So much to do, so little time

There is always so much to do. We race around with the mental ‘to do’ list both at work and in our personal lives. For a business owner, there is very little down time. As we head into a holiday weekend, do you really shut down and unwind? Probably not.
A common challenge of a business owner or president/CEO is being able to get away from the business. There are always ideas running through one’s head and items to make sure are taken care of. Sometimes the owner is their own worst enemy. How?
They struggle with letting go. They struggle to delegate or invest in others that could help them scale the business, quickly address issues that are nagging at them and help them get out of the ditch. Business owners typically spend a lot of time in the ditch – whether they admit it or not.
Business owners ‘dabble’ and they dabble in too many things for their own good. They become ‘do-it yourselfers’ and as a result can compromise progress and impact to their business by not making measurable progress in any one specific area.
I see this phenomenon frequently. They ‘dabble’ in marketing by writing web content, writing unclear and unfocused letters to customers and creating constant contact email communications. They brainstorm taglines for their company and for others! Actually, they may delegate the writing and the marketing activities to someone else in the organization as a ‘task’ or ‘project’.
Why is dabbling in marketing a problem? Is it only a problem because it infringes on the opportunities for my business? No. The problem is that the business owner has specific expertise that is critical to the business – some owners are the company’s best sales person. For others, the business owner is the company’s best operational person. Whatever their expertise and role, they need to focus on that in addition to providing the clear and strong leadership for the company. Dabbling in other areas becomes a distraction for the business and is an opportunity cost for the owner. What should he or she be doing rather than sitting down to write web site content? Maybe meeting with existing customers? Meeting with potential clients or partners? If their expertise is in marketing, it STILL is an opportunity cost for the president to be doing the marketing instead of overseeing the marketing efforts.
Just like most things in life, if you dabble, you make some progress but not much. The economy remains tough. The figures released yesterday show that we likely still have a ways to go to be heading out of this recession. Dabbling is not a sustainable business survival plan. Know your strengths and leverage others for their strength and expertise. Focus. Dabbling compromises your expertise and compromises results for your business. You never feel like you have really accomplished any one thing well. Get a plan in place and define where your time as the business owner is best spent. You likely can eliminate dabbling out of your day and get others involved to put their expertise to work for you and your business. If you are serious about your business, do the fundamentals well. Marketing is a fundamental. Don’t dabble.
You’ll be able to enjoy future holiday weekends knowing that others are working towards your goals on your behalf and you may be able to enjoy the fireworks display without ticking through your mental to do list to keep your business going.
Happy 4th.

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