Pretty sure you’ll agree with me that there’s a certain satisfaction that comes from being in complete control of a situation.
It feels amazing when you don’t have to ask anybody for help, or check up on another person’s progress. Still, total control isn’t always a good thing.
In high school and college, I absolutely hated group projects. In my mind, nobody could ever be as competent as I was. Nobody could write our project as well as I could. Nobody could articulate their words as well as I do.
In hindsight, maybe that obsession with getting things done myself fueled a lot of my successes, and helped me to master my craft. Still, I can confidently tell you it doesn’t work for business.
Let’s go back to July of 2015. I had started my online writing business in January of that year, and branched off into copywriting about two months after. Anyway, I was selling my writing for cheap trying to price competitively (note: don’t do that,) and eventually I got swamped with orders.
Being the egotistical control freak that I am, I adamantly refused to outsource or get help – even though all the well-meaning people in my life told me that I should. I’m sure you can guess how it ended, but I’m going to tell you anyway. I developed carpal tunnel, and I couldn’t meet the demand.
Even when I lengthened my delivery time to five days for 250 words, and an entire week for just 500, I still couldn’t meet the demand. It was harrowing.
That was one of the first times I came face-to-face with my own mortality and my own limits. I didn’t like it one bit. As I sat there hunched over my laptop, sleep-deprived with throbbing wrists, I realized that I’m not invincible, and I really can’t do all that writing in a single day.
Still, even though I realized that, I still didn’t ask for help and my business caved in on me. It’s only now that it’s starting to pick back up – but I haven’t been able to get back to the place where I had at least 5-10 orders coming in every day.
What’s the lesson in my story? Well, apart from the fact that writing slouched in bed 10 hours a day will give you carpal tunnel and back problems, the main idea is that being a control freak gets you nowhere. All it does it makes you more stressed than you need to be.
In fact, that chokehold you have on personally handling absolutely everything in your business is doing a bunch of things:
- It’s suffocating your business’ chances of growth.
- It’s impacting your health.
- It’s dampening your drive to keep going.
Let’s be real, if you’re doing every single thing related to your business – soon enough your passion is going to feel like a chore. It happened to me.
I don’t want that to happen to you. Your business needs to flourish, and for it to flourish you have to be able to step back and breathe.
Take a few moments right now and analyze your business and figure out what tasks you can delegate to make yourself freer and less stressed.
Control freaks always finish last. Don’t be a control freak.