I’ve never thought of myself as a control freak but for most of the past 10 + years I’ve pretty much ran the show as the solopreneur of cgwebhelp. That means I created designs, wrote code, managed web hosting, talked to customers, troubleshot problems, marketed the business, quoted jobs, paid the bills and sent the invoices. But in the last year or so, and especially since partnering with Beth to form Web Savvy Marketers things have changed and I don’t have to do everything anymore. It’s a luxury… and a challenge.
It’s a complete luxury to have partnered with Beth. She freakishly loves to do the stuff I hate to do and hates to do the stuff I like to do. She loves to make sales calls! Who loves to do that? She likes to write quotes. What’s that about? She’s also nicer to the customers than I am. That should be good for business. I like to write code and troubleshoot problems…Beth, not so much. It’s a business marriage made in heaven.
In fact, partnering with Beth has created the need for us to bring on more help in order for us to keep up with the workload. Quite the feat in these questionable times.
I’m now delegating the technical stuff–my stuff–the designing and coding. Therein lies the challenge. I find myself hesitating to delegate the choice technical jobs to our able assistants and sub-contractors. Will I lose my identity? Maybe they won’t need me anymore? Wow, sounds kind of insecure.
Will insecurity stagnate the business or will rationality reign over growth?
My friend Henry brought up the book The E-Myth Revisited recently. For those of you unfamiliar with the book it’s about how most people who start small businesses, start from the area of their technical expertise. They’re good at baking pies, carpentry, or building websites, but they have no concept of running a business. So eventually they wear themselves out by trying to be the technician while running the business. I realized that I, like most small businesses, came from a place of technical expertise. I liked building websites. So I started a website business.
Fortunately, I really do like running the business as much as building the websites, so I’ve done alright. But there comes a point in time where there are only so many hours in a day. Delegation has to happen if you want the business to grow. So although I occasionally have trouble letting go of the technical stuff, I know that I must override my technician’s insecurities and let go, move forward and delegate. And I’ve found that when I let go and delegate…the job might be done better that I would have done it! Isn’t that great?
So while David writes code and sets up websites; while Iris updates websites; while Henry programs web applications; while Jonathan and Sue design; and while Nancy writes copy, Beth and I get to create a business. And fish. It’s a wonderful life.
In June, the team made it possible for me to take a leisurely fishing trip. Thank you Beth, Iris, Nancy, Sue, David, Henry, Jonathan and to everyone else who made it possible!