Today’s post focuses on three quick pointers for small business owners and entrepreneurs. However, I think everyone can get a little bit of value from this.
These are three things that small business owners need to give up in order to grow in 2021. I speak from experience: they’re things that I have given up or am trying to give up every day. And believe me, I’ve seen real benefits from it. Let’s dive right in.
Catch Up Calls
You’ve got to start giving up these spontaneous calls, texts and “catching up” type meetings. I’m not saying you should give up all of them, but you have to accept the fact that, for small business owners, time is one of the most valuable assets.
I have a lot of pet peeves with how people communicate. Even little things, like some of the calls I get out of the blue. My voicemail says if it’s an emergency, please leave me a voicemail; if it’s not, please email me and I will get back to you at my earliest convenience. It astounds me how many people listen to that message and leave me a voicemail. And, of course, when I listen to the voicemails, I find that 99% of them are not emergencies.
A colleague of mine once said, “You know, you should only take revenue-generating calls.” He said it as a joke, but I took it seriously. I was like, “Oh, that’s interesting. Let me actually try that.” For about a month and a half, I got a lot of distracting phone calls, emails, and text messages. Each time, I respectfully responded, “Hey, sorry but for right now, I’m really only focused on revenue-generating projects.” Surprisingly, I got little to no pushback.
It also shocked me how it often turned trivial conversations into really awesome collaborative discussions later on. If you really do put your foot down, value your time, and show that to others, for the most part, they’re going to respect that. You’re going to get a lot more done and you’re going to feel less external pressure throughout your workday. Business owners have to put their business and their team first or they will be taken advantage of. It’s just the way things go.
The second thing you have to give up in order to grow faster in 2021 is long meetings. I would even add meetings in general! I’ll be the first to admit that I’m bad at this, but we’ve gotten a lot better at Big Red Jelly. I think people get stuck in this rigid pattern of having long, unproductive meetings daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually. Remember, your time is your most valuable asset!
Here at Big Red Jelly, we have 30-minute meetings every other week in specific, smaller teams, and that pattern is much more effective and efficient for us. Having meetings every week felt a little unnecessary for us, and meeting just once a month made it hard to stay up to speed and didn’t give us enough space for good collaboration.
Long story short: feel free to get creative with when and how you meet! You don’t have to stick to one of these daily, weekly, or monthly meeting structures; adapt your meetings to the needs of your team or the process you’re focusing on.
The last thing you have to give up in order to grow in 2021 is micromanaging. This one applies on so many different levels. In some of my previous videos and posts, I talk a lot about relinquishing control of some of the technical work. That’s something I have a hard time with if there’s a web design job, a branding proposal, or even just a marketing project.
Ultimately, you have to learn to trust your team. Creating processes for them—working on the tools instead of in the tools—is what helps your team become more autonomous. And the more autonomous your team is, the easier it will be for your business to grow! In that weird, paradoxical way, you have to do less technical work if you want your business to thrive. I know, it sounds backwards, but I’ve learned that lesson the hard way so you don’t have to.
Those are my three points. You’ve got to give up these spontaneous calls and meet ups, you’ve got to give up long meetings and you’ve got to give up micromanaging or spending too much time on the actual technical work in order to grow. These are three things that I’m constantly working on, and I’ve absolutely seen the benefits. Hopefully you will leverage them to grow your business as well.
Click here to watch the full video. Tune in each week for similar content about helping your business as a business owner in 2021!