All entrepreneurs are a special breed of people. You have a dream and are willing to put in the hard work to make that dream come true. You grab onto an idea for a business, add a process of trial and error, and nurture it until it bears fruit.
Occasionally your idea produces success quickly, but most often it can take years. During those years, you serve as founder, CEO, CFO, president, and vice-president in charge of business development. In short, you are the company.
You hire employees who do a good job but always following your direction. You feel stressed, never see your family, and desperately need a vacation; however, you worry about what will happen in your absence.
It’s time to let go. You need to find a way to have your business work for you instead of you working for your business. How can you make this happen?
Make a Plan to Change
The process of change is like a journey, and just like any journey, it is important to know two things, the starting point and the destination. Develop a crystal clear understanding of where you want to go. Do you want to sell your business, go public and expand, or keep it as is but move on to new projects.
Whatever path you consider you must develop ways to get there. Your plan should define the tasks you perform, outline a process for choosing and training your replacements, and create a timeline for the transition.
Teach, Delegate, Let Go
Teaching requires showing your replacements the basics of their new task. Establish guidelines for each position that create a systemized approach. These guidelines should progress step by step and clearly define the goal.
After your successors become comfortable with their tasks, give them control a little at a time. Start with an afternoon off and slowly transition to taking full days off. When you feel confident that your company is in good hands, go on vacation.
Don’t be surprised after a short time when you notice your replacements doing things you never thought of, and hello, it’s working.
Delegating control of your company to others is a difficult thing to do. Your business is like your child and who would ever consider giving away a child, teenagers notwithstanding? You must remember, selling might be difficult if potential buyers worry about your company working without you.
Another concern is finding time for strategic matters instead of daily operations, and spending all important quality time with the people you love. Giving up control might surprise you by allowing you to improve the quality of your life and your business at the same time.