When most entrepreneurs began down the path to self-employed, ownership, CEO status their mindset was for the most part one of; ‘I will be able to set my own hours’, ‘I will do it better’, or ‘That can’t be that difficult, I don’t see what all the fuss is about’…
Fast forward three to five years to those few that made it past a couple anniversaries and ask them if the reasons they got into business still make sense?
I can almost guarantee if they are able to laugh at themselves, they would say things like; “8-5? Set my own hours? I work more now than I did when I was a general employee”, “Life? What’s that”?, or “My staff have no idea what all has to happen behind the scenes to keep our doors open”!
So we are now enlightened, our eyes are wide open to the realities of being the “Owner”. I could go on about what we all now see but enlightening our staff is another article yet to be written. Instead let’s talk about a few things we might miss now that we are at the top & get to the juice which is what is the best investment you could ever make for your business.
What do we as owners miss?
- When the buck stops it really stops… When we were employees and it hit the proverbial fan there was always someone higher you could ask for advice from or get support. Take a look behind you.. no ones standing there to guide you are they?
- Confidentially speaking there’s going to be a …. (yep you guessed it – water cooler talk). As owners we have to maintain a level that cannot be crossed like water cooler gossip. Some miss it – some don’t. But, once you go there the dynamics of a successful office can start to crumble fast.
- Having a bad day? Don’t bring it to the office… You are the pillar, the example by which you want your staff to uphold. If you bring your bad day to work you are effectively saying to your staff it is okay for them to bring their baggage in as well. Don’t think it doesn’t effect work standards when the boss is having an off day – think back to when you were an employee how you acted on those days.
- Being able to tell a co-worker exactly how you feel… (refrain!). Your behavior will dictate your success rate as well as your liability risks. Hanging at the bar till 1am telling it like it you want is a thing of the past. There’s no quicker way to loosing the respect and trust of your staff than for you to ‘be a pal & not curb your tongue’.
These are just a few but I am sure each of us can name a number of things we were able to do without repercussion when we worked for someone else. As owners if you don’t have certain things set in place it can be a lonely place at the top. The ‘pals’ you once hung around with will not understand you like they use to, this is not necessarily a bad thing. If they did not follow the same path of success you are currently on it will be hard to relate. (But that is a topic for another day – how to transition). So what’s the secret to being the owner you have always wanted to be without being alone as not all of us can have or may even want a partner.
It’s the one thing you want to have, the one thing that will make it all worth while, the one thing that will be the best investment you will ever make as an owner and it is…
To INVEST in YOURSELF! That’s right, it is so simple you say… yes, possibly for some but for others it holds a lot of guilt or even misunderstanding of the concept. Think about it this way; every day for your company you maintain an air of strength, when a co-worker is troubled you provide solutions, when the economy is rough you provide motivation, when a problem with a client can’t be resolved… that’s right ‘the buck stops here’. You daily maintain the clogs in the wheels to make sure your company succeeds. Now add on top of that maintaining the positive face that your staff can look up to for drive and ambition. Not done yet, throw on top of your shoulders the entire responsibility of the livelihood of your team.
For the many that have never had to make payroll during a time when sales are slow this is not an easy concept to understand. It is actually where commonsense and misconceptions meet the road. This is where employees think to themselves, “I can run a company” and it is also why many fail because it is not always greener on the other side but until you walk in the shoes some things cannot be explained or understood.
So what does this do? Well, over time it is where the burnout factor comes into play. It is not always easy to self-motivate and as an owner a lot of times that is exactly what is needed. We motivate our staff so we can keep our company growing, we provide direction and ask for accountability. But, when you turn around for the same need there is still no one behind you to re-charge your batteries. This is where investing in yourself is not only needed it is a requirement of all successful business owners.
Take control – Sit up straight as there is hope! Not only hope but salvation for owners! Where our staff have us or if we hire for them they can have an outside team-builder to keep them juiced and producing. Owners also need this. There are many so like I enjoy saying, “Choose but choose wisely”. They are Mindset groups, Entrepreneur support teams, Success Networks and they go by various other names. Key is to make sure they meet your needs. A few things you want to make sure to look for are:
- Variety of services offered
- Make sure it will challenge you
- Other members from a mix of industries
- Like minded individuals that want to level up
- Some even have a mix of indoor & outdoor
- Respectful of your time
- High energy
So there it is – if you are wanting to level up, to succeed, to recharge so you can take the next step in your business then you need to make an investment in yourself. We are not meant to do it alone and frankly most of our spouses unless they have their own business as well do not understand and as much as they love us cannot really help us in the way we need. So INVEST in something that is guaranteed to give you an amazing return – YOURSELF!