Some of you might find all of the following painfully obvious, but nevertheless, we see it happen everyday.  Sometimes we all need a light shined on the obvious.

I find that business owners lose their happiness when “want to” becomes “have to.”

We’ve all seen this.  

Normally, aspiring entrepreneurs create a business because it’s something they love and something they are passionate about.  Which is awesome!  Exactly how it should be.  

But love is one thing, and running a business, day-in and day-out, everyday, is another.

Opening of Fuse, Jekyll Island
Chris Moncus Photography

Here is the most important, soul-searching question any business owner can ask themselves.  Are you ready?

Can Your Business Survive Without You?

If something happened to you today, right now,.. could your business stay open, and if so, for how long?

If the answer is no, then you’re stuck.  Eventually your passion, your joy, your “want to” becomes “have to”, and that’s when you no longer own your business.

The business owns you.

If you would have asked me that question ten years ago about Island Sound, the answer certainly would have been NO.  If you would have asked me that question about 6 years ago with Fuse, the answer would have been NO.  But, now if you ask me the question, about all companies within Henshaw Companies, the answer is proudly YES.  The businesses can, and do, run without me every single day.  I might be in the background calling shots and making upper-level decisions, but their operations and actual functionality to conduct business remains independent from me.

How?  The answer is two-part. Ironically, you can’t do one without the other:

1. Scale your business.

2. Build a Team.

1. Scalability

Freedom comes with the ability to scale your business.  While NEVER easy, it’s a must-something you need to pursue relentlessly everyday until it happens, and never stop!  Scaling your business simultaneously adds value to your business and equity to the bottom line, while giving you more and more freedom.

Always be thinking of growth.  Always keep moving the ball forward.  Never settle for where you are.

Here is the hard truth:  If you do not scale your business than neither you, the team you hope to build, nor your business can grow.  And make no mistake, if a business isn’t growing, it’s dying.  It’s just a matter of time.

Island Sound Team- 2016
Chris Moncus Photography

2. Build a Team

Business mogul, investor, author, and philanthropist, Sir Richard Branson, once said,

“Train people well enough so that they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to."

Here are 3 steps you can use to build a good team, and ironically, the 3 things I find many business owners NOT doing:

Step 1.

If you don’t have good people, get them.  Not people to boss around, but people to invest in. Build a team.  Be their leader, not their boss.

Step 2.

If you have a team, stop micromanaging them and delegate!  Forget what you think you know.  Believe in your team.  Empower them with authority, and they will surprise you.  

Step 3.

You ready for this?  Hold on, this might sting a bit.  

Get over yourself!  Get out of the freaking way and let them work!  Yes, people can do what you do, as well as you,  if you teach them.  If you lead them.  And yes, people can be trusted.  Humble yourself.  If you look hard enough, you might just find someone that can do your job better than you.

Here is something we’ve all heard before, “If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself.”

Well okay...but get ready to be “doing it yourself” the rest of your life.  

Right now, we can all think of a small business we once loved, that was once great, that is now closed.

How or why does that happen?

How does a business go from "line out the door" to "doors closed"?

More often than not, behind it all, I believe you would find an entrepreneur who lost his or her passion.

Their "want to" became "have to.”