Have you ever said to yourself, “I have no life because my business consumes all my time”! Then there’s a good chance you have the “I can do it all” mindset. I want you to know you’re not alone. And, more importantly, that there’s something you can do about it.
By Terry Begue
I’ve owned my painting business for 40 years and even though I had a skilled, experienced crew I felt I had to be in charge of everything. In my mind, no one could do any task as well as I could. Sadly, I was putting in 70 to 80-hour weeks! On top of that my business stopped growing because I refused to hand off any responsibilities to my crew.
A big reason we become entrepreneurs is because we’re passionate about what we do and therefore need to do things a certain way… our way. That can be good and bad. Clients like those who are passionate about their service, but it can easily take over your life. Leaving you little time for family and all the other things that are important to you.
The entrepreneurial myth
In 1988, Michael Gerber wrote a best-selling business book called The E Myth. The E Myth, or Entrepreneurial Myth, is the flawed assumption that people who are experts at a certain technical skill will therefore be successful running a business that does that technical work.
Gerber says one of the hardest things for a business owner to do in order to grow is to let go of the reins. Almost everyone who has grown their startup from a one-person operation to a lucrative business with many employees has struggled with letting go of any task.
It took me almost ten years to find the courage to trust that my crew could handle things without me. It wasn’t long before they were doing most of the tasks better than I ever did. Within a year I was able to put on a second crew and my business almost doubled.
Trust and balance go hand in hand
There is no denying that it’s hard to trust that everything will workout the way you want if you’re no longer in the middle of every part of your business. But stepping away is necessary to delegate, and delegating is vital for growing your business.
Finally, understand that it’s a balancing act; be there for your team when needed, but let them lead when they’re ready. If you apply the tips above, every task will likely be done better than you could do it. The only thing you can’t delegate is “the buck stops here” role. That’s a job for the person in charge, and it better always be you. Which won’t be a problem when you delegate, because you now have more time for all the other things that truly matter… right?
This article was originally published in the Spring 2019 issue of PPC magazine. Story by Terry Begue, author of The Wealthy House Painter’s Guide to Having It All and owner of Begue Painting in Hartville, Ohio. Get more management and business building tips on the Sherwin-Williams contractor website.