How did your business start?
Was it because a thing you did really well caught on… and people started coming to you for it?
Or did you have a hobby or a trade that you loved, and wanted to earn your living doing it?
Most small businesses start with the owner being the ‘operator’.
They’re the one ‘on the tools’, so to speak.
They’re the designer. The plumber. The writer. The coach.
They start the business to make a living doing the thing they love.
But eventually they hit a plateau.
Because when you’re the one ‘doing the thing’, you’re limited by how much you can get done each day.
So they simply hire some staff and, frankly, make a balls-up of it. (At least the first few times)
Because they don’t really want to let go of their ‘role’ in the business. They don’t want someone else coming in and taking over… because the new hire will never do their role as good as they can.
Let me tell you…
One of the hardest shifts you’ll make is going from being someone that works in the business, to becoming someone that leads the business.
Which is why so many business owners are stuck working until ridiculous-o’clock every damn day.
They can’t let go.
Because the significant shift they need to make is at the level of identity.
Unconsciously, business owners identify themselves with their business a certain way.
And to shift to a level where you can allow other people to come in and run your business without you being involved day to day is pretty significant.
Because it really relates to how we bring about a sense of belonging.
For example, just say you’re the sales person in your business. Hiring someone to take over can cause lots of resistance at the start… because you get significance from that being *your* role. Your identity within the business. It’s your jam.
So handing that role over takes a lot of trust, a lot of letting go.
Back in my old cabinet making business, for a while I was the one on the tools, physically putting kitchen cabinets together. There was no better feeling than finishing the cabinet, standing back, and looking at the beautiful kitchen I had created.
There was a huge sense of gratification from that moment.
Then when I had a team, I was just the one that quoted the job and went back to my office afterwards.
Which still felt ok, but didn’t give me that same zap of pride.
I needed to make a shift around how I got my fulfilment.
So I shifted my ‘pride switch’ from 1:1 (I’ve done that), to group pride (my team has done that). But that wasn’t the end of it… eventually I learned to shift my source of fulfilment to a leadership level ‘we did that’.
It wasn’t easy, but it is the only way I could get to where I am right now.
So let me ask you...
Where are you hanging onto to being the one who ‘gets the glory’?
And what do you need to happen to let go?