...it's not easy but it can be
I remember when I started back in my corporate days - all the goals I set for myself. Between building a career, managing a team and starting a family I felt the urge to be Superwoman. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking.
I remember getting up early in the morning so I could get my work done and get home to spend quality time with my boys.
Now in between that start and end to the workday I was full steam ahead, proving that I could do (and have) it all. Lead a team, provide top-notch service and advice to my clients, get bottom line results for my employer, mentor younger staff … all while working a flexible work schedule and only for a portion of the week virtually.
At the time the business environment was very disciplined with the old school belief that you had to be in the office 9-5 to effectively manage a team so without a doubt I had something to prove.
The thing was I wasn’t just trying to prove it to myself; I was trying to set the bar for those behind me to have the work-life balance with endless opportunities!
Not so hard, right?
It’s not so different from an entrepreneur’s regular daily life without the reduced hours or working virtually (until the pandemic that is). It’s so easy to feel that you have to do it yourself because at the end of the day it’s all on your shoulders. Even when you have a team, you have to have that control to make sure everything’s getting done 100% because it’s your reputation on the line.
You feel like everything has to go through you, but the problem as you know, is there are only so many hours in the day to get things accomplished. Eventually you become more like the plug in a drain, either that or you just burnout – plain and simple.
When I changed my way of thinking about this, when I was able to figure out the methodology to leverage what was available to me, it advanced my career and life exponentially. I no longer had to be Superwoman. I did not have to do everything myself, and guess what it made things less stressful for me and empowered those around me.
Let’s face it, there are typically 2 reasons for the Superhero Syndrome: ego and fear. The Superheroes either don’t want to believe the business will succeed without them being involved in every aspect or they fear they will lose control.
So what can you do about it?
First of all, get over it! I know that’s a little harsh, but sometimes it just has to be said.
Here’s the thing you have to remind yourself of: if you’re a true entrepreneur wanting to run a business and not just be a contractor for someone else (pseudo employee), then you’re a risk taker by nature. Furthermore, if you’ve made it this far, you have clients and you’re making money, you proved you can be successful! Yes, it means you have something to lose, but it also means you have so much more to gain.
Here are a few tips for letting go:
- Be clear on the specific things that are best to get off your plate.
- Think about it this way, if it’s a task outside of your expertise, find someone who is the expert.
- If it’s something you don’t enjoy, hire someone else to do it or it will slow you down – perhaps even cause you to procrastinate.
- If it’s a task that doesn’t add value toward your endgame, consider eliminating the task altogether, or at a minimum farming it out.
- When you’re looking to fill a role, don’t only evaluate their skills, but consider the type of person you want in the role.
- Will they need to deal with clients directly? If so, what traits do you want them to exhibit?
- Is it something technical? If so, do you want them to be more analytical, structured, and/or organized?
- Will they be working on creative aspects? If so, how do they express themselves? Will they be able to reflect the message and values of the company?
- Ask yourself “is there a more effective way to get this done”?
- Can you accomplish what you’re trying to do in a more direct way?
- Does the system you’re using have too many bells and whistles, making the process more complicated than it has to be?
- Is there a way to automate the task which allows for repetitiveness?
When you go through the thought process above, remember you can put controls in place to give you key indicators and red flags if something’s not going right, rather than you being involved in every aspect of the business.
If you still feel the need to be a superhero, then make your character a super-leader so you can enjoy your business and your life.
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Here’s to more flexibility and freedom in your life,
Performance & Profit Strategist