As a business owner, you have a never-ending list of to-do’s each day. And if you’re like most visionaries, you get distracted easily by all the things you want to do, in addition to the have-to’s (squirrel, anyone?).
That’s the challenge of being a visionary, of having all the ideas and none of the follow-throughs to actually get them done.
It’s a common challenge among CEOs, but thankfully there’s help!
Here’s the thing: to truly be the visionary in your business, you need to be able to step away from the day-to-day tasks so you can do the big work. But you also need to be able to follow through on that big work.
Has this happened to you?
In a yearly or quarterly planning session, you brainstorm the best idea for a new offering. You map it out right away, start talking about it to your audience...but then never get the offer on your website. You sell one or two of the new packages through your (limited) social media promotion but your other projects start to pile up--the projects that are paying the bills--and you quickly forget to market your new offering.
That offering you were so excited about falls by the wayside. Ugh.
The problem? You started something without fully thinking through what it was going to look like in the long-term in your business. You got stressed out about it and went back to what’s comfortable and safe (and making money already).
Recognition is the first step
Understanding that you’re great at coming up with ideas but not good at seeing them through to completion is the first step in improving the follow-through in your business. When you think about what it was like to work in a corporate environment, you’ll start to understand why small business ownership is such a challenge.
Incorporate, you were used to having a team around you--no matter where you fell on the corporate ladder. You could have been leading a team or supporting someone else, but there were always others there to complement your work style. As a business owner, it falls on you to both lead and do the work, manage the team and manage yourself. Most people don’t fit into all the roles seamlessly.
Get some accountability
Because you no longer have that team around you from your corporate days, finding accountability is important. No matter where your business is in your journey, having someone to hold you accountable is important. Think of it like going to the gym or balancing your chequebook--things that you don’t necessarily want to do but that are necessary for the health of your body and your bank account.
Before you have the financial means to hire someone, a biz bestie can be a good means of support for your business. Set up a recurring date to check in with one another to talk about goals, visions, challenges and wins. A membership community or mastermind group can also be a good resource for accountability because it offers you a group of like-minded business owners who are all investing in their business in the same way. Often a group like this attracts similar business types and personalities and is led by a more seasoned business owner who can give you guidance and support along the way.
Outsource your weaknesses
Owners of growing businesses benefit from starting to outsource the things that aren’t in their wheelhouses. Administrative tasks, specialized services and high-tech functions are usually some of the first to go, with good reason. When you think about how much some of these tasks are taking away from the true work, you’ll see that the investment of hiring these tasks out is more than worth the cost of the contractor.
Of course, many business owners need more support than that. Having administrative and specialized help is great, but that doesn’t always get the projects done. An operations role can support you in a much bigger way--by taking a leadership role in your big ideas and ensuring they’re done right from the start. A director of operations can also help you prioritize your big ideas and dreams so you only take on what you have the bandwidth for right now.
It’s not possible for you to be able to think big in your business while also managing administrative tasks, checking in with team members constantly and jumping on every “squirrel” project you dream up. You need someone else by your side to do those things for you--or make sure that you stay the course.
If you want to truly follow through on your vision, goals and dreams, you need to focus and stop doing #allthethings. You likely need help!