Your inner control freak

In order to create a business that runs without you working in it, the question you need to ask is: How would this get done if I weren’t here to do it?

By changing the way you think about the business, you begin a new journey.

You have to open your mind and accept change, because what you learnt at school, university or any other institution generally doesn’t prepare you for running your own business.

You may even have to go back to school to re-educate and upskill yourself, and learn how to become a manager and a leader.

The skills required to run your own business, manage and lead people, can be far more complex than those skills required to actually do the work.

Getting two, four, 10 or 100 people doing what you used to do effectively and efficiently is one of the most difficult trades you’ll ever have to learn. However, if you can master this skill, it will create tremendous leverage – and, all of a sudden, running your own business will bring you joy, not despair.

Getting people doing what you used to do effectively and efficiently is difficult. However, if you can master this skill, running your own business will bring you joy, not despair.

When a client tells us that they do not want to grow their business, it’s generally because they associate growth with pain.

But in reality, who would not want growth – and the wealth that comes with it – if they knew they could do it painlessly and easily?

In our book – Small to Great: How to turn your small business into a great business – we share concepts, ideas and strategies to demonstrate exactly how you can grow your business without the pain, effort and stress that most people associate with growing a business. In this book we take you through our journey and offer some great tips on how you can build a good strong sustainable business.

We have been through the pain of growing our business and these tips are practical and proven to work. It does not matter whether you are a property investor, real-estate agent, doctor, mechanic, builder, manufacturer or in retail – these strategies will apply to your business.

In order to begin this process, you must first recognise that you can’t do everything all by yourself. Many business owners idly plough on regardless, using brute strength to keep the wheels turning. They put in the extra hours to keep the whole business afloat. But because they want control and they’re scared to let go, they refuse to delegate important tasks to other team members.

We call these people control freaks.

A typical comment from a control freak is, ‘If you want something done properly, you simply have to do it yourself.’ But really, what these people are saying is that they can’t trust someone else to do the work, because those people don’t show the same attention to detail. They’re afraid that these people will make mistakes that will prompt the client or customer to leave the business, or they’re simply not comfortable letting go.

In these scenarios, the business is usually not functioning as a business should. There are no systems or procedures in place, and generally there has been little investment in training. Why? Because these types of business owners view time spent training team members or developing systems as a cost rather than an investment in building their business.

Therein lies the problem. What’s required is a change of mindset, which is easier said than done – but isn’t it better to have someone else do 80% for you, rather than you having to contribute the full 100%?

This can be a very difficult concept for some people to accept, and it usually comes down to a fear of failure. Unless you can get over this feeling of having control over every single aspect of your business, then you will never be in a position to truly grow, prosper and enjoy the financial freedom that a successful business can deliver.

Let’s consider the costs of doing business another way. If you want to generate passive income from property rental yields and share dividends, then you must invest in a property or the share market. In a similar vein, if you want your business to work autonomously while paying you dividends, then you must be prepared to invest back into your own business.

In this case, the investment that is required involves training your staff, implementing systems and leveraging your efforts through these channels.

Ed Chan & David Naylor, Founding Partners, Chan & Naylor