Business owner, are you a hands-on technician? Do you tend to get lost in the daily, technical trenches of your business? Are you working almost exclusively “in” the business instead of “on” the business? Are you the Chief “Everything” Officer touching most, if not all, transactions, doing most tasks, and solving most problems for your company? If so, you are most likely suffering from a business-owner affliction we at The Growth Coach call, The Technician’s Addiction?
If you have this affliction or addiction, that’s an exhausting way to run a business and live a life. You already know that in your gut and soul. If you have this condition, odds are you wear multiple hats, work multiple roles and handle countless daily tasks. Instead of owning a business, you end up working a tough and endlessly demanding job. As the business grows and gets more complex, you have to work even harder to complete your technical, hands-on tasks. You are simply trying to tread water and not drown! Furthermore, you still have all the leadership, management and financial challenges and responsibilities of being the owner. Worse yet, spending so much time in the technical aspects of the business prevents you leading, taking corrective measures, reshaping your business, and growing the business and your wealth. You make huge trade-offs when you have a technician’s addiction.
Here is your business coaching wake-up call. If you are addicted to or simply enjoy the daily, technical, hands-on, craft-oriented, and administrative type of tasks and work … then being a true business owner will be a real challenge. You see, technical expertise is one of the most common, abundant, and over-rated abilities of a business owner. Why? Because millions of people can do those same technical tasks (repair a car, remodel a room, paint a house, write software, do bookkeeping, handle IT problems, shuffle paperwork, etc.) … some even better than you! Being a successful and satisfied business owner is NOT about being a gifted technician. It’s about something much more strategic.
What is sorely lacking in most small business owners is leadership and marketing expertise as well as the skills and abilities to design, build and run the entire business, not simply complete technical tasks. Many owners are mistakenly “being the business” instead of “building the business”. And while it’s OK for you to be a technician the first year or so when you start a business … it should not be forever! You should evolve. You should grow your leadership abilities. You should put systems in place and hire others to replace you in the technical, day-to-day trenches.
But please don’t misunderstand this business coach. This Growth Coach is simply helping you to face reality and see the light of truth. The choice (to be a technician or a strategic business owner) is strictly up to you. It’s your business and your life. You get to choose your path … but you should at least know and consider your various options. To battle the Technician’s Addiction or Affliction, you have 4 basic options:
Option #1. Remain a technician and be content with that choice. If you don’t mind wearing lots of hats, doing lots of tasks, and working predominantly “in” your business and very little “on” your business, that’s your call. Just be prepared to accept the all-to-common unintended consequences … being overworked, overwhelmed, and feeling like a prisoner to your business. Again, you are stuck doing it all. However, if you truly like doing the technical, hands-on, and craft-oriented work, you will get joy from doing that. With a limited number of employees, you may well reduce your hassles and headaches … along with your income and freedom. Just realize, without real leadership and systems, your business will not grow beyond your personal level of production … what you can handle on a daily basis. YOU will be the business and the business will be you. More accurately, you will own a job, not a business. If you can be happy and fulfilled doing technical tasks, while your business remains small and simple, this may be the right option for you.
Option #2. Hire someone else to be the leader of your organization. Hire someone (as President, COO, General Manager, etc.) to help set the direction, goals, and keep the employees accountable for doing their jobs. If you have someone working “on” the business, that frees you up to work “in” the business and handle the technical work … IF that is what you truly enjoy. Since someone is dedicated to properly structuring, systematizing and leading the business, the business has a much better chance to develop and grow. However, you must allow the leader to lead!
Option #3. Decide to elevate your knowledge, mindset and habits and gradually become a strategic business owner yourself. Start on a path to eventually get free of the daily, technical, tactical aspects of the business. For example, The Growth Coach helps transform technicians into more successful, strategic, and satisfied business owners. With on-going coaching and accountability, a change in mindset and habits is very likely, as well as your successful transformation. If you see yourself as an owner and marketer, you will have a much larger mindset and do the right things to design and build the entire business, not just the technical components of the business. However, until you develop the right support structure (operations manual, job descriptions, etc.), hire the right technicians to replace you, provide proper training, and delegate the technical work to them, you will still be doing some of the technical work during your transition. That’s perfectly OK … at least now, you will have a bigger and better vision for yourself and your business that you are heading toward and there will be new hope and light at the end of the tunnel. You will awaken and immediately see a much better way to manage your business and life. As a strategic business owner, your new job will be to create and design technical jobs for others, not technical jobs for yourself. You will get to function as a real leader and owner of your business, not a technical doer. As a result, you should have greater freedom, free time, fun, and fortune.
Option #4. Make no decision and keep trying to do all the technical AND strategic work of the business by yourself. Odds are, you will do neither very well. Trying to do it all yourself is truly an exhausting way to run a business and live your life. Letting inertia or apathy win, or choosing the path of “status quo” is a cowardly choice. Don’t fail to make a reasoned decision. Revisit the other three options above and make a bold decision on how you wish to run your business and life going forward: 1) simply remain a technician of a small business and accept the consequences; 2) hire a leader to run and grow your business while you enjoy being a technician; or 3) get some coaching and accountability help and become a strategic business owner and leader and truly enjoy the journey.
The choice is yours. Please don’t let inertia, apathy or the status quo win … that would be succumbing to the Technician’s Addiction.
Ready to beat the Technician’s Addiction? Click to request a FREE copy the book “Becoming a Strategic Business Owner” and start the journey to realize greater freedom, free time, fun, and fortune.