Business Owner Effectiveness: Wearing The RIGHT Hat

May 10, 2017, Written by Sue Miley

Business Owner Effectiveness

If you started your own business there is no doubt you wore many hats at the beginning and maybe still do.  And, if you are honest, some of the hats just don’t fit very well or don’t look good on you!  Now it has been a few years, but most of the hats are still on your head.

It is frustrating because you feel:

  • like you get everything done but don’t excel at anything.
  • disengaged by the roles that are not your strength and passion and it impacts your  overall satisfaction level at work.
  • worried that you have to keep up the example of willingness to “do it all” so your employees will too.
  • that maybe your are not effective at all.

This is how I have felt many times so I really do understand.  I am actually truly passionate about several areas of my work, but when I am spread too thin, passion or skill aside, I still feel like I am not doing a great job at any one area.  This is compounded by my entrepreneurial spirit that would get bored doing just one thing anyway.

So what and when do you do something about it?

Steps To Business Owner Effectiveness 

The timing answer is probably different for all of us, but here are some proven steps to using your resources effectively and moving your time where you are most effective.

  • Hire experts in your areas 0f weakness.  Begin hiring expertise that covers your weakest areas as soon as you have extra profit and cash flow available.  We all want to take more money home since we have been working so hard, but once you start taking it home, you won’t want to give it back.  Instead, invest in the resources that will help you to work more in your strengths and passions.
  • Focus on revenue generating activities. Spend any extra time you carve out for yourself by getting rid of that hat that didn’t fit and focusing on revenue generating activities.  Now you have more capacity for growth. Continued growth will move you towards your next hire and retiring the next ugliest hat on your head.
  • Outsource to experts who will take half of the time.  Look for opportunities to outsource the really time consuming areas if you don’t have enough work for a full-time position.  For me, I liked doing my blogging and social media, however, it would take me more time to create an image or set-up the blog page to look good.  Like 20 minutes to write a post and an hour and 20 minutes to create an image.  For someone else who is a graphics person, the image part is maybe 10 minutes.  Bookkeeeping is a similar area.  If someone knows bookkeeping, it doesn’t take them much time, and they don’t hate it like you do!
  • Lose the guilt.  I know you know how to do these activities and you feel like you should keep doing them to show you are all in or to save the extra expense, but on top of sucking the life out of you, it really isn’t an efficient decision.  Someone else can do it way better and faster so you can do what you do best.  And, more effective work will pay for itself.

The Long Term Goal Is To Work In Your Strengths

The longer term goal is to get to where you the owner are working in your strengths and passions.  Why?  Because then you will be most effective and this is also where you will make the biggest difference for your own company.  If you had another employee doing everything, but most of it either not well or not efficiently, you would want to make a change.  You need to evaluate yourself the same way.

I know it is difficult to invest in added people early or ahead of the curve.  Again, I am like you and want my bank account to be in a strong safety zone so I don’t have to worry about the unknown.  I tell myself these things:

  • I need to trust in basic business building truths – which I believe these are solid principles.
  • I must let go of fear – which Satan uses to scare us in to hoarding resources.
  • I have to let go of greed – if I do the right things the profits will grow back; if I stay in my own inefficiency, soon they will dry up anyway.
  • trust God – He gave me the strengths and passions I do have and He cares about my work as a significant part of my life.
  • I have to stay tuned in and make adjustments gradually, and consistently, as necessary.  Every plan doesn’t work out perfectly, (you could make a bad hire) but it doesn’t mean that you are supposed to just do it all yourself.  You may just need to work on your recruiting skills!

Invest Back In Your Business And Focus On Your Highest Value

My husband hates the word martyr, but to me that is what we do when we hold on to all of the hats, hoard the profits, and then wonder why we are tired, burned out and becoming disengaged.

You spent too much time, effort, and emotion in starting your business.  Consider if this is the right time for you to begin to invest back into your business and focus on your highest value to the company going forward rather than trying to keep doing it all.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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