A great deal has been written about how to get yourself out of the hectic pace that a business can impose on you. Actually, there are literally millions of pages of advice on the subject, “How to run your business.” But what I would like to do is take a few steps backward and analyze why so many entrepreneurs are stressed out so much of the time, even when their businesses are running well. And actually, this applies to corporate executives as well. There are three main reasons:

  1. The business naturally consumes the owner because his bucks are on the line.
  2. There are often too few resources to hire a full suite of managers so the many tasks of management and services fall to the owner.
  3. After the business builds to the point it can afford to hire managers many owners do not easily grant the needed authority to its managers and therefore drive away their best talent.

Over time, this cycle of growth, hire, fire, growth, hire, fire, perpetuates the perceived notion that he or she must maintain a strong hand on all aspects of the business. Ironically this trap tends to deepen even as the company becomes more successful. Of course, many entrepreneurs figure this out and make the necessary adjustments. So, even if you have been living with this severely negative management pattern you can always remedy your situation. Over 25 years we have worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs and corporations and identified seven keys that helped them build their companies:

Key #1: Determine what you are worst at and delegate it.

Key #2: Establish clear objectives that define what will be considered a success or failure.

Key #3: Reward the behavior that you would like to accomplish and make sure these metrics align with your clearly stated objectives.

Key #4: Don’t play favorites. Make sure everyone is playing from your best playbook and that everyone is evaluated and rewarded according to the same set of rules.

Key #5: Have a strategic market plan that defines your best prospects, your winning sales strategy, the products that will be sold, and the pricing for the products. The less variance to these imperatives the stronger the company will become.

Key #6: Know your competition’s strengths and weaknesses better than you know your own.

Key #7: Take time to enjoy the fruits of your labor by doing something that does not have the word “BUSINESS” in it.

The challenge of business owners and managers today is to understand they can do their best work if they figure out they can’t do everything. This realization can lead to a stronger company and a happier you.