The business you start because you feel passionate about it is the same business that can burn you out and cause you to feel resentment if you don’t know what to watch out for.
Jeff is mechanic because he loves cars. He owns a garage, which he started because of this love for cars. However, Jeff is not good with operational details. He often gets scheduling details wrong, sometimes causing customers to get annoyed with him. He recently made a huge mess with a spare parts order which lost the company money. His business partners have been on his case about his lack of organisation and the blunders he makes. However, Jeff is very good with customers. He is also good at acquiring customers and generating customer acquisition ideas. He also effortlessly enjoys teaching his team how to handle customers.
Jeff is currently experimenting with yet another scheduling/calendar app in the hopes of becoming better organised. This is probably his tenth attempt at finding some sort of solution for this. He has also admitted that on some days he runs away from the office because he cannot face the pile of problems that are waiting for him.
This is a common dilemma for business owners. When you have a job, you do that job. Jeff started his business to get close to cars, but he has had to hire mechanics to take over. They have their one job; as the business owner, Jeff doesn’t have that luxury. Everything is his focus and problem.
If you find yourself in Jeff’s position, you will know that as a business owner, you also feel required to be good at everything – some of which you may be terrible with. In the beginning, you were everything – tea person, accountant, receptionist, sales person, business strategist. Now you feel worn out and frustrated and you are beating yourself up for not being able to do all it well. You feel like a square peg in a round hole. In the beginning, it’s good for learning. However, as the business grows it becomes more evident that you cannot do everything.
Jeff needs to let go of the operational side of things and concentrate on his customers. The same high he gets when dealing with customers and their cars is the same high somebody else will get when dealing with paperwork, spare parts, scheduling, etc. They will do this faster and better than he ever will. This frees up his time to do what he does best and brings value to the business. If he spent more time on customers, training people and generating ideas, the business will grow. He will also enjoy what he does more.