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Step Back to Step Up: Scaling Your Business by Letting Go

Your hands are full managing your clients, managing the team, running the business, doing the strategy — where are you going to find room to grow? If you’re feeling stuck on the hamster wheel, this episode of the Hands-Off CEO Podcast is for you. Today, we’re talking about letting go so you can scale up.


Why is letting go so hard?

The very time that you need to let go in order to grow your company is the same time that complexity is at an all-time high, so it’s understandably difficult. Mandi shares the most common challenges she hears business owners say when it’s time to let go to scale:

  • If I scale up, I’m afraid I can’t manage it all. It’s going to blow up in my face, and I’m going to let everybody down.
  • I can’t count on my team. I have to constantly check in or the client work suffers.
  • I need better staff, but I can’t afford to hire better people.
  • I’m the bottleneck for growth.

Let’s talk about some of these challenges and how to solve them.

“I need better staff to grow.”

If you’re looking at your staff performance and trying to figure out what’s going wrong, it’s a people problem, a systems problem, or both.

How can you tell? If you have agreements and systems in place for people to do their jobs well, then it’s most likely a people problem. Now the question is: Is it them, or is it you? Mandi shares some things to consider.

“I can’t afford better staff.”

Consider this: for small businesses, you can’t afford mediocre stuff. Every single person matters so much. 20% of the people create 80% of the results… and the income. So you can find one amazing person who can do the work of five mediocre staff members.
Just make sure that your company is at a place where you can hire that top-level person, or that you have an understanding of what staff you need at what stage. Mandi has an operations manager training launching in January about how to hire, promote, and train a key operations manager for your team. Watch out for that!
But note this: if you don’t have enough profit in your business to fully fund all its functions, that means you may have a broken business model. Mandi shares what you must take a look at and fix. You can also listen to the podcast episode on the biggest mistakes business owners make when scaling to a million and beyond.

“I’m the bottleneck for growth.”

If you’re constantly getting stuck strategizing project plans, doing quality control for your team, fixing mistakes, and saving the day when things go off the rails, then you need a system to delegate not just the ‘hands work,’ but the ‘brain work’ as well.

The amount of brain capacity managing everything yourself takes is overwhelming, and it’s not the most profitable place to be in your business. Mandi shares a couple of things to keep in mind when you’re the bottleneck: one on mindset, and the other on systems.

Taking that risk

There is a risk that your team might muck it up, but if you have systems in place so they know what to do, the chances of them mucking it up are very low. Stand up for your team; empower them to be successful and to lead, instead of always jumping in.

It takes discipline to let your team be the stars. But if your team understands the key values and the mission of the company, then they can make decisions in line with them — and decisions in line with them will always be the right decision.

Why it’s worth it

  • When you step back, you might find that you’re healthier and that you’re doing your job better.
  • Mandi also shares about a client who holds his team to a higher standard. What happens when you raise the bar? Your team will either meet the bar, need a bit of your support to meet the bar (which is fine), or won’t be willing to meet the bar and self-select out. Drawing a line in the sand like this is a courageous thing to do, but it’s important to drive your vision forward as a business owner.
  • It comes back to brave leadership: are you doing the right thing for your company?

Final thoughts

Letting go is bold, it’s scary, and there’s nothing wrong with being afraid: it’s just a matter of feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Because that’s what it takes to drive rapid growth in your business. It’s also what will allow you to start your day excited and pumped, ready to take on higher-quality challenges, and expand your vision to help more people.

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Resources

Episode  8 of the Hands-Off CEO Podcast: Biggest Mistakes Scaling to $1M and Beyond

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