If you are like most entrepreneurs you suffer from the same disease that I do, the belief that we can do almost everything in our business better than anyone else. I refer to that pattern of management as a disease because it will slowly cripple your ability to grow your enterprise. That doesn’t begin to consider how much of your time it takes to be the “go to” person in your company…time that you could be spending with family or doing something you enjoy.
What helped me learn to control this notion of my own importance was when I began billing out a significant percentage of my time to clients, and charging them a lot for it. Now I was asking myself the question, “am I adding value right now to my clients business equal to the price they are paying me?” This question helped me prioritize my day to day activities.
If you own a business, or are trying to build a network marketing company while still working your job, I suggest you ask yourself that same question every day. Here are some activities that I consider high value for my business. Let me encourage you to make a similar list for your situation.
- Designing marketing pieces, sales letters, direct mail campaigns, etc to grow my own business in the niches we target
- Writing copy for my clients. This includes all of the items I just listed that I do for myself.
- Helping my clients and their management teams “mastermind” their business growth strategies
- Testing advertising and marketing to improve response rates
- Reading for personal and professional development
- Pursuing my hobby, bonsai. Believe it or not, I get some of my most creative ideas when working on a tree. Having my mind focused on something other than business seems to set my subconscious free.
- Studying the marketing of competitors in my niches and my client’s niches
- Writing articles, speaking, and attending conferences where I can extend my professional relationships and reputation.
- Daily conversation with the managers at our off-shore back office and fulfillment centers
OK, you should have the idea by now. I often quote Peter Drucker who once said, “there are only two activities that should take the time of a business owner or top manager. These are marketing and innovation.”
Brian Tracy said it another way: “to be really successful, you should stop doing any activity that wouldn’t normally pay you what you’re worth.” So while you might be able to assemble the training notebooks for your next staff meeting better than anyone in the firm, should you? Of course not!
The most difficult challenge for an entrepreneur is letting go. Until we master that skill we will be trapped in a box of our own creation.