Written by: Iliana Rocha, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
The law of diminishing returns is an economic concept: despite increasing effort/input, productivity/output at some point stops increasing at the same rate. So how does this apply to you – an entrepreneur, small business owner, leader? Below is a story that likely resonates with many of you.
You start with a high potential business, and you are energized and determined. You start doing all the things you know you should do and start seeing results, and you get self-assured – you can handle anything that comes your way. Unfortunately, your efforts and knowledge can only get you so far. Not because you aren’t good at what you do, but because one person alone can’t do it all. Some of your activities aren’t bearing as much fruit as you expected, and even though you are working harder than ever, results are slowing down.
You begin feeling discouraged, but you are motivated and a fighter, so you keep working harder and harder. In what little free time you have, you are researching and reading on how to drive your business further. Yet, you still aren’t seeing the results that you were hoping for. So now you start feeling stuck and overwhelmed. You are dealing with the same business problems day after day. You put tremendous effort into the business but still lack results. This do-it-yourself vortex only increases the burnout.
“If you want to go far, go together.” – Proverb.
It is important to recognize that no one person has all the answers. But, we tend to get cozy and comfortable with where we are and accept fire fighting as a way of life. However, by getting stuck, you miss the opportunities of how to unlock change and capitalize on your company’s growth potential. No one ever grew by staying stuck in the status quo. It is difficult for the status quo and exponential growth to coexist in this ever-changing world. When you experience new, more difficult problems, that is a sign of progress! But first, you have to get over your everyday challenges.
The sooner you get the help you need, the better! Ideally, you’d do so before burnout, overwhelm, and disappointment set in. Every company was once a startup, and the most well-known ones (Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook) openly highlight the struggles of their early days. You are likely experiencing similar challenges to them; even though your business problems appear to be unique, they are quite universal. That’s good news! It means that you can easily access the knowledge and resources required to knock these out of the park. Focusing on one problem at a time and addressing them is important – your solutions become the foundation of your long-term business.
A lot of leaders and business owners hesitate to hire a coach or consultant. And we get the concern – as a small business, an entrepreneur, can you afford to hire someone else? But what is the cost of your inaction? Many businesses get stuck before exponential growth because their leaders don’t know how to plan and leverage external knowledge and capabilities.
So take a different approach – get the help you need! Fire yourself from all the odd jobs you do that are not leveraging your strengths and core competencies. Let someone help or even fully handle your day-to-day operations and bottleneck activities, streamline the back-end of your business, and oversee the team implementation so you can move into the visionary role as the business owner without all the overwhelm.
Iliana Rocha, Executive Contributor, Brainz Magazine
Iliana Rocha is a senior business leader with extensive consulting and coaching experience in all things business. Iliana has been working hand-in-hand with businesses in optimizing their strategy and operations and is now President & Lead Coach at Clubnet Solutions Inc. Her focus is on working with entrepreneurs and small business owners on scaling and transforming their businesses profitably. She is in the process of publishing her first book: Level Up! Low Hanging Fruit to Instantly Improve Your Small Business. Iliana holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Ryerson University, a post-graduate certificate in Strategic Relationship Management from George Brown College, and a Bachelor of Commerce and Finance, with a Major in Economics from the University of Toronto. She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), a certified Agile Coach (ICP-ACC). She is in the process of receiving an International Coaching Federation (ICF) certification as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC).