Your Highest & Best Use - Tips from A Business Coach

It’s a universal concern for all business owners.  As a business coach, I see it everyday.  What to do with yourself?  Better put:  How do you, the business owner, decide where to spend your limited time and energy? What is your highest and best use?

Every business owner brings something unique to the table.  Something that others don’t bring.  It’s why you own the business and others don’t.  If they could do it, they would probably own their own businesses.  As a business coach, I often can spot these unique gifts when my clients can’t.  They come so naturally to them that they don’t see them as special.

I’ve gained a bit of insight from my twelve years as a business coach.  I hope the following tips help you decide where your business most needs you:

Business Coach Tip # 1: Ask yourself what are the three most important things you do. These are things you do for the business that no one can do.  At least, that no one can do as well as the business needs them done.  Notice I did not say as well as you can do them.  As a business coach, I always run up against this with my clients.  They don’t want to let go of things others don’t do as well as they do.  Well, if that were the criteria, they would let go of precious little.  The criteria needs to be whether they can do it as well as the business needs it to be done.  Period.

Business Coach Tip # 2: Ask your employees what are the three most important things you do. See if their answers match theirs.  If so, great.  If not, explore why their perceptions are different.  Consider whether they are seeing things you are missing.  Also, be aware that there may be some things you do that you know are vital to the business, but they don’t truly appreciate them.

Business Coach Tip # 3: Make a list of all the other things you do that don’t fall on the joint list. There are probably a lot of things on that list.  Consider why you are doing each of those things.  Decide whether you are doing them because: 1. You don’t have anyone else to do them.  2. You enjoy doing them and don’t want to stop.  3. You have other people who could do them, but you don’t trust them.  Sort them into categories, then deal with them as outlined below.

Business Coach Tip # 4: For the ones that you have no one else to do: Consider whether it would make financial sense to hire someone.  Or, is there someone on your team who could do them with a bit of training? Or, could you outsource.  What makes sense?

Business Coach Tip # 5: For the things you enjoy doing: Ask yourself if you are merely doing these things because they are in your comfort zone.  If so, let them go.  On the other hand, if you truly enjoy them, ask if it makes sense to hang on to them.  Or to do them some of the time and delegate them other times.  You have to take an honest look at what makes sense for the business.  I am the business coach for a software company.  The owner is a geek (a wonderful geek) who loves to write code.  Sorry!  That’s simply not the highest and best use of his time.  He can easily hire that out. He has other priorities, like unique design.

Business Coach Tip # 6: For the things that you have other people who could do them, but you don’t trust them: Is this about them or about you?  Have you given them the proper training?  Have you given them performance reviews so they know the areas in which they are falling short?  If not, then it’s about you.  However, if you have done these two critical things and they are not worthy of trust for certain activities, then you must consider whether they are the right people. If they are not, get the people in who can do the job.

There is nothing more powerful than a business owner who knows her/his highest and best use and acts on it!  Take these simple steps to determine what your business really needs you to be doing.  Then take the steps to delegate the rest.  Play in your sweet spot.

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