There are a lot of reasons that founders (or the people who start and run their own companies) end up needing to take a step back from their businesses. Some of those reasons may include stress, a family emergency, medical problem, or perhaps just feeling like you’re too close to the business.
My reason for needing to take a step back is that I found out I was pregnant.
I knew that I had a lot of time to figure things out (you know, around nine months) but I was also terrified.
If I had to take a step back from Schmooz Media, what would that mean for the future of my company?
After a few weeks of general panic, I realized that this was an opportunity to analyze my business, my day-to-day activities, find the gaps, and ultimately avoid founder syndrome (or avoiding when the leaders of the company get in the way of their own company’s development). I realized that my business would be more successful in the long run if I was able to let go my tight grasp on it and focus only on the most important things.
Over the course of my pregnancy, I had to become more critical of how I was spending my time and ask myself some tough questions. Here’s a sampling of them:
- What are the most important things I do for Schmooz Media every day, week and month?
- What activities and tasks could someone else on my team do?
- Where are the gaps?
- Should I be hiring someone else to join the team?
- Do my project management and invoicing software do what it needs to do?
- Is it important that I hire a bookkeeper?
…and that’s just to name a few!
Without going into all the details, I learned a lot about my business – what works, what doesn’t work, and where I needed to focus my energy in the months leading up to baby time and an inevitable (small) step back. As the business continues to grow and change, so do the questions and things I have to be honest about. It’s a constant moving target, but one that I’m excited to always strive to reach.
Taking a Step Back – Recommended to All Founders!
Now, on the other side, I have to tell you that going through this process has been one of the best things I have ever done. I have made my business less dependent on me and have given my team the chance to demonstrate even more of their capabilities and excitement about the future of this company. I have also learned that I can get in the way and it is better for me to focus on my strengths and let my incredibly wonderful team do the same.
I realize now that this is excellent advice to all founders, because you may or may not know how dependent your business is on you. I recommend that no matter what your situation is that you consider taking this focusing step back.
There’s nothing wrong with being a passionate entrepreneur, but I’ve discovered it’s not only essential for me as an individual, but also for the success of my business that I am able to take a step back and let my business thrive. It can sometimes feel like losing control, but really it’s about taking time to assess you and your companies goals, allowing your employees and team members to explore their skills within the company, and to gain perspective on the company as a whole.
I look forward to this time in my life both personally and professionally and feel that this experience has made me a stronger, wiser, and more experienced founder.
At Schmooz Media, we understand that customers are your best brand ambassadors. That’s why we’re excited to create custom social media marketing strategies for small businesses, and take advantage of what their customers are already saying on social media.
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