possibility that every entrepreneur will make a good CEO. Zero. Steve Jobs became CEO of Apple twenty years after they started, indeed the first investor put a CEO in straight away because he knew Jobs and Wozniak were not ready. Don’t let your ego prevent you from maximising your own potential.
- What are the conditions for replacing yourself as CEO?
- Do you even know what a CEO’s role is?
- What position in your business are you best suited to?
- When in your strategy do you reach the point of moving exclusively into that role?
- How are you actively upskilling yourself to take that on?
This is the single biggest barrier to growth.
The ‘fail fast, fail cheap’ mantra is something that logically makes sense.
If you had a time machine and you could see that you were about to waste two years of your life working on an idea you can’t get to work then you would stop now wouldn’t you?
But there’s too much going on inside your head that conflates logic and objectivity. We are not machines, indeed the magic of the human condition is our capacity for emotion.
There are a myriad of influences going on that requires more than a blog to cover. For now, I want to ask you questions on the biggest one of all. The root of all your blockers. Fear.
- What are you currently not doing because of fear?
- How would you feel if you were wrong?
- How would you feel if your business failed?
- Would you lose the love and respect of those who really matter to you?
- What would you do next if you lost it all?
The reality is that life moves fast and opportunities abound. The people who matter will always love and respect you.
Fear is telling you otherwise. It’s hard-wired into your mindset and it thinks it is helping you by keeping you safe from emotional harm.
We need fear as a survival mechanism and it’s there for good reason. So listen to fear, give it a fair hearing, but don’t let it subconsciously steer the ship. You are not your fears.
- The tighter your grip on control the less chance you have of making something bigger than you
- If you don’t know your strengths and actively develop them then you are not going to become world class
- Fear is part of being human. If you don’t acknowledge them you can’t work on them. If you don’t work on them they will control you. Work towards the truth that you are not your fears.
Master your mindset and everything will change.
Who will you choose to become?