As I’ve scaled my business past the $1 million revenue milestone, it’s been easy to fall into conditioning traps that can limit further growth.
One area I’ve struggled with was that the things that helped me initially grow my business turned into roadblocks as the company expanded.
A lot of times, we as founders have to reinvent ourselves at different milestones…and I’m definitely seeing that these days.
As they say, “The things that got you here won’t get you there”.
Here are just a few ways in which I’m reinvinting myself as a founder:
Doing Everything Myself
In the early days, I needed to do everything myself just to get my business off the ground.
Aside from product development, I was in Sales, Marketing, Customer Support, and even Design (yikes!).
This conditioned me to believe I had to continue doing it all to succeed.
At the very minimum, I needed to be involved in every decision. Huge mistake.
However, as I’ve grown, I’ve become a bottleneck impeding my business if I don’t delegate.
But to scale up, I’ve had to transition from doing everything to effectively delegating, even when it feels uncomfortable at first.
While I’ve not entirely delegated every aspect of the business, I’ve taken major steps in removing myself from critical business decisions in about half of our organization. This is progress.
Tolerating Too Much
As a founder, time is everything.
To maximize not only the hours in the day but the mental energy I can devote to my most important initiatives, I ruthlessly cut out distractions – the people, places, things, and routines causing excessive noise or pressure.
A lot of us normalize the “well, it has to be me” syndrome. This lowers our barrier to Just Say No to things.
But as you achieve increasing degrees of freedom and success, I think that Saying No to things that are not 100% within your Sphere Of Genius is hugely important.
I regularly write out everything dragging me down and evaluate what I can eliminate immediately.
If you haven’t done a Time Audit of your week, I’d highly sugggest it.
Solving vs Serving My Team
When my team members come to me with problems, my instinct is to jump in and solve them. But this removes their responsibility to solve issues themselves.
Instead of solving, I coach them to the answers by asking, “What would you do?” and “Could this work?”
I give them ownership over solving problems, so they develop critical skills.
We have a saying internally:
Don’t come to me with problems, come to me with potential solutionsCraig Hewitt
I’ve transitioned from being the solution to managing the systems and team that power growth. If I solved everything, I’d have a team of assistants – not a driven team of independent thinkers who are fully capable of solving any problem that comes their way.
All of this is an evolution. I firmly believe that none of these aspects of becoming a more effective leader are ever “Done”, but you inch step-by-step closer to the kind of founder and company leader you want to be.
Question is, where will you focus your improvement next?