It can be challenging to operate a small company, with the myriad challenges that present themselves in the day to day operations. As you set out on the journey of a business owner, it can feel like you have jumped out of an airplane without a parachute with the intent of building one on the way down. It is critical to act intelligently when challenges present themselves. Here are a few signs that you are on the right path.

Photo by Mimi Thian

You’re a Leader

This one may seem obvious, but if your team comes to you for advice and leadership, that is an indication that you have proven yourself to them. This goes deeper than mere delegation, or respect of the team. If people are looking to you for advice, they respect your ability to handle issues.

Consider that the smartest and most well-regarded leaders are often quiet, reserved, and are slow to offer advice, versus the stereotypical unintelligent “bad” leader who will broadcast their opinion to anyone around them. Are you a smart leader? Or more directly, are you smart enough? What would your team say?

Projects - Photo by Jo Szczepanska

You Have No Shortage of New Projects

Sure, you want to be careful of spreading yourself too thin, but you have to be looking to the future. Some owners will do the minimum required to keep their company operating, and there is nothing wrong with that, but they will likely not improve operational methodologies or efficiencies.

A successful business idea today may not be successful in the future. If and when you need to expand or pivot your company, it helps significantly to have a fleshed out idea or product ready to go.

You Listen to Ideas

In a leader, the ability to listen is a trait often associated with intelligence. A great idea can honestly come from anywhere; it would be respectful at least for you to consider an idea brought to you by a team member who thought enough of you and your company to convey the idea to you.

It is not uncommon to have such a singular vision that an owner can immediately discount or ignore the ideas of team members, Steve Jobs was famous for this, and is celebrated for it:

“Then there was Jobs’ habit of distorting reality to fit his purposes, coupled with the impatience, criticism, and brusqueness that often accompanied it. …. Jobs’ reality distortion could be extremely alienating, and it sapped his credibility, especially when he used it to dismiss a promising idea or an effort as “a piece of crap.” “

But how intelligent is it to not listen to those ideas? How alienating would it be to your team to dismiss their new ideas out of hand?

Messy Desk - Photo by Ferenc Horvath

You Have a Messy Desk

It’s true – science has proven that a messy desk is a symptom of genius. Related to having several projects in process at once, having several things that you are working on at once will often clutter up your desk.

From a recent study at the University of Minnesota:

“Overall, participants in the messy room generated the same number of ideas for new uses as their clean-room counterparts. But their ideas were rated as more interesting and creative when evaluated by impartial judges.”

Now, we’re not advocating using this as an excuse for laziness, but consider that a little mess may improve your work output.

Photo by Amy Hirschi

Get More Done by Delegating

Learn to let it go. You can get more done by handing off routine tasks and refocusing on the things that add more value to your bottom line. Are you a front-line manager who also has to keep the books, which is cutting into your ability to execute as a manager? Look for a bookkeeper to delegate the repetitive bookkeeping work. Your time is better spent on managing your team and executing your vision.

Delegating effectively can empower you to be more productive and grow your business. Contact us today if you would like to delegate your technology worries away.

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