Entrepreneurs are hardworking people.
They also tend to have a lot of confidence in themselves and their own capabilities.
Both of these things are great character traits to have, but like anything, they have a dark side, too.
A combination of pride and work ethic may get things done, but it can also lead a person into inadvertent self-sabotage.
One thing you definitely don’t want to do is overextend yourself.
And that happens a lot for entrepreneurs.
When you’re devoted to your business, it’s all too easy to end up burning yourself out by trying to do it all.
Being truly self-reliant is definitely something worth striving for, but at the same time, there’s no shame in getting some extra help from time to time.
There’s also no shame in taking a day off.
In a recent article in Entrepreneur, guest writer Brian Miles reflects on entrepreneurs’ troubling tendency to overextend themselves.
And among business leaders, the cups runneth over with confidence and self-reliance. Don’t get me wrong, both qualities are inherently good things.
But, an overabundance of one or both often leads small-business leaders to think they’re capable of doing it all on their own.
In the very beginning, some entrepreneurs have no choice but to shoulder excessive loads.
Limited capital, inconsistent growth and 28-hour days will force many upstart entrepreneurs to become (very exhausted) one-man bands.
But, even after the revenue starts streaming in, many entrepreneurs continue to do it all.
I’ve heard plenty of different theories about why so many entrepreneurs take the “Swiss Army” approach to leadership, but I think you can chalk it all up to just one simple character flaw:
By refusing to entrust even the smallest tasks to others, leaders express supreme confidence in their own abilities, and flat-out disrespect for those of others.
Not only is it an ugly reflection of one’s egotism, it’s also just a lousy way to do business.
Leaders that overextend themselves wind up doing inconsistent, low-quality work, and locking their businesses into maintenance mode, rather than growth mode.
Remember, just because you got a lot done this week, doesn’t mean you did any of it well.
And it doesn’t mean it served to improve your business.
The most successful small-business owners have realistic views of their talents, weaknesses and bandwidths.
They also understand that, for everything that doesn’t fall within their wheelhouse, there’s delegation.
Delegation is essential for your business’s success for two reasons:
1.) Your time is limited.
2.) You aren’t always the best person for the job.
Effective leaders thrive on humility and are never afraid to say, “I can’t handle this,” or, “I don’t know.”
Delegation allows leaders to leverage the expertise of others, and use their own time more effectively.
You can learn more about how to avoid overextending yourself over at Entrepreneur.