In six days I had flown on seven planes, spent the night in five cities across three time zones, and finally landed back satisfied and fulfilled.
It was a whirlwind tour to meet new business owners and to connect with some of our long-term clients.
A theme emerged immediately within a group of 17 remodeling contractor owners that I was speaking to in Vancouver, Washington, and that theme continued throughout the duration of my around-the-country tour; how do I grow my business by replacing myself?
That theme emerged in a variety of different questions, like…
How do I stop doing it all in my business?
How do I find the time and the people to delegate?
How come no one can do the job to the level I can?
And yet we look around us and see that other business owners have successfully transitioned their business away from the owner-does-it-all model into a model where the team runs the day to day of the business…albeit maybe not just like the owner had envisioned.
How do you grow your business by replacing yourself?
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First, you must grow your mindset.
We are quick to look at other things around us to begin finding fault, blame, and breakdown.
As I was going through the various airports throughout the country, I noticed a common theme playing itself out on the thousands of screens that I was exposed to; live sports television constantly asking questions like…
Who is the greatest/worst of all time?
Whose fault is it that this team is so bad?
Who is to blame for this team’s failure to make the playoffs?
It is clear what grabs our momentary attention…drama and blame.
We are constantly looking to place fault while not fully acknowledging that life is not perfect, people are not perfect, and processes are prone to glitches every now and then.
Society is working to groom us with a blame-centered, grab-it-while-you-can, impoverished, and limited mindset.
In order to grow your business by replacing yourself, we must begin believing that others have been gifted, built, and designed with complementary skill sets and talents that not only have the capability to do a task almost as well as you right now, but also carry the potential to do that task better than you six, or twelve, or twenty-four months down the road…
You allow them to because you believe they can.
Second, in order to grow your business by replacing yourself, you must grow your predictable communication.
While I was traveling throughout the week, Ashley (my wife) and I had much more choppy, infrequent communication together, and it was all electronic (phone, FaceTime, etc.). It took a solid twenty-four hours upon my return for us to reconnect conversationally and catch up on all of the happenings.
When we are both together physically, we are much more apt to have choppy discussions throughout the day and very predictable, engaged, sit-down discussions in the evening.
In business, we tend to presume quality communication on our team under the misnomer that “we talk all throughout the day”. Talking unpredictably in person, over text, email, or phone throughout the day, usually predicated on project-related issues, is not the same as predictable, sit down (even virtually) check ins and communication.
Team meetings really do matter, and really do work.
Weekly or every-other-weekly check ins with each of your team members for fifteen minutes really does work.
You are setting yourself up for failure of replacing yourself if your team never has an opportunity to connect with the person who is to be replaced!
You may think, “but I don’t have the time.”
Then you will not replace yourself.
Either make the time or continue doing what you are doing and cross your fingers.
Finally, if you wish to grow your business by replacing yourself, you must grow your conviction in what is unseen.
Nothing is guaranteed in business.
I know stories of people who have done everything right, and the market just moved away from them…they had to completely re-tool the business.
It is by faith that we own and run businesses. It is by faith that we hire and train employees.
Faith is being convicted of something you cannot see.
What do you see?
Do you have a written vision for your business? You will be challenged to replace yourself if others have not been given a picture of the future of what that replacement life looks like.
You can write a vision. It will not be perfect, but it will be helpful.
You can prove to your employees the conviction you have in the unseen picture, by writing down a vision of what you see three years from now and then sharing that with your team.
It is not impossible to grow your business by replacing yourself, but it is intentional.
Scott Beebe is the founder of Business On Purpose, author of Let Your Business Burn: Stop Putting Out Fires, Discover Purpose, And Build A Business That Matters. Scott also hosts The Business On Purpose Podcast and can be found at mybusinessonpurpose.com.