Imagine sitting on a tropical far off beach, with umbrella drink in hand while your bank account steadily grows, or owning several thriving businesses and working on multiple passion projects that truly inspire you to jump out of bed each day. Swapping the safe but sometimes suffocating 9-5 corporate life for the promise of ultimate freedom and the chance to be the boss is the dream of an untold number of Australian small and mid-sized business owners. The reality for most however is different from the post card.
Many Australian business owners start their own business to become free, but somewhere along the way they become trapped in a perfect prison of their own making – their own business. Many work superhuman hours, 6-7 days a week, and can’t even remember the last time they took a proper holiday. If this sounds like you, your business is in serious trouble because you are undoubtedly and equally your business biggest asset, and it’s Achilles-heel.
Since when was being committed a bad thing?
While at the outset a highly committed business owner may seem like a good thing, if a business is over reliant on an owner’s input for its success it will ultimately face severe limitations regarding viability and scalability.
Firstly, regarding viability, many small to mid-sized businesses have grown to become the success stories that they are today based on the passion, perseverance, and perfectionism of their owners. These business owners have gone to extraordinary lengths to exceed the expectations of their clients or customers in order to grow their business. This system relies on the blood sweat and tears of the business owner, and as we know, a bad system will beat a good person every time. Remove the owner from the equation and the business falls over – everybody gets sick sometimes.
Now consider scalability, if a business is overly reliant on the owner, trying to scale is fighting against the laws of physics because time and energy are finite. If the business is overly reliant on the owner’s contribution, it will only grow to the size that the owners time and energy allow.
Avoiding the trap
While the trap is easy to fall into, many business owners manage to avoid it through facing up to the myth that stepping back from a business is giving away control. They face their biggest fear – that their business will fail without them. They prove that their business can function (and thrive) by design in their absence, not in spite of it. They take their lives back and take control of their businesses in 5 ways:
As a business owner do you run your business or does it run you? What other tips do you have to help ensure that you don’t become your businesses greatest liability?
If you’re a business owner, HR Business Direction can help you build structures and strategies that will allow you to step back, your business to thrive, and for you to get your life back.
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