I was a competitive swimmer in my college years, and there’s one thing I took away that applies to business. Stay in your swim lane both physically and in terms of focus. Turn your head to see what’s going on in the neighboring lanes, and you’ll lose the race. But that’s sports. What does swimming have to do with the workplace?
Well, entrepreneurship is tough, and distractions are common. And I’m not just talking about Shiny Object Syndrome. One distraction you can avoid with practice is focusing on doing what you do best and leaving the rest to your team. That means truly delegating the portions of your business where you don’t excel or enjoy to a competent team. That leaves you with the time and space to do what you do best.
Do What You Do Best
Every one of us has strengths and weaknesses. If you’re not being honest about what those strengths and weaknesses are, that’s where you should start. If you have a problem admitting you’re not the best person to handle an aspect of your business, you’ll never have the capacity to grow. You’ll be caught up with busy work forever.
As an entrepreneur, your strengths and talents define what you want to do and the sort of business you build. Devote as much of your efforts and attention as possible to cultivating those strengths. Don’t let yourself get distracted by areas that aren’t your forte. And allow yourself to excel in the areas where you really shine. If you can’t let go, ask yourself why. Are you not tackling your real passion because you’re afraid you’ll fail? If so, then you need to work to change that mindset.
A Cog in the Machine
Your business is your baby. I get that. With anything you have passion for, you may feel compelled to constantly grab the wheel or intercede whenever a problem or issue arises. Keeping an eye on the big picture is important, but you need to take a step back and let your associates do what they do best. Then you can do the same.
I ask myself a lot, “Is what I’m doing right now worth my time?” If the answer is no, then I need to give that task to someone else, so I turn my time and attention to high-level tasks that are worth my time. Learn to be at peace with being a teammate on the day-to-day stuff.
Consider a Partner
I spoke recently about the value of a well-constructed business partnership. But if you just can’t put your head down and stay in your lane, partnership may be the solution for you. The needs of a business are many. If you’re constantly getting pulled from your wheelhouse to deal with things you’re not good at, finding a partner who is good at those things (and can take ownership of their own lane) makes a lot of sense.
Just as you do your best work in your own lane, so do your partners and colleagues. Work in tandem—not at odds—with your team.
image credit: Bigstock/NejroN Photo