Using The 80-20 Rule to Grow into The CEO of Your Business


by Melanie Benson

Most people who built their own business from the ground up feel a lot like their business is their baby. They’ve worked so hard to birth it, nurture its growth, and help it mature into a sustainable small business that they will protect it with everything they’ve got. Many entrepreneurs want to make sure that everything about the business is carried out perfectly. This constant daily attention to every little detail can quickly become a growth bottleneck.

There is only so much time in the day and if you are spending your whole day making sure that everything is done perfectly, you have no time left to expand your business and move up to the next level of success.

This is where the 80/20 rule can help provide valuable insight into your business activities. For a few days, make a list of everything that you do all day long in running your business. You might write down your follow-up activity as you try to close sales with customers, emails you write to your team, or your social media posting. Sometimes it’s getting the invoices out on time or following up on over-due billings. Be sure to track the time you spend paying business bills, managing projects, and developing new strategic partnerships.

After one week of tracking your activities, review the list and try to determine which of these business growth activities ONLY you can do. If the activities you wrote down do not help you in this way, it’s time to delegate those activities to a virtual assistant or team member you can trust.

Now I’m not suggesting you give up control of your business. This is where 20% of your time must be on our “control points” – tracking, measuring and ensuring that what you’ve delegated is on track. But when you spend 80% of your time on your business expanding activities, you’ll move the needle forward faster.

Part of the success of this growth strategy will come from a change in your mindset. Like many of my clients, you may overly identify with the role of doer and feel uncomfortable with what you would really do if you shifted into CEO. Trust me, once you are out from under the daily activities you will quickly find your new, more productive growth activities are deeply fulfilling. It may take a bit to get accustomed to the new role, but start out every morning thinking that today your job is to find new ways to increase the revenues at your business.

It won’t be long before you will be able to spend most of your time in this new role of CEO. Just think of the benefits it will give you, your family and your employees if you can step back and see the forest in spite of the trees, you will be able to have space to be more creative and connect to your bold vision.





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