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Many business owners I meet are weary and exhausted but still treading water, just trying to keep their heads above the surface so they can breathe. 


They keep hearing “work ON your business, not IN your business”, but it seems like an unreasonable expectation… a pipe dream. When your business runs your life, it’s like a prison… Contractor Prison

I’ve been there! I feel your pain! 


But… there IS hope! There is hope! There is HOPE!

Your Options

If that’s you… you have four options:

1) Give up. Quit. Burnout.

2) Keep going and hope it will get better…likely blowing up!

3) Scale back and slow down.

4) Do what I ‘finally’ did.


If you’re curious about option 4 because 1-3 all sound terrible, read on.


For me, option 1 was never considered, but 2 and 3 almost became my reality. Thankfully, I chose option 4. Here’s what I did that changed my life!

Step 1: Grow Your Leadership Skills

The first thing I did was to come to the realization that what I really wanted to do I could not do alone. I needed to build a team. I felt that if I built a team everyone could win. I would gain my time back, my peace back…my restless nights.


I did not need to “work ON my business.” I needed to work on ME. As the leader of my company, I realized that I needed to grow. Without personal growth, I would never build the team I wanted and needed. I would never get my time back. I would never have the impact I really wanted.


Although I had always been interested in leadership, I had done very little to develop my leadership skills… The skills I really needed if I was going to build a cohesive team. If I wanted to attract and retain more and better people, I needed to become the type of leader they would want to follow.


… Step 1 identified: Grow as a Leader


Start your growth track, the first thing you need to do is realize the importance of becoming a better leader than you are today. The leadership skills that you have today have likely maxed out, so it’s time to grow.


You may want to check out an article I wrote a while back: Three Things You can do NOW to Become a Better Leader. I’ll be sharing more practical things you can do to grow as a leader upcoming articles and videos.

Step 2: Build a team.

Once you are on a leadership growth path, you can now start getting traction on building, or rebuilding your team. 


Knowing who you are, your strengths, and your weaknesses are vital in building a well-rounded team. You need not just anyone on your team. You need the right people. You have to define who the right people are. Identifying the right people for your small business or organization does not start with “skillset. It starts with character and values. These people will be representing you and your company…your brand. 


It doesn’t matter what skills they bring to the table if they don’t have the character and values you need. Your combination of character and values is the personality of your company… your culture. They must be a good culture fit. These are the “right people.”


Then you need the right people positioned in jobs doing work that they like and are drawn to. This is where personality assessments come into play. Tools like DISC allow you to see past the resume’ and beyond the interview. DISC helps predict how a person will act in certain situations. Are they fast-paced or slower-paced? Are they more people-oriented or task-oriented? Do they care more about speed or accuracy? Do they like change or consistency? 


When you think about it, each position in your company has particular needs. Each position also provides particular rewards. For instance, sales allows a person to be directly in control of their income. Salespeople like to hunt. They don’t like to sit at a desk all day.


You can have the right people in the wrong position, and it ends in failure. You can read more about getting the right people on your team here: Do You Have the Right People on Your Team?

Step 3: Empower your people with simple systems.

Simple systems define the way a job or task is done. This helps create consistency, accuracy, and efficiency. I call them ABLE-systems, because they are repeat-able, teach-able, measure-able, transfer-able, and scale-able.


These ABLE-systems are like turbochargers for your people. 


They answer questions like:

– What do I do next?

– What should I be working on?

– What did I forget?

– Did I cover everything?


You can read more about ABLE-systems in a recent article I wrote: A Simple Framework For Your Business Processes.

In Summary

If you are feeling overwhelmed, you may need to slightly scale back for a time to catch your breath. It all starts with you. Grow as a leader, build a team, and empower your people with ABLE-systems. Soon, you’ll find yourself surrounded by other growing leaders and managers, who are building teams and building ABLE-systems to scale your business. Is it worth the work? If you’re asking me, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”