J+H Insights:

Finding The Strength To Let Go To Grow

Every Entrepreneur Thinks They Have A Secret.

We all think we know how to do something, build something or design something that is better than what the rest of the world has to offer. It’s this secret that allows us to push past all of the obstacles and to press on, despite the plentiful naysayers telling us it is impossible.

During each step along our entrepreneurial journey, we run into new roadblocks. One by one, we knock them down or figure out a way around them. As we continue to have success, we prove the naysayers wrong, and that we were right all along. As we beat the odds, it reinforces the belief that our opinions or thoughts are the only ones that matter. After all we did what others said couldn’t be done, right?

Who Not How

This self-reinforcing behavior really works to get us off the blocks, to create confidence and build momentum. But as our business grows, it can really hurt us. As entrepreneurs, we need to remind ourselves that no matter what we have overcome, or what odds we have beaten, no one can know everything. None of us can be the expert in every matter.

The greatest entrepreneurs are not only the ones that learn what they are uniquely better at than anyone else, but who are also willing to find others who are equally qualified at what they do.

As Dan Sullivan explains in his book Who Not How, you must stop focusing on how something is done and turn your focus to the “who” in order to exponentially grow your business.

You Need To Consider These Questions:

  • Who has the ability to do what you need to have done?
  • Expertise matters. Even if we give 100% effort within a certain field, without expertise in that area, we’ll never net a 100% result. As good as we may be as entrepreneurs, in order to continue to grow our businesses, we must be willing to trust others and, as Gino Wickman says, “Let go of the vine”.

  • Do you have trusted advisors?
  • In your business, there are probably numerous experts on your team. Besides your own staff, there are attorneys, accountants, advisors, bankers, brokers, advertising agencies and PR professionals. None of these important positions are the places where you should skimp or try to save money. There is a reason Alan Dershowitz is worth thousands of dollars per hour; he can get results that other attorneys simply cannot.

  • Do you empower these advisors and give them permission to work on your behalf?
  • I can tell you from experience on both sides of this equation that all of us entrepreneurs tend to trust ourselves first – me included. But we must resist this temptation, pick the best professionals we can, and let them do for us what we do for others. In other words, we need to focus on the who, not the how.

We also need to understand that many of us entrepreneurs have large personalities. While our external advisors may feel free to question our decisions or provide opposing viewpoints, it can be difficult for our staff to feel the freedom to share those same thoughts.

To increase our chances of success, we must ensure the line of communication flows both ways.

The bottom line is that the thinking that got you to where you are now is not likely the thinking that will get you to where you want to be. To create exponential success, we must leverage the skills of others. We must compound our unique ability with the unique abilities of others. We need to trust and free others by “Letting go of the vine.”

In the words of the immortal Dirty Harry, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”