Getting Over The Hump : A Business Story
"It's faster if I just do it myself."
"I'm afraid I'll forget to tell them something important."
"No one does it better than me."
"I can't afford to hire anyone."
"I'm too critical of other people's work."
"If I give up control over everything, things will start to fall through the cracks."
I started my Tax Consulting firm, Araba & Associates Tax Consulting LLC in May of 2012. I should point out that, I have the type of business personality where I like to be hands on and in the know of everything that’s going on at ALL times, essentially I like to “try” to play all the roles and do it all. There was something in me that fought against asking for help. It was almost like some rite of passage in being able to "do it all" myself. But the reality is, I couldn’t do it all and focus on my strengths without stretching myself in too many directions. With an extensive career in Finance, specifically International Tax, I’ve been able to hone this “do it all” approach because a lot of what I did required me to single handedly research, analyze, and document laws and financial data and put them into “stories” for my colleagues. In this area, the hands on, do it all business personality actually thrived. I made the BIG mistake of thinking that I could take this same business personality with me when I opened my Consulting Firm.
Upon opening my Firm, I didn’t hire anyone and felt I could handle everything on my own. While still maintaining my very demanding Executive Position in Corporate America, I tried to play the role of CEO, CFO, Secretary, Bookkeeper, Sales Rep, Administrative Assistant and even Maintenance Man with my new Consulting Venture. I knew by the end of my first year in business that this was more than I could handle. I either had to give up the business, or grab the bull by the horns and really grow my new company. I learned that it was pretty easy to get started, but growing wasn’t that easy. The main reason was, I had to realize that I couldn’t do everything myself. Learning to delegate, and trust others was not an easy task for me, especially when it was I who started the business. The truth is though that there was only one of me, and once I began to open up and realize that fact and embrace the idea of “letting go”, I slowly saw my Company begin to grow. I made a list of everything I did on a daily and weekly basis for the company. Then I went through the list and determined what was essential for me to keep doing and what could be given away. Even with doing this simple task, I began to encounter people that were equally as intelligent as I was with so much to add to my Company. I began to create processes determining what the final outcome should be and creating the specific, detailed steps needed to get there. So that once I hired someone to help out, I could give them that list of steps, along with any applicable files, forms and checklists, and start them on the path to success. This helped to curb my feeling of anxiousness with “letting go”.
Developing these delegating skills has helped my businesses and business savvy tremendously. Today my company Araba & Asssociates Tax Consulting, LLC is thriving and currently employs three people in addition to myself. I was also able to use these same skills when opening my Hair Salon, Studio 44 in April of 2014. The process was much simpler as I had previously learned of the benefits of delegation. I had absolutely no issue with accepting partners, asking for help and hiring employees. I’ve learned to believe in myself as well as my employees, and have reached a point in my business growth where I let them consult with me and make decisions on certain directional issues of the Company. When you grow, and hire other people with experience into your organization, you have to be willing to trust that their experience is of value, and be open to change. People change, customers change, and everything changes in a growing business climate. People resist change, its human nature, you just need to remember to be willing to think outside of the box and accept that change for the continued success of your business.