Small Business Owner Myth #1 — You think you need to do it all

Stop getting caught up in the misconception that as a business owner you need to control everything.

This is easy to say from where I am standing, but what about doing…

You and I both know that the decision to work on a project, task or any core element of the business that is not doing so well and struggling is generally based on time and resources.

Whether you are you able to find any one that is currently in the pay roll who has time to lead, manage and execute this project? Or if you have any other resources left over that could potentially look after this task?

Both of these simple enough queries generally come back the same — No!

So what is the quickest, easiest decision you make… I know, you do it yourself.

Welcome to myth number one of every small business owner comes to, the fact you believe you have to do it all yourself, and it all boils down to your employee mindset.

Why the Employee Mindset is holding you back

The employee mindset is this incredible en-capsuling prison that the majority of us are in. We have been conditioned for this mindset since our primary school days with every action we take and every decision we make being graded, analysed and used against us.

And what is it that they were filling in our heads with their judgement and analysis when we didn’t succeed, “You TRIED your best”, “You will DO better next time”, “TRY again.”

You might be thinking where I am going with this. Well let me explain in a story of mine.

I have always been good-average.

Not exceptional at anything, not terrible, just a little bit above average (unless you take my public speaking in high school)

Schooling wasn’t necessarily difficult for me, but just like everyone, I clearly had my strengths and weaknesses. However, it was always my weaknesses that were brought up in discussions with my teachers, parents and adults.

“You should TRY to do more public speaking.”

“Don’t worry, you will DO better next speech.”

“Don’t be scared about public speaking, you will DO great.”

But every time I froze.

Every time I stumbled across the line, only scraping through.

And yet every time I would get the same speech.

This is just one illustration around teachers and mentors, who I heavily relied upon, focusing on my weaknesses.

This built my inability to understand my strengths with public speaking (luckily I figured it out) but it was no help by constant focused dialogue of trying and doing.

It’s in these conversations that students are locked in this spiral of always working on their weaknesses and not doubling down on their strengths.

Again amplified at university.

Skills are graded, analysed and discussed for improvement, whereas strengths get a quick pat on the back and that’s it.

Building the perfect employee

This conditioning is perfect for employers as they now have easy to manage employees. When an employee is faced with a problem, they will generally try and fix it themselves without seeking help. Why? Because they don’t want to be judged or scrutinised.

Would it make more sense to seek an expert on it?

Of course. But they are conditioned to try harder and do better.

What about the few that decide to tell their manager’s?

Well these unfortunate few will be further pushed down the conditioning trap by non-supportive managers with explanations of, “You should TRY and work it out”, “What DO you think?” and my favourite, “What have you TRIED?”

What do the small percentage of smart employees do?

  1. They find the expert in the problem they are facing.
  2. Find out how to help the expert in their problems.
  3. Help the expert with their problems doing what they are good at.
  4. Expert solves the problem quickly because they are the expert.
  5. Move on.

These employees have found the myth busting secret of business, but will their employers congratulate them on this, of course not. They will be quickly patted on their back with a “Well done” and the day will continue.

So how does this relate to you?

Well when it comes to your business problems are you following the employee mindset and trying to solve the problems yourself, even if you know that you are particular weak in this area, just to save some money?

The problem of saving some pennies while losing your pounds.

What do you think is worth more, time or money.

Well you can see the value of money as it has a quantitative figure. But we both know that TIME is worth an infinite amount more than money.


Well money definitely has a value, but unlike time, if you lose money you can always get it back. Time, once spent, is gone forever. No time machine has been invented yet to make money worth more than time.

So why are you using the infinitely important value of time to learn, struggle, stress, fail, try again, stress more and give up new areas of the business that you know an expert can do in a quarter of the time.

The answer: Myth #1 of Small Business Owners — You think you have to do it all.

You don’t and should not do it all.

Yes, you may be the boss. And yes, your employees look up to you to be their expert, but you have to know what your strengths are, and what your weaknesses are.

With this, you can power through any problem that comes your way, whether you think of a way to fix the problem by using a skill set you are an expert at and develop the strategy to solve it, or you find an expert to do the work and develop a system for it.

With this, you can continue to building your business while only working on the work you enjoy doing.

Continue next week as we explore the next Small Business Owner Myth — Build it and they will come.

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