Successful Business Owners Don't Do It Alone
Updated: Nov 24
One of the best pieces of advice I have heard in relation to starting a business and becoming a business owner or entrepreneur, is to focus on what YOU are good at and delegate the rest.
It’s advice that comes up time and time again. You hear it in business podcasts, read it in business books and I have heard many successful entrepreneurs including Elon Musk and Richard Branson giving the same piece of advice.
Build your support network.
One of the most common mistakes business owners make is that we take too much on our shoulders and try to push forward on our own, juggling every aspect of our businesses. This can be because we don’t want to relinquish control of various aspects of your business as it is your vision. Or maybe some of us don’t know that we need help until it is too late, and where do you even start looking for help? The results are usually the same. We either burn out and quit, or hit a wall and realise we don’t have the skills in a certain area to do it all ourselves.
Imagine arriving home and taking out your bunch of keys but not being able to find the right key to enter your home. You either don’t have the key, or you simply have too many keys to find the right one. It starts raining, and you’re getting more and more frustrated with your situation. Do you give up entirely and just sit on the ground? Of course you wouldn't! As soon as you realise this, your options become clearer, more obvious. Ring the doorbell and have someone let you in or call someone who has the key and can get you in.
Having too many keys is like the business owner who tries to do everything themselves, never truly completing a task to the best of their ability. Whereas not having the right key at all is an equally important lesson. In that scenario a business owner needs to find someone with the right skills to help them move forward.
In all my training and research, I’ve learned that successful business owners understand that their time is better spent on doing the things they are good at and they find the right people with the right set of skills to do the rest.
I myself have used the help of other businesses and freelancers at times when there has been too much on my plate to deal with alone. It proved the right thing to do in all circumstances, and helped me to free up time to focus on what I do best.
Finding the right people.
If you don’t have website building skills, but your new business needs a website, the question you need to ask yourself is “who, not how”. So, who can I get to do this task or a job that will do it right. You definitely do not want to spend time trying to figure out how to do the job if you don’t have the skills.
In some ways many of us can struggle with the “who” question. Especially as business owners with a drive to get things done, and have them done your way. After all, isn’t it your vision and your business that’s at stake?
The question reminds me of a time when we decided to pave our back garden and build a patio. Patio and landscaping can be expensive. It is a skilled profession, and when done right, by professionals in their craft, it can become a beautiful addition to your home. I consider myself pretty handy with tools, and I knew I could do the job and save money. But, thankfully I chose to hire a company to do it as they completed the job in three days and it looks amazing. The work probably would have taken me a couple of months by myself!.
Hiring employees is one answer to the “who” question. But this is not always an option, especially when you are just starting out and have a tight budget.
You could hire freelancers - that’s what I do! According to Investopedia, “A freelancer is an individual who earns money on a per-job or per-task basis, usually for short-term work.” So you can find the person with the right skill set to fit your needs, and hire them for a short term project. They are not an employee of your business, rather they are contracted in for a project.
Now that remote work has become commonplace, it has never been easier to source people with the skill set you need to help. And I would highly recommend having an extremely clear vision of what you need or are looking for. I’ve learned that when working with freelancers, it’s best to write out exactly what you need and to share your vision to avoid any circumstances where the freelancer did not completely understand what it was you were asking of them. Both you and the freelancer need to be extremely clear on what exactly success for this project looks like to you. In my experience, being clear and explaining everything can only lead to good things!
Another avenue well worth exploring are partnerships. By collaborating with other business owners, entrepreneurs and small businesses who have skills or professions that you are lacking in, you can grow your business and increase your customer base by mutual exposure and organic referrals. It’s a win-win situation once you find the right minded business to partner with.
What you need to do when looking for a partner business, is ask yourself “who has the skills and services that could benefit my clients?”
Asking for help, or seeking the help of professionals in their field is not a failing on your part. Quite the opposite actually, as it shows that you have your eyes on the bigger picture and that you know where your strengths are. You are also demonstrating the ability to focus on your business vision and stay focused on the roadmap you set out in your business plan.
Business owners can take solace in the fact that there are freelancers out there covering pretty much any profession you can think of, who are available to help your business.
Not only that, but business and life coaches can help you figure out what exactly success means for you and your business. The majority of the most successful people in the world, from sports personalities to CEO’s, have coaches and mentors helping them to focus and to steer back on course. This short video highlights some of the reasons given by some famous, and successful personalities. And, if after reading this post and doing some research yourself, you find that you could do with some coaching, I can highly recommend my life coach, Charlotte Keating at Act On It Coaching.