“But…I’ll Keep Working.”

I have a leadership philosophy for founders: if entrepreneurs want to make more money and have a life, then they must subtract themselves from all the jobs in their company.
 
When I ask my clients what they think and feel about their company no longer needing them to do any labor, their response is telling…
 
They start off hopeful and describe the things they want out of life — the main reasons they became entrepreneurs. I just sit back and wait for the “But…”
 
“But, I’ll keep working.”
 
As entrepreneurs describe what they want, the reasons why they became an entrepreneur, they almost always balance their hope with guilt.
 
Basically, my clients don’t want me to think they are lazy and/or ungrateful.
 
I have to remind them, that they hire me to help them fulfill their vision for their company and part of that is not apologizing for what you want you company and your life to be.
 
As the great philosopher, Dolly Parton, once said, “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
 
There’s another variation on Dolly’s quote: Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make money.
 
I’ve read countless management and leadership books — none have said “work less, make more.” I’ve read some books on systems such as Emyth and Work The System, and those don’t teach you how to lead a company that you don’t labor in.
 
My leadership philosophy of subtracting a founder from every job in the company opens the founder up to more and more opportunity.
 
I’ve had dozens of clients ask, “What will I do in my company if it doesn’t need me to work?”
 
For some entrepreneurs, they find early retirement to be best especially if they have a young family they want to spend more time with.
 
For the rest, they choose to seize the bigger opportunities that present themselves.
 
Have you ever had an opportunity show up, but had no idea how to capitalize on it?
 
I know I have. Lots of times.
 
What’s that saying, “you get more lucky the better prepared you are?”
 
That’s what happens when you aren’t spending everyday working your ass off in your business.
 
You get lucky.
 
I wish I could tell you what kinds of opportunities that will come your way. I used to try to do that with my clients when they would have their, “But… I’ll still work” moment.
 
However, they can’t see it. So I ask them to put a little faith into the future that when they are free they’ll be able to work or not work as they see fit.
 
Since founders don’t believe that their business can thrive without them, I first have them determine all the tasks that they do and then prioritize them based on who should be doing those tasks.
 
My clients have teams, even if small, and they invariably find several hours worth of work per week that they are doing that one of their team members should be doing.
 
I had one client do the Leadership Task Filter and he opened up over 20 hours a week to work on his business.
 
His guilt around needing to be seen as a hard worker and valuable laborer for his company was having him do the work of his team — people he hired to free up his time.
 
 
If you’re stuck laboring in your business and you’re wondering how you’re ever going to subtract yourself from your business…
 
Then we should talk.
 
Email me at tim @leaderswithin.io to set up a quick chat to see how leadership coaching can free you from feverishly working in your business to confidently working on it.