Tuesday Morning Focal Point – May 3, 2016 – Achieving That Elusive Freedom
Last week my post was about the issue of time, and I suggested that we all have enough time to do whatever we choose, as time is not a resource, it is a priority. Yet, clearly not everyone experiences it that way, and I sometimes get questions from clients regarding how they can get better at prioritizing their time so that they can experience that “freedom” that the truly successful entrepreneur experiences.
Does focusing more on the enjoyment of this freedom come at the cost of profits? Am I talking about a freedom that you can only enjoy if you are willing to quit making money? No, you can enjoy this freedom and still be profitable, continuing to scale up and improve your earnings, all while simultaneously enjoying more freedom.
What I have observed is that the entrepreneurs who do this well have the ability to identify and recruit (top grade) the very best individuals, to delegate authority effectively, and to put the correct type of infrastructure in place to support growth. Probably the biggest and most difficult hurdle to overcome though is when hiring and delegating, making the intentional shift into hiring others to do what the entrepreneur is best at doing him or herself.
Entrepreneurs don’t have trouble hiring people to do the things they don’t do well. This happens very early during scaling up in fact, and the majority of entrepreneurs do figure this out, and they tend to do this well. It is another matter however to give up control and delegate authority for something that you are an expert at yourself, and that you have built your business on to date. The whole reason you are in business and doing well at it, is because you have an expertise, whether it be in sales, recruiting, operations, strategy or being able to get the most out of your people. However, in order to cross that threshold and begin enjoying freedom, you will need to give up some of the control and will have to hand off what you are best at.
This is challenging initially, because nobody will do it as well as you do…or will they? You may have to recognize a temporary downturn in business or your overall growth while you invest in building the capacity within, to do what everyone believes only you can do. Remember, you are partly responsible for creating the dependency on yourself, and for causing everyone in the company to believe that only you can do what you do. That worked well for a while, but it only works well long term if you want to be a workaholic and limit your company’s growth.
Are you at a place in your business leadership where you are ready to begin enjoying greater freedom – the freedom that the majority of business owners truly want, but only some attain?
Cameron’s Call to Action
- Make a firm and clear decision that it is a high priority to you to free yourself up from as many of the daily operational issues that have you running flat out and that are keeping you from enjoying increased freedom.
- Collect data on what you are doing and how you are spending your time. Over a period of several weeks, determine what percentage of your time you spent on the various leadership and business management domains.
- Is there a function (or multiple functions) that are completely centered on you and your abilities? Why? If you are operating on the assumption that there is nobody that can do something as well as you can, get a grip. You are not the only superstar on the planet!
- Begin a process, in consultation with your senior management team, to top grade for new talent that can take over what before now you believed on you could do.
- Enjoy your new found freedom, once you’ve implemented and let go.