How do you know if you’re working on the right things in your small business?
The most common advice tossed out to entrepreneurs is to work hard, work hard, and work hard. That advice worries me. The risk in what we do in working sweaty startups, these businesses that don’t scale and aren’t revolutionary, is that years down the line you are stuck working your butt off. The risk is that you buy yourself a job and that if you left, the company would stop, and money would stop flowing.
Working hard is not the way to succeed. Making money and getting wealthy is not about working hard. The people who want to succeed and will succeed do work hard, everybody at the top works hard, but that’s not how you differentiate yourself.
The key to success is working smart and choosing what you can spend your time on.
As a business owner, you need to analyze how you spend your time. Look at your schedule and how much time you spend working on things that can be done by somebody who makes $25/hour. Look at the replaceable work that you can delegate and doesn’t require complex knowledge or decision-making, these are the low-value tasks.
Too many owners are doing the labor, finding supplies, managing customer service, and other operational pieces that could be passed off. Hiring and delegating is the hardest part of the business, but the more time you can open up for yourself to sell, build relationships, build processes, and recruit talent, the better.
80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts. Focus on that 20%, and find out how to maximize that.
It all cycles. Early on, you’ll need to do low-value work. If you’re not overloaded, you’ll need to do low-value work. But as soon as you get busy, your schedule is full, and the company’s growth becomes vital, then you’re costing yourself money by keeping low-value work on your plate.
Working hard is not a way to build wealth. Working smart will drive success and give you your time back. That’s my goal with my business, is to get control of my time, and the only way to do that is to work really really smart.
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