Our relationship with money changes as we climb the entrepreneurial ladder. But the pivotal change comes as we move from Manager to Business Owner. From manager down, we work hard for money. From Business Owner upwards money works hard for us.
Three simple shifts are involved. First, though, let’s define what the two stages are, because business owner is a phrase used to describe anyone that runs their own business. We are making a distinction on the entrepreneurial ladder between someone who runs their own business and someone who owns a business.
An owner-operator or owner-manager usually does at least one job in the business as well as managing all the other day to day activities of the business.
A business owner, in contrast, does not work in the business at all. They may go into the business from time to time to check that it’s still there and that the management team are executing the strategy effectively, but otherwise they leave the running of the business to paid managers and employees.
They own an asset that generates cashflow for them as a dividend from profits.
So what are the three vital shifts involved?
- Recognise the need to put systems in place in the business so that they are not only in your head. This facilitates consistent delivery which improves profitability, it stops employees having to ask you for advice all the time and it creates the platform for the next step. Many people who start a business balk at this because they find it dull compared to the exciting nature of starting a business and flying by the seat of their pants. Entrepreneurs are by definition risk takers – they enjoy winging it. Systemising everything doesn’t sit well with them. If that’s the case, find someone to do it for you.
- Let go of control and delegate everything in a progressive manner. Most people who start a business are “control-freaks” or they become that way as their baby develops into a thriving business. Some come to believe that no one can do things as well as them. This may be true if processes are not written down (shift 1). Some want it this way, others don’t. They key is to let go and delegate. Eventually you need to delegate everything in the business to become a business owner, culminating in hiring a general manager. But it starts by letting go of control of one thing. And then another.
- Hire people that are better than you. At least this way you can delegate in confidence, particularly if you have good systems in place for them to operate. Systems will never cover every eventuality, so you need good people to make decisions about the exceptions. Can you find good people? Of course, if you know where to look, how to recruit and how to engage employees effectively. Make time to learn how to do these things and you’re on to a winner.
As described, these shifts sound simple, but are not necessarily easy to achieve – it requires a shift in mind-set first and it may involve learning some new skills. But the pay-off at the end of the day will be worth it.
We can help you take this step up the ladder (or any of the others) in one of three ways:
- Recommend one of our books to you. Drop us a line, tell us what you’re looking to learn, and we’ll recommend the appropriate book. Our coaches have written dozens ranging from sales and marketing to wealth creation.
- Come along to one of our free seminars on building a business that works without you. Drop us a line to find out when the next one is and where it will be.
- Or, if you’re really serious about gaining new levels of traction to get to the next level in your entrepreneurial career, give us a call and request an Entrepreneurial Strategy Session or book online. From this 90 minute session you will:
- Get crystal clear about what you want to achieve,
- Discover the essential building blocks for growing a business,
- Uncover the #1 thing stopping you from getting what you want and
- Identify the most powerful actions to move you towards the business of your dreams.
- Leave the session with the confidence of knowing exactly what to do to create the business you really want.