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Your Business Is You—for Better or Worse

Take a moment to think about your business. Go ahead—picture your typical work day. What does that picture look like?

Does it look like you clocking into a job, immersed in the technical work of your business? Does it look like you putting out constant fires, struggling to check a single task off your to-do list without adding five more? Or does it look like you running a team, delegating tasks and keeping the wheels turning? A well-oiled machine that seems to run without you pushing a single button? Or does it look like something else entirely?

Whatever it looks like, this picture of your business defines how you’re doing business. Let me explain what I mean.

Topics: Leadership, Client Stories, Management

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7 Tips Every Business Owner Needs to Take a Real Vacation

When I started as an EMyth Coach in 1996, I had a client (let’s call her Kathy) whose biggest frustration was not being able to trust her people to take care of the business in her absence. She confessed that it had been ten years since she’d gone away for longer than a weekend. Just one week prior, she’d stepped out for two hours to take her cat to the vet and literally closed down her business during that time because she was so sure it would fall apart in the two hours she was gone. Two hours!

“I want you to set a goal for our work together,” I told her. “In one year, I want you to take a week-long vacation.”

Kathy laughed at me.

So I asked her, “Why not?”

Topics: Managing Employees, Leadership, Systemization

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How to Cultivate Leaders You Trust

Okay—let’s say you’ve taken all the necessary steps to build a self-sustaining business.

You’ve made a clear decision to do it, and you’ve let your desire build.

You’ve let go of unproductive beliefs and are thinking like an Entrepreneur. You’ve come to see your business as a process designed to produce a desired result without you.

You’ve envisioned a business that doesn’t depend on your personal production, and you’ve written your vision down. You’ve imagined a culture where your employees are committed to your picture of the future and share your view of what really matters on the way there.

You’ve freed up your time to work on your business, not just in it. You’ve built systems in every area of your business that stand for what you believe in, and you’ve continuously improved them until they generate consistent, predictable results. You’ve set standards that everyone on your team lives by.

In other words, you’ve created a world of your own that can operate without you.

It’s an incredible accomplishment...but are you done?

It depends.

Topics: Hiring, Leadership, Values

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Building a Self-Sustaining Business is a Choice

Let’s be honest: Building a business that doesn’t depend on you isn’t easy. It’s going to take lots of time, attention, and know-how. You’re going to be drawn into fighting fires you wish weren’t happening; you’re going to worry about having the right resources to create the right results; you’re going to have to make things happen that you don’t really know how to do. At times, you’re going to feel let down by the very people you depend on to free you.

Topics: Company Culture, Leadership, Values

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You CAN Build a Self-Sustaining Business

If you’re fortunate enough to have taken your company on a journey through all of its highs and lows for 5, 10, even 20 years or more, chances are you’ve had those moments when you wished your business weren’t so damn dependent on you. No matter what you’ve achieved, most business owners know in their heart that if they walked away—whether for six months or two weeks—they probably wouldn’t have a business when they got back.

Topics: Leadership, Values, Systemization

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The Financial Tools and Teammates You Can't Afford to Live Without

If, after reading part one and part two in this series, you’re starting to see the value in better understanding your financial performance, then we’re in a good place to move forward. If you’re thinking, “Sure, that all sounds good, but there’s no way I have time to put this much energy into tracking and thinking about my money—nor the ability to pay someone else to do it,” then you need to stop and reconsider. A relationship with your numbers is a key ingredient of your success, but there are some tools you can leverage to reduce the technical work significantly.

Topics: Leadership, Finance

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Become the Leader Your Business Demands

If you’ve ever had the thought that you weren’t a good leader or didn’t know how to be one, you’re not alone.

Business owners rarely go into business for themselves in order to become the leader of a company. In truth, most are looking to secure a “job” where they can provide their product or service free of a boss. This orientation—the Technician’s mentality—inevitably creates a business built around their own ability to produce results. It’s the orientation of the vast majority of owner-operated businesses, and it has obvious limitations. You alone can only get so much done. You can only stretch so far. You can only produce the results that you can produce.

Topics: EMyth, Leadership, Values

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Create Your Picture of a Business That Works (So You Can Live Your Life)

In The Beginning

If you’re like many of our clients, you had a picture in your mind when you started your business of what you wanted to do. You could clearly see how your first office or store would look. You imagined your customers and employees. You saw yourself in the center of it all. You understood that it would be hard work, but what you dreamed for your future would be worth the sweat equity you’d put in for the first year or so.

Or so you told yourself.

Topics: EMyth, Leadership, Values

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Four Steps to Take Back Your Life

Whether you know it or not, the business you have right now, with all of its imperfections, could be your path to the life of your dreams. Your business is supposed to serve your life, not the other way around. Unfortunately, most of the time it doesn’t work that way.

Topics: EMyth, Strategic Planning, Leadership, Values

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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Delegating

Do you ever ask an employee for something you requested several days earlier and get a puzzled look? Or get the response: “I didn’t know you wanted it today.” Or even more baffling, the employee tells you: “I don’t know how to do that.” These are the kinds of answers that cause many owners to hesitate when delegating.

Topics: Leadership, Management

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