By Entrepreneur Melissa Evans for GalTime.com
It's an age-old mindset: if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself! And because your business is your baby, you make all the decisions pertaining to it. You see it as your responsibility to protect. You believe if you are not there, the building might just come crashing down… so you scramble around your office, half possessed.
If this were a psychological disorder, it would be paranoia.
While you have a handful of staff who diligently report for duty, you refuse to delegate work because you cannot trust that they will do a good job, or at least do the job as well as you. In turn, they hesitate to take charge because you will rue the day they were born if they do so. What we end up having here is an overworked boss and very relaxed staff.
Talk about role reversal. Many people would kill to have a boss like you! To be an entrepreneur does not mean you are now a one man island. You are a boss now. You pay your staff handsomely, so make sure they do more than just serve as eye candy for the office! You have handpicked your talent and made them undergo every drug screening, proficiency test, and personality test known to man, and they have shown their qualities. It is time to put these qualities to work. More often than not, when put to the task, they can do a better job than you because they are far more educated in that specific area.
As a business owner, you cannot take on every task. It doesn't work and you won't stay in business for long if you try. Similarly, inundating yourself with such a workload puts unnecessary stress on you. You become fatigued and you may even fall ill. Your business then takes a tumble and goes down with you.
Share your business with the people you call colleagues. Every action requires fresh decision making. Innovative ideas don't just emanate from one person. Bounce ideas off one another! Then, you can reap the benefits of teamwork.
Related: Reducing Negativity in the Workplace
Your employees are in the trenches, working with the products or services you offer, as well as with your customers. They know what comments have been made and they may have ideas that will make something more efficient or that could potentially bring more interest to your great idea. When the President deals with a military situation, he confers with his top military advisors, generals, think-tanks, and those he deems important to the decision-making process. They spend time weeding through all possible scenarios, so that nothing is missed. While one person may have the best idea from the start, this doesn't mean it's the only option. Your employees are your advisors, but they're more than that. They have ideas to contribute. When you invite your employees to share their ideas about what could help your business grow, and they begin to believe that they are being taken seriously, then you'll find they work harder and take more pride in their daily routine. You'll also note that your customers start feeling happier because of the manner in which they are being treated.
Don't take on every hat within your business. Learn to trust the people you have working for you. The more you empower them, the more you can focus on the other aspects of your business that will ensure its long-term growth and success. When your employees feel empowered within your business, they'll be more open to sharing more ideas with you and will be even more anxious to help your business grow. They become family, and will look out for your best interest when on and off duty. They'll also spread the word about what a great business you operate.
This can only truly happen when, as a business owner, you relinquish some amount of control to others.
Don't burn yourself out (or as the adage goes: Don't burn the candle at both ends).
What tips do you have for loosening the reins while growing your business? Or, employees, what tips would you give start-up bosses?
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