Change Is Hard, Here’s a Framework

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Today, we will be talking about one of the most common problem that faces business owners. Whether it comes in these words or slightly different characterization, the real problem is; they are spending too much time working in their business leaving them no time to work on their business.

As business owners, we get into the idea that we have to do everything on our own mostly because we created the business idea. This is however not the case. Remember you are not alone. The second thing you need to realize is that the way you approached work when you started your business is only going to get you so far. You have got to pave it to go higher. A concrete example is; when you started you pretty much had to do everything. However, as your business grows, there are a finite number of hours in a day that you can work and if you cannot get that done in that amount of time you have to push them off to the following day.

How do you pave this problem? Find somebody else to carry out all these tasks for you. This will give you time to get back to the work of building the business; the exciting part of understanding your customers, finding problems and solving them for them. A good friend of mine says that you should spend 80% of the time in your business doing the work you love, 15% learning to do something new and only 5% doing something that you do not like.

In order to do that, you have to hand off some of your day to day tasks. Most business owners are terrified of hiring a team and handing over duties to them. If you have a team, you have overcome the number one obstacle that holds business owners back. If you don’t, this is the first handle you have to get over. After getting a team, the next thing you have to get over is letting go of the work and this is the big change. They obviously won’t do it as you would and surprisingly they might do it better than you would. You only have to get a person who loves to do a particular task and you let them do their art while you do your art. If you are holding on to some task that you do not like to do, you do not hold back yourself and your business back but also denying somebody else the opportunity to deliver their art. Get over that fear and bring somebody else to do the work.

[ Full Transcript Follows ]

Hi folks, Thom Rigsby here from ThomRigsby.com. This week, we’re talking about change and today we’re going to tackle of the first of three primary changes that need to occur in a business owner’s life, in order for them to achieve the vision and the goals that they set out to achieve when they created their business. Today, we’re talking about more time working on your business, less time working in your business. That resonates with you, stick around. This is 7Minutes in the Morning.

Hi there folks, good morning and welcome. This is 7Minutes in the Morning. It’s your daily dose from the business coach, that’s me. My name is Thom Rigsby. This week, we’re talking about change. Yesterday we talked a lot about change being something that’s very difficult for a lot of people. 

Some of the reasons why I would encourage you, if you haven’t had a chance to listen to that episode yet, go back and listen to it. It’s got some really great tips and tactics for you, that can help move you along through this change process, with as little trouble as necessary. There’s going to be some [01:25 ] that’ll certainly help ease the process.

Today, I want to start talking about one of the most common problems that I hear from business owners. Whether they come in these words or slightly different characterization, this is the real problem. They’re spending much time working in their business and doesn’t leave them enough time to work on their business. 

Sometimes I get the comment that “I’m working 60 or 70 hours a week, I just don’t feel like there’s any improvement.” Well, there’s probably not any improvement if you’re not working on improving the business. If you’re spending that 50, 60, 70 hours a week, and all you’re doing is churning through a daily to-do list, and not looking at the big picture of the business. 

Not looking strategically at how to grow it, then that business is not going to grow. You’ve plateaued and this is something that’s very, very common. That’s the first thing I want to assure you with. If you’re feeling that; you’re not alone, you’re not weird, unusual, you don’t have a unique problem, you’re not doing anything that can’t be fixed.

So often, as business owners, we get into this idea that “I created business, I’ve got to do this on my own.” Let me assure you that that’s not the case. The first thing to realize … and I guess second thing, since the first one is you’re not alone. 

So the second thing to realize is; the way that you approached work, when you’re building your business, is only going to get you so far. You’ve got to pivot like this; 90 degrees to go higher. Now, let me give you some concrete examples. 

When you’re getting the business started, you’ve to wear all the hats. You’re marketing, your account receivable, accounts payable, sales, everything is up to you. As that business grows, there’re a finer number of hours in a day that you can work. 

If you can’t get all those tasks done, in that amount of time, then you’ve to push them off to the next day and the next day and the next day. Or maybe you’re being able to get them done but that’s why you’re working 70 hours a week is to get them done. 

Now it’s time to pivot, find somebody else who can take some of those tasks and that will give you time to get back to the work of building the business. This preposition of understanding your customer, finding problems and solving problems for them, that’s the exciting part of being an entrepreneur, not doing the books. 

A good friend of mine, Dan Miller, says that you should spend 80 percent of your time in your business doing the work you love, 15 percent of your time learning to do something new, and only 5 percent of your time doing something that you don’t like. So, if you work a 40 hour week, that five percent is not very much. 

Doing math on the fly is not my thing either. But If you look at work that way, if you approach work from that perspective, then that five percent is going to be gone, doing an afternoon, a couple of hours. Two hours this is what it works out to be. 

Two hours out of 40 hour week; well, I can do that, I can do that before lunch time on Monday, have that out of the way and spend the rest of the week doing what I love. Eighty percent of your time is four days out of a five day work week. That’s a much better preposition for you, I imagine, than what you’re going through. 

In order to do that, here’s the big change that has to occur. You’ve to hand off some of those day to day tasks. If you’ve already got a team, you’ve already started hiring employees then you’ve already overcome the number one obstacle that hold business owners back and prevents them from growing, and that’s hiring a team. 

So many business owners are terrified of hiring a team that they don’t, and they try to do it all themselves. If you do have that team in place, congratulations, if you don’t, this is the first hurdle that you have to get over. You’re not going to spend any more time working on your business until somebody else is available to work in your business. 

When you’ve decided to bring somebody on to your team, the next thing you’ve got to get over, this is the big change, this is the one; letting go of the work. Just let me go ahead and get a couple of things out of the way. 

Number one, they’re not going to do it as well as you would. Why would they? Number two, they actually might do it better than you would. Think about this for a minute. If you got into business to make custom [06:36], are you really going to be that interested, that motivated, that engaged when you’re doing the books? 

Maybe you’re not really that sure on how you’re supposed to do the books. You’re just learning QuickBooks or fresh books or whatever kind of guides you through the process. Why not find someone who loves to do that kind of work and let them do their art while you do your art. 

I bet you haven’t thought about it that way, have you? As I shared this with somebody last week, it’s like a light bulb went off on his head. It was like “Wow, I never thought about that” but if you’re holding on to some task that you’re not good at, that you’re not motivated to do other than “It just has to get done.” 

Not only are you holding yourself and your business back, you’re also denying somebody else the opportunity to deliver their art. That’s the same thing that you’re trying to do, is deliver your art to someone else but you can’t. Why? Because you’re busy doing something else. 

Get over that fear, and bring somebody else in to do the work. Certainly you want to check and make sure things are going right, especially if they are doing things like the books but maybe they’re not, maybe they’re building a website. Now for me, that was a hard thing to get over because, I know how to do that, I’ve been doing that for 15 years. 

But at the end of the day, there’re other people who’re better at it and frankly, I pay them a lot less to take care of the website than my time is worth, if I were to bill for that time. Its orders of magnitude, greater value for me to let somebody else do it. 

I tell them what I want. Show them what I want, and in some cases, give them examples. Let them do it, review it and then publish it. It’s not just a hand it off and never to look at it again. Certainly you’ve to keep some control going on there, but you can take advantage of their skills, take advantage of their motivation, let them perform their art and give that time back to you. 

The number one change, though, is being able to let that go. Understand that it’s going to be done differently than if you’d done it, but different doesn’t mean bad. That’s the first change that we’re talking about this week. All week we’re going to talk about changes you’ll have to make in order to grow your business and achieve that vision. 

Tomorrow we’ll be back with a brand new change. If you’ve questions before then, I’d love to hear from you. Please send me an email Thom@ThomRibsby.com, I’ll get those questions answered for you. Be sure to join me again tomorrow when we take on another topic. Until then, my name is Thom Rigsby and I’m your business coach.