Are You Running Your Soloist Business Like A Visionary Or A Bottleneck?

As a soloist, you’ve probably gotten conflicting advice about how best to grow:

Hire employees!

Do everything yourself!

Get yourself a contract VA so you can focus on the business!

It can make you a little cray-cray.

None of those are all that helpful—because what matters is whether you’re setting yourself up to do your best work. And what works for one person might be exactly the opposite of what works for you.

Instead, try looking at growth this way: am I setting myself up to run my business like a visionary (where you’re working the maximum amount of your day in your genius zone, earning plenty of revenue, freedom and flexibility)…

Or a bottleneck (where you’re a master at getting in your own way, diluting your impact and spending time on activities that don’t really matter to your vision)?

If you are acting as your own bottleneck, your results will be significantly sub-optimized no matter whether you’re doing it all yourself or hiring employees who you proceed to micro-manage or ignore.

Sidebar: lots of “gurus” will tell you that only losers stay solo and that hiring your first employee is what makes you a baller. Resist.

The visionary version of a soloist expertise business usually looks something like this:

You’ve wrapped boundaries around your time—maybe you limit your hours worked each day/week or take Fridays off or reserve Tuesdays for deep, no-meeting work (these sorts of boundaries tend to give you a sense of urgency about the value of your at-work time).

You carefully consider which actions are essential to take your business to its next leap (think your future version 10.0) and then decide who should take them on.

If those tasks (old and new) are in your genius zone, you’ll do them yourself.

If not, you’ll make a calculation:

Is the additional complexity in handing this off a plus or a minus?

If it’s currently a minus, are there other tasks you can also offload that will make outsourcing more attractive?

Are you willing to spend what it takes—in time and money—to source, hire and lead the correct resource? (The worst outcome: you spend your money and your time, but micro-manage your people so you remain stagnant and frustrated.)

Every time you adjust what’s required to get closer to your version 10.0, you run through this thinking again (rinse/repeat).

It’s that iteration—being willing to re-think and re-commit to what’s newly necessary each time—that separates those who build mid- to high-six figure businesses from those who get stuck, acting as their own bottleneck.

No one micro-manages their way to greatness. Even soloists.

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