The #1 Bad Habit That Keeps Startups Small

Photo by Bayu Anggoro

Have you done this at your startup before? You spend your morning answering all of the emails in your inbox, then you hop onto Instagram to post photos on your business account and answer DMs, after that you spend about 2 hours working directly with your clients, and then spend the last 3 hours of your work day doing a mix of proposal writing to prospective new clients and sending invoices. If this sounds similar to how your day has rolled out before, or how it rolls out every day, it’s time to assess how this habit affects you and the growth of your business.

How This Affects You

According to a UC Irvine study, it takes approximately 23 minutes for someone to refocus after being distracted, or to settle into a task after switching from a different task. As an entrepreneur, it’s often inevitable to find oneself filled to the brim with several different task types to complete throughout the week.

What this data tells us is that it’s extremely difficult to complete deep work on a task if our brains are constantly switching between tasks. So even if you have various different tasks to complete, it’s possible that you are not completing those tasks with the optimal amount of brainpower or ability. Although this may not be a big deal when answering emails, it can result with bigger repercussions such as a decrease in client satisfaction when completing more complex client deliverables.

How This Keeps Your Business Small

This “do it all” attitude seen in many entrepreneurs can hamper the growth and trajectory of his/her startup. Let me ask you a question — when you envision the future of your startup after it has finally hit that revenue you’ve dreamt of it hitting and you have a full staff of employees who are helping optimize the company from all of its various arms, do you see yourself performing the same tasks that you are doing today? If you answered no (and I really hope that you said no) then how will the numerous tasks you’re doing today get you to where you want to be in your future scenario? It won’t.

In order for you to reach your future scenario where you are hitting the revenue goals you want to hit and are receiving the support that you need, you need to drastically offload the habit of doing everything. It is impossible for you, the founder of your startup to help your company grow if you’re constantly tied in administrative and miscellaneous tasks that have nothing to do with the more heavy-lifting growth responsibilities you need to undertake.

How To Kick Your Bad Habit

Hire Help

With a global marketplace, it’s really easy now to hire administrative help regardless of your budget. You can find Virtual Assistants in the Philippines and India who will provide administrative support for your business at a very affordable price, or find Executive-level administrative support if you’re looking for specific experience. In short, there’s help out there for anyone and their needs.

For more specific tasks, you can hire a Copywriter for any blog writing tasks, a Copyeditor to help fine tune client documents, or a Market Researcher to help kick off the research of a deliverable. There are plenty of platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr that allow you to search for freelancers in each of these categories around the world.

Once your team members are adjusted and onboard, you’ll find ample opportunity to focus on the work that you’re most brilliant at, so that you can better serve your customers and focus on your startup’s growth!

Adopt Automated Help

There are so many incredible tools available online to automate and complete simpler tasks such as booking appointments with clients (Calendly), writing email responses to client FAQs (canned responses in Gmail), and scheduling future emails (Boomerang). Integrate automated tools whenever you can so that you do not have to think about spending your day on small tasks that may distract you or eat up your time.

Kick your bad habit by religiously committing to working in your zone of genius. The moment you find yourself writing an invoice or contributing to an endless email chain trying to schedule a meeting, either ping your Assistant to do it for you or send that Calendly link — your startup’s future depends on it.