Most entrepreneurs view themselves as superheroes. Faster than an Internet meme, more powerful than an assembly line, able to conquer markets in a single bound.
We like to do everything ourselves because it sounds glamorous. And we’re gluttons for punishment.
We’re also smarter, more focused, and more driven than anyone else out there. What we might lack in skill we surely make up in willpower and instinct.
A brilliant strategy for working 70+ hours a week; a horrible plan for building a system that will actually help our businesses grow.
But that “E” emblazoned on our chests – the same one gives us our superhuman determination and vision – is often the same one that keeps us from reaching our full potential.
Why Doing It All Is a Horrible Idea
As a business owner, your purpose is to hone and deliver your core competency – the one thing you do better than anyone else and customers are willing to pay for – as quickly and efficiently as possible.
But when many small businesses are just getting started, it may not be financially feasible to outsource work to the best accountant or the best videographer or the best digital marketing strategist you have access to. (In fact, you might not even have the budget to work with anyone at all.)
As a result, too many small business owners wear every hat, running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
“Stop trying to do it all. The more hats you wear, the weaker your core competency becomes.”
Matthew Russo, Systems for Growth
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As the saying goes, a jack of all trades is a master of none.
More importantly, doing everything yourself is simply unsustainable.
Authors such as Robert Kiyosaki and Michael Gerber have written about this extensively. When you do everything yourself you don’t have a business – you have a job. When you stop working, so does your business because you make up every component of your system.
A Better Alternative
On the other hand, the most successful entrepreneurs, leaders, and managers that I have interviewed and worked with are masters at just the opposite. They skillfully:
- find and partner with others who are the best in their respective fields,
- clearly articulate their own vision and goal(s),
- and then get out of the way.
It’s fascinating because these are usually the people who could do everything themselves. Yet they are self-aware enough to realize someone else can do it faster and better, freeing them up to tackle other initiatives.
What’s Your Average?
Iconic author and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, once said: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
I believe a business is the average of its five closest partners and employees.
If your books are a mess, consider hiring the top accountant in town. If sales are down, consider finding the best marketing firm around. If you have a lot of leads but can’t close anything, think about bringing on a master salesman.
When implemented properly, these strategic partners will enable far more growth than going it alone.