02 Sep 2010

Business Owner, Quit Developing Strong Weaknesses

To run a successful business, there are dozens and dozens of skillsets that are necessary.  Sadly, many business owners mistakenly believe they need to be the sole person to possess all the requisite skillsets. That they must be fully competent in all business-related skillsets and all operational facets of a business: bookkeeping, accounting, collections, marketing, sales, operations, customer service, IT, human resources, administration, management, legal, and on and one.  What a tragic and costly mistake. While all these components and more need to be handled efficiently and effectively within the business (employees) and/or outside the business (outsourced resources), they DO NOT need to be handled by just one person…YOU. Any wonder why most owners are perpetually exhausted or overwhelmed?  Why most owners do the wrong type of work on a daily basis?  Why their companies and revenues reach a plateau?  Stop trying to DO IT ALL.

When starting a business, most owners out of necessity must wear many hats and must do most, if not all, the tasks.  That is OK and normal the first year or so.  However, an owner’s mindset from the beginning should be that the only hat he/she will eventually wear is that of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Owners must be committed to shedding hat after hat until they have only one hat left … and at that point, their business will be a joy to operate and worth a fortune.  While each owner has their own time schedule, as long as they are on the path to “give up hats”, they will be fine.  In fact, at The Growth Coach, we insist that our small business coaching clients stop being the Chief Everything Officer and transform into the Chief Executive Officer … first with their mindset and then with their behavior.  While they should be in CHARGE of their business, they should not try to be in total CONTROL of every facet, task, and issue.  In short, The Growth Coach Strategic Mindset process helps transform Micro-Managers and Control Freaks into Strategic Business Owners.

Here is the hard truth why that transformation is necessary.  You can NOT be great at or even become very good at all the above business skillsets and functional business areas we listed … even with hard work and practice. We human beings are not wired to be good at everything.  Even if you could be, there is NOT enough time in the day for you to do everything and be everywhere…you must focus on what you do best and what has a high-value return for your company.  Sadly, many owners miss this lesson and try to become competent at every role and task.  They tragically work and work and work on their weaknesses until they are simply left with…you got it, strong weaknesses. You don’t need more strong weaknesses.  That is insane and exhausting.  Instead, you need to strengthen your God-given strengths.

Business owner, why not leverage your strengths and delegate/outsource your weaknesses? Why not hire others, let them do what they do best, and you focus on what you do best?  Unfortunately, this seldom occurs.  In my many years of business coaching and running The Growth Coach, a North American business coaching franchise system, I have concluded that most owners do not know what they are truly gifted and talented at doing. They are so busy being busy and running around, they don’t take the time to reflect and evaluate their most valuable and profitable talents.  Or, they sadly take their talents and gifts (because they come so easy to them) for granted and dismiss their uniqueness and value. Since they don’t have clarity of strengths/gifts, they tackle anything.  Most owners try to become competent at everything associated with their business and that is nearly impossible, tiring, and goes against our nature.  You are naturally great at a handful of things already.  God gives us certain strengths, abilities, gifts and unique talents.  What are yours?

Let me ask you a series of business coaching questions that can help shine some light on your God-given talents, gifts and unique strengths:

  • What do you do extremely well and quite easily?
  • What do you do that energizes you and fuels your passion?
  • What do you do that makes you and your company significant amounts of money?
  • What do others (family, co-workers, and friends) say you are naturally talented doing?
  • What do you do that is almost at a mastery level but somehow you get better and better at doing it?
  • What gives you joy and time flies by when you are doing it?
  • What do you do that is very special and valuable to your company, even if you take it for granted?

Whatever your answers are to these questions are most probably your unique gifts and talents … what you naturally do best. Your answers could have been any of the following: selling, marketing, promotion, innovation, experimentation, design, product development, writing, planning, leading, motivating, communicating, and on and on.  Unique talents that you possess AND that are valuable and create real wealth for your company.

Now the big coaching questions … Are you maximizing these talents?  Are you spending the bulk of your day (80% of the time) using these talents and gifts?  Or, do you spend the bulk of the day doing things you aren’t very good at? Now that you know your unique talents, abilities and gifts a bit better, commit to spend more time doing those and less time doing the tasks you aren’t good at and don’t enjoy.

Stop developing strong weaknesses and focus on your strengths.  Focus on your areas of brilliance and over time delegate/outsource all the rest. Don’t fight against nature.

Take our FREE online business coaching assessment.  Business coaching will help you focus on your strengths and enable you to become a Strategic Business Owner.

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