As a business owner, you’re no doubt very familiar with long days and sleepless nights. Depending on your company’s size, you may have already figured out that babysitting, counseling, marketing, payroll, P&L, ROI, accounting and planning and hosting the company holiday party, are just a few of the many hats you’ve become accustomed to wearing throughout your daily life.
If you are just starting out, or perhaps thinking about launching into the entrepreneurial world of business, hang onto your hat(s). You’ll need to learn how to wear them all, whether they fit or not, if you want your dream to become a successful reality.
In his book “The Peter Principle,” author Dr. Laurence J. Peter explains, “Everyone in a hierarchy, from the CEO to a low level intern, will inevitably rise to his or her level of their incompetence. Incompetence is at the root of everything we endeavor to do.” In other words, you reach a point where your talents find their limits. You simply cannot perform beyond those limits to reach the next level that’s required to see any further success.
I own two companies at this time; one of them is a very successful remodeling company in the Midwest and the other is a marketing & publishing company in Las Vegas, where I train others how to start, launch and market the company of their dreams. I’ve learned a couple of things throughout my years of building businesses, both for myself and for others.
When you first launch a business; you work within every role from the janitor to the president. You make the sales calls, package the product or service, perform the work, invoice the customer and collect the balance. You wear all the hats night and day. But at some point, you have to realize the importance of taking off some of those hats and letting someone else wear a few of them in your place if you ever hope to build a successful, lasting business. On a daily basis, I implement the following five important principles to run two very different companies.
What do you need to do today to reach your goals tomorrow, next week and next year? Running a remodeling company that sells 400 jobs annually requires the daily planning of all sales, administration and production, all within a very tight schedule. Writing books, newsletters, shooting videos and blogging require extra time. Daily action produces results, which keeps content flowing for your subscribers and insures that projects meet completion deadlines.
Which talents do you possess and which talents don’t you possess? Writing books, blogging, shooting videos, training and helping others succeed requires fresh ideas and creativity. Editing, developing and SEO requires cutting edge technical skills and knowledge of a communication world that changes on a daily basis. I create all of my content, products and services while relying heavily upon others to produce it.
Family member, friend or neighbor, hire someone or find a partner? Learn to utilize all of these sources when appropriate and surround yourself with support at all times. You can only take an idea to a certain level by yourself. Recruiting others to fill in the talent gaps will provide feedback, critique and inspiration, not to mention help with daily tasks. My wife became my Office Administrator, a friend turned into a Division Leader and my IT guy turned out to be the CTO of one of my companies.
Hand out the hats that don’t fit you and never put them on again. The annual revenue generated from my remodeling company is performed by multiple crews who know how to paint, install siding, roofing, answer phones and organize the office, just to name a few. My job is to make the phone ring, develop products and services that help others succeed. I’m a marketer, not a carpenter. I’m a writer, not an editor. I create and allow others to administer my creations.
Use your team to fulfill your dream. When I recruit someone to perform a task that I can’t perform, I let them do just that, perform the task. Once you’ve recruited your team of talent, let them shine and excel. If you can learn to harness, direct and then manage that team, you will accomplish success beyond your wildest dreams. We quadrupled our sales in our second year, tripled that amount in our third year and then doubled those figures in our fourth year. I had to learn very quickly the importance of letting my team perform their talents while I concentrated on growth and management.
Most of us know what our strengths and weaknesses are deep down inside, but admitting we need help and allowing others to wear the hats that we ourselves can’t wear alone is a bit humbling when it comes to your own company. However, if you can focus on performing the tasks that fall within your talents and let others focus on those areas where you lack expertise in, you will find the freedom to run your business with a much more successful outcome.
Recruiting people along the way to avoid the “Peter Principle” will allow you to keep your eye on where you wanted to go in the first place and by doing so, allow you to captain your ship on the high seas of success!
About the Author:
Jeff D. Hostetter is a business owner, trainer, speaker and author of the book, “Only Failures Can Succeed.” You can follow him on his blog Only Failures Can Succeed, or at twitter @OnlyFailures.