Getting Out of Your Own Way

by Talithea McInnes

2 min read

Entrepreneurs often have a natural desire and ability to want to create, to see a gap and want to turn it into an opportunity. When building a startup into an independent business, however, one of the biggest barriers to growth entrepreneurs can face is themselves, mostly by getting in their own way in terms of skill set and mindset.

“I think the biggest issue about “getting out of your own way” is recognizing when you should lead and when you should step aside,” says Davender Gupta, Venture Catalyst at Startup-Académie. “The person with the idea is not always the best person to lead the business. You may need to hand the reins to someone who can cope better with the responsibilities, stress and decisions needed to build a fast-moving business.”

Know and be comfortable with your strengths and weaknesses, Gupta adds.

“Your role may be better suited as the “keeper of the flame” or the creative spark,” he says. “The person you choose [to lead the business] will probably not be able to create like you do, but will have other abilities, especially to implement the systems to ensure that your business gets to the next level.”

Following the old adage, “two heads are better than one”, another tip for getting out of your own way is to recognize that one person can’t do it all.

“Entrepreneurs tend to think they can (and should) do it all, but they must be alert to when help is needed,” said Julia Deans, CEO of Futurpreneur Canada.

Surrounding oneself with a strong and dependable team can help ensure the load is not all on one person’s shoulders. For example, serial entrepreneur Rivers Corbett says entrepreneurs should look to build a system that lets the organization work in a way that doesn’t need them.

“If I can’t systemize my business so it doesn’t need me, I won’t do it,” Corbett says.

When it comes to mindset, having a coach can be vital to staying on the right track, Corbett adds. Starting out, he says, many entrepreneurs simply don’t know the rules of the game. Recognizing that and seeking help is necessary for growth.

Gupta has been a Business Leadership Coach since 1999. He regularly provides inspiration and support for entrepreneurs (especially at the startup and post-startup stage) to develop their ability to move from idea to impact as efficiently and effectively as possible.

“Don’t let your need for control overpower what is best for the success of your business,” Gupta says. “One day, your business will be bigger than you, able to stand and grow on its own, freeing you to focus on what you do best and what feeds your soul. After all, that’s why you started your business.”

As a last tip, Gupta says a book every entrepreneur should read, is “Predictable Success” by Les McKeown.

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