First, a quick slice of context.
I admit, the headline for this article is a bit sensational.
No, what follows is not “the worst” mindset you can have as a business owner.
A sizable infinity of pathological mindsets exist out there that you can adopt which will immediately make your life experience a thousand times worse. (Such as, for example, the mindset that you can lie, cheat and steal your way to the top and it doesn’t matter how you get there.)
But, setting aside pathology for a moment, let’s talk among friends about the mindset that WILL deep six your progress on the way toward business success.
Allow me to tell a story from my own business life to illustrate just how damaging it can be to hold this mindset for too long…
Like many business owners, when I started out, it was just me. I didn’t have much capital, and to be honest I didn’t have many skills.
So, I had to be scrappy.
If something needed doing, I did it.
If I didn’t know how, I figured it out.
However, I soon ran into the limits of this do-it-all-myself perspective.
There was only one of me to do the things that needed to be done, and yet the list of tasks in need of completion ballooned as I became more and more successful.
Messes accumulated. Bureaucratic tasks piled up.
I had fallen into one of the worst mindsets a business owner can have (assuming said business owner wants to enjoy a more prosperous and happier future). I was a severe addict to the Do-It-Yourself mindset.
Why the DIY Mindset Holds You Back
Trying to do everything yourself wastes your time. It leaves you feeling frustrated when your momentum is delayed as you figure out an area that really isn’t your passion. And it makes you penny wise but pound foolish because you prioritize saving your money over your time when time is your most precious asset both in business and in life.
But the biggest problem with the DIY Mindset is that it cuts you off from the biggest breakthroughs that are possible in business.
Recently, we brought another web developer onto our team.
We tested him out on one project just to see what he could do, and very quickly it became apparent that we had an A-Player on our hands.
Several subsequent projects have proven that to be the case — and our clients’ sites are better for it.
In fact, having this new web dev teammate helping us out has totally transformed our sense of what’s possible and how much value we can put in play for our clients.
It has been a total game changer for us.
And all it took to enjoy this huge sea change in our business was being willing to bring someone else in to contribute.
The DIY Mindset Colors Everything
When you think you have to figure it all out yourself, you naturally move slower. Any new area will represent a huge burden of time and effort that you will have to enter into if you want to head in this new direction.
You have less help, enjoy fewer opportunities and move much slower as a result.
The 21st century is a time in which small teams can make huge things happen.
But first you have to open yourself up to the possibility of letting other people into your world to assist you in creating your vision.
As part of our own company growth process, we’ve begun engaging business owners in conversations about their future. And what we’ve learned has been absolutely eye-opening.
Out of 250 businesses we have called in the last six weeks, we noticed a marked difference in how a company’s yearly revenue and a DIY mindset were connected.
In fact, it would appear that in order to grow a business above $1 million in yearly revenue, jettisoning the DIY Mindset is one of the most important prerequisites.
The business owners we have spoken with whose companies do more than a million per year in revenue often already had teams in place for handling the kinds of challenges we work with – digital marketing, web design and IT support.
But when we spoke with business owners running businesses that do revenue closer to $500,000 per year, we started encountering many more responses where the person on the other end of the line simply wasn’t interested in growing. They had more business than they could handle, or so they said.
A picture started to emerge. Bringing additional skills onboard in the form of other human beings allowed companies to grow up to above $1 million per year in revenues. And the best thing about this Teamwork Mentality is that it then allows that growth to continue higher and higher.
What Does This Mean For You?
The most important thing to take from this quick discussion of the DIY vs. Teamwork mindsets is that the DIY mindset exists and is just that: a mindset, a chosen way of viewing things. You can choose to see the world in a different way.
Initially, learning to rely on other people to perform important tasks within your business can be challenging. But if you stick through the process, soon enough you’ll notice increased acceleration as your time is freed up to let you focus on the most important aspects of your business.
Another world awaits on the other side of you starting to receive help and support from others – a world in which you get to cut out all the tasks you dislike doing and farm them out to people who actually enjoy those tasks instead.
Believe it or not, this is completely possible. In our company, we are starting to take teamwork more and more seriously as we reap the benefits.
Teamwork is a deep topic, and it’s one that I can’t do justice to in this article. Stay tuned for future articles where I’ll investigate it in greater depth.