How to Fire Yourself

Fire yourself?  Why would you want to fire yourself?  Well, as a business owner/operator I am only talking about firing yourself as the operator.  That still doesn’t make sense to you though, does it?  Ok, how about this.  Would you like to have more time and energy to do any of the following things?  How about starting a new business, expanding your current business, traveling, spending more time with family, golfing, or just taking a day off?

Put yourself, for a moment, in the role of a replaceable day to day operator of the company, then your world and opportunities would change drastically. This is not an overnight process, but it’s worthwhile even if you have no intention of not working.  So, start by finding out what you must consider before you can fire yourself.

What can Only you do?

Have you ever had an employee that under-performed, but had a specific skill or knowledge that you feared losing if you dealt with the issue?  It would be very difficult to fire that employee, and chances are you have quite a few things that only you know how to do.  If you were temporarily incapacitated what would happen to your company?  Scary right?

Sit down and write out a list of the tasks that you feel only you can perform or know how to do. Figure out how many activities are high and low leverage as well as the ones that have a significant impact on the business? Could you train someone to do some of those low leverage activities?

What Can be Done 80% by Others?

I know, you are the best at specific tasks which has led you to not being able to find anyone that can accomplish them as well as you.  If you are a master of your domain, then it’s to be expected, but isn’t reasonable to expect someone else to do things 100% as well as you in the beginning.  However, a good rule of thumb is if someone else can perform it 80%, then you should just hand it over.  Allow them to grow into the responsibility and improve their skills.

Write a Job Description

What do you do daily that adds value to the company?  Do you have a job description for your role?  Then write one and compare the tasks you are doing to what an ideal candidate would be doing.  Are you focused on the details or doing too much which distracts you from seeing the big picture? Click here to tips on how to write a job description.

Document, Document!

When you want to fire yourself, the biggest step you can take is to document what you do, when, and how you do it.  So important to document more than you think is necessary and then again.  Write it down, type it out, document it in your phone, use OneNote etcetera.  It doesn’t matter where you do it but get the documentation out and then refine it later.

Ok, you aren’t ready to fire yourself just yet, but you have the foundation set.  Next week we will discuss what to do with the information you have gathered here.