Are You Using Your Time Wisely?
Most entrepreneurs get their start either working alone, or with a very small team. In fact, I can't think of any business owners who went from zero to fully staffed right from the beginning. And when you’re working by yourself or with a small team of people, everyone has to learn how to do a little more than their job might normally call for. This flexibility is especially important for business owners. As an accountant, I started out operating as an accountant, and the HR department, and the sales team, and the business manager, the list goes on and on. But eventually, over the years, I began to slowly pass on some of the responsibilities that I enjoyed the least in exchange for the things I really loved the most.
In fact, I found that I don't really love accounting that much. I’m good at it, and I have a lot of experience at it, but what really lights my heart on fire is the time that I spend on my business. Meeting new clients, working with my marketing team, and casting a vision for the future of our firm are the things that I want to spend my time doing. So my question for you is: are you using your time wisely? This is a question only you can answer for yourself because only you know the long term vision for your business. However, here are a few ways that I see business owners wasting their time.
1. Working In The Business
Eventually it should be your goal to delegate a lot of the responsibilities of the day-to-day operations of your business to other people. As CEO you should allow someone else to order the printer paper, manage staff members, and other tasks that take you away from the big picture issues that only you can handle.
Chances are you built this business in an area that you have a great deal of expertise. For instance, I have a lot of years of accounting experience and that has helped me to build a successful team that continues to provide excellent service. But, over time I’ve hired brilliant women and it's really important that I allow them to do their jobs. If I allowed myself to micromanage every step of their work I’d never get anything done.
3. Taking Meetings
Relationships are a critical factor in operating a small business, whether you’re schmoozing at local business meetups or having lunches with other entrepreneurs, make sure the time you spend in meetings is helping you move forward. Before you say yes to another lunch or coffee, evaluate whether each meeting is a valuable use of your time. Ultimately, there is no single correct answer, you have to determine for yourself which meetings are furthering your mission.
As an entrepreneur you are on an ongoing journey and can expect to continue growing for the rest of your career. So cut yourself some slack and focus on getting a little better each day. The more aware you are of your time wasting habits the easier it will be to curb them. If you feel like you could use some advice on how to move your business forward and become the best leader you can be, contact me today.