So what is one to do?
Do you close it down? Make it smaller? Get someone else to run it for you?
With any major life goals or events you will find yourself under a lot of pressure, all of a sudden, to fire yourself from your own business. If you don’t know how to do this effectively you will find yourself going smaller and descending into stress and chaos pretty quickly.
We’ve put together five simple steps on how to fire yourself from your business while continuing to grow it and empowering your team to confidently take the reigns without you.
The first crucial step is to think in an expansionary rather than a contractionary mode.
Fear makes you contract.
As a business owner, you start to think – if I can just close it down a bit so that it’s safe to take time off, then nobody’s going to need me so it will be less stressful.
Well, then you’re just going to contract your income and your business can stall.
Hello, stress level rocket!
If you instead think expansionary, and you ask yourself how can I continue to grow my business, and hit my goals without me being there?
That’s a mindset shift that you absolutely have to get into, and you’ve got to get into it pretty quickly when a major life event looms.
When you have a business, it’s often more stressful to shrink it because it’s still a business. You can’t just walk away unless you close it completely and then you have to start all over again.
Whereas if you contract it, you normally have to get rid of the good people in order to afford the business to continue.
Expanding your business, whilst in the short term may seem a little bit more stressful, in the long term, is actually easier and way less stressful (when you do it right).
Catch our Virtual Success Show Podcast on this topic. You can also listen below:
You can’t bury your head.
It’s going to take time to do this. It could take six, even twelve months to execute effectively. You could do it in three months if you are very onto it but there are a myriad of challenges you will face.
Look at your business from all different angles. Examine all the different areas that need to be covered paying particular attention first to the areas and processes that rely on you.
Slowly take yourself out of every single process by mentoring and empowering your team to take over.
Plan your exit from the smallest process you are involved in first and then work your way up to the biggie. Challenge yourself to move toward that one slowly, getting the smaller ones right first so you give yourself and your team the confidence to get it right.
You need to plan this methodically and strategically. You can’t plan for this to work the day before your baby is due or your flight leaves.
Catch our Virtual Success Show Podcast on this topic.
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Go back through all your processes with a fine tooth comb. You will likely have to redo them and refine them so they work when someone else is doing them.
Confide in your team.
Tell them, “I’m going to go through this process, and I just need you to help me to get this right. But we’re going to work on it together.”
Allow for a period of time where you just let your team do it, and then watch for the mistakes. There will be mistakes!
Communicate together each day and each week in your team huddles to evolve the process. When a business owner is still involved in a process it’s usually not a very ‘clean’ one. It needs to be very clean, and very clear so someone else can do it who does not necessarily have the same IP as the business owner.
Let your team make mistakes, and don’t go wild at them.
Don’t lose it! That will be counter-productive.
Stop expecting it to work on day one. Instead, expect it to fail. Expect your processes to have holes in them, and watch out for them. Expect them to be inefficient, and then work together with your team to refine them, and get feedback from your team on the holes they see in the process.
So now you have refined your processes. All should be great right?
You now need to empower your team to take it over. There needs to be a handover time where you say, “Okay, now you’re going to do this, and I’m going to support your decision making.”
Some processes will involve a moment of decision making. Your team may make different decisions to you and this could become a problem for you.
Unless you support decision making and teach them how to make decisions you will never get your team confident enough in their own ability to perform at the level you want.
Allow them to observe your decisions, understand why you went this way instead of that way.
Get all your team together.
Tell them you are really proud of the whole team and how well they are collaborating and working together to make this all happen.
Let them know that stuff is going to happen in your absence, stuff will go wrong and they may feel challenged. Let them know they have the ability to make the right decisions or at the very least a good decision if they work together and support each other.
Then (very importantly) you need to let them know that regardless of the outcome of a decision being a disaster or a success you will support whatever they decide to do.
This last piece is the real crux of empowerment.
Having belief in your people is absolutely vital for success but what’s probably even more crucial is making sure you express that belief to them!
This is important!
If your team are fearful of making a decision because they’re fearing you’re going to yell at them or it may be different to what you would do they will never make a decision, and hence they can’t take over.
If your business has amazing systems and processes, that enables your people to make decisions, and believe in themselves then you can confidently let go.