Be Clear About Your Value
So many areas of your business spin at the same time: finance, marketing, lead generation, sales, product/service fulfillment. With all these considerations, it's no wonder some women get stuck just working, working, working. Because so many of us start our careers in the field or on the front line, when we move to running our own businesses, we often find it difficult to step back and delegate the actual work. We find ourselves ordering office supplies, proofing the marketing materials or running to the post office instead of assigning these tasks to a staff member.
To succeed in business, you must understand your value to the organization. Your responsibility is to focus your time on actions that contribute the greatest value to your business and to delegate any activities that others can do.
Here's one approach: When I was running a multi-location business, I thought of sales, production and service delivery each as a separate box. As I opened a new location, I created each of those boxes and then figured out how to step out of them. Stepping out involved two tasks: first, identifying a key manager to step into each box, and then ensuring that everyone knew I no longer resided in that box. This worked well for my remote locations because I wasn't physically present most of the time. But in my main location where I had been running things for years, employees bypassed their new managers and continued to come to me for answers and direction. So I decided to move to a home office and run my primary location as though it were a remote office. This unorthodox solution allowed me to use my time appropriately to focus on the big picture, and allowed the managers to maintain ownership of their areas of the business.
To capitalize on your entrepreneurial strengths, you've got to learn to delegate so you can spend your valuable time strategizing and leading rather than doing.
But aside from your business, you also need to focus on your personal life.
Capitalize on Your Passions
Passion is one trait shared by all those who make a difference. If your business is well-run and profitable, then you have more time to indulge in your passions. Although your business may be your most driving passion, you are more than just the owner of a company. You may be a mother, spouse, sibling, aunt, friend, community volunteer and more. When you make time for the passions that revolve around those other roles, you become a better business owner, as well.
One of my most cherished roles is that of grandmother. And one of my favorite activities is attending my grandchildren's sporting events. I've been known to cut a business trip short to get to Megan's soccer game or get up at 3 a.m. to finish a project so I don't miss Alex's baseball game. These activities and others -- like meditating, working out and just taking my yellow Lab for a walk -- have the power to invigorate me so I can run my business with a clear head.
What about you? Your friends and family need you in their lives. And your business needs a leader who lives a well-rounded, passionate life.