Since becoming a business owner just over two years ago, I have learned so many lessons – some fun and rewarding, and some that are just plain ugly. The biggest lesson I have learned and really love to teach other business owners and young entrepreneurs is this:
In life and in entrepreneurship…delegate.
Here is my story and how I learned this.
Just over two years ago, I opened two brick and mortar businesses in my hometown. They were my first businesses and it was very exciting and a quick learning curve as they grew quickly! While I was opening and growing these businesses, I was also attending college and being a wife. Stressful stuff!
But I seriously love every single aspect of my life. I love being a wife, I love being a business owner and I love being an employer. They all fulfill different needs in my life which is great. But, in that first year of owning businesses, I learned something and very quickly.
I learned that I am not great at every job as an entrepreneur.
Don’t get me wrong, I am really awesome in many areas but in addition to that, I am really NOT awesome in many areas. I’m pretty sure that was my first lesson in business (other than getting the right licenses and managing two companies finances).
The lesson that I’m not the greatest at every job in my business was a lesson I learned very quickly. I learned that I can’t shirk living a normal life to ensure that every thing gets done in my business.
I would skip meals. Food, you guys! It’s crazy talk.
Now, it’s a beautiful thing to create something from the ground up and see it through to opening day and beyond. It’s an even more beautiful thing to realize that although this business may be your ‘baby’, it’s going to continue to grow and along with that growth, you will need to find and empower people who can encourage and inspire the facilitation of its growth with you (how you find them and empower them is another lesson for another day).
It’s very humbling, the day you realize that someone else, who didn’t create this business might have a better vision for a certain area and really wants to implement that vision.
That’s an important lesson for any entrepreneur or owner to learn… that even though we try to be the best and want to be the best at everything, our greatest strength is being able to delegate to those who can carry out different tasks well. Not only is delegating beneficial to you as a business owner, but you are also creating a culture of empowered employees who WANT to add value to the company!
When that happened to me, it was hard to let go of the reigns initially, but as time passed and systems were created, delegating and expanding have become incredibly easy for me. Delegating has freed up my ability and my innate strengths and intuition to go full force in the business, guiding it forward to my ultimate vision.
This is where the all-time lesson of finding great people to ‘do’ life with and surrounding yourself with an entrepreneurial minded community is going to be reiterated.
It can be limiting to not only yourself and your potential but the potential of your business if you truly think that you are the only one that can work in your company.
Start small if you have to, but start letting go of the tiny things so you can focus on the big picture of the company and your strengths as the owner. There are many people in this world with incredible strengths that can complement yours. Let them join you!
Since doing this myself, I have let go of day-to-day operations more so that I can influence the direction and the culture of the business, instead of worrying about if we have stamps.
So, next time you think that you are the ONLY one to answer that customer service email, try delegating to someone who is just as capable of carrying out your company value. 🙂