The good news about being an entrepreneur is that you don’t have a boss.
The bad news for many entrepreneurs? There’s no one there to tell you when you are screwing up.
You typically find out that you’ve made a bad mistake by something blowing up within your company or when there’s an incessant, nagging issue that repeats itself over and over. Suddenly, you look in the mirror and wonder if the problem is YOU. Is that when it’s the right time to send yourself packing?
This question is very close to my heart, particularly right now. As a franchisor with a rapidly growing franchisee network, I’ve watched my bandwidth grow thinner over the past eighteen months. As a result, one of our corporate-owned stores wasn’t getting the attention that the team working in it deserved.
Rather than hobble along and make excuses about my availability, I realized that the best option was firing myself from being the owner of that location. After interviewing many people, I found the perfect woman to own the studio, to be there for the team, to build the business. A customer who loves our brand and for whom it was a dream come true. She boasts work experience that is far greater than my own in the areas in which that team needed the most help.
Realizing that the core problem could be you and firing yourself is not easy. However, I know that by selling one of our studios as a new franchise, the purpose and joy of that new owner could be filled through the duty of ownership. I was granting myself the gift of lesser responsibility, while gifting someone else the opportunity about which she had dreamt for quite some time.
So when is it time for you to fire yourself?
- When you’re operating outside of your strengths. When this happens, nobody wins. There are so many talented individuals who are looking for opportunities, or jobs, or new roles, that it’s important to find other people who are great when you’re not.
- When the problem keeps repeating itself. This means it’s likely to be something you are (or are not) doing. When you realize this, it’s important to act quickly because, in my experience, the situation won’t get any better with time.
- When you’re spread too thin. When you’re doing too much, you simply can’t be great. Fire yourself, scale back, and do less, but do it better.
Have you ever decided to do less better by firing yourself? What was the result?