Working Remotely

If you own and operate a business, and if in particular you are a business start-up founder like me, you’ve got to have the ability to work outside of the office. It’s important for a variety of reasons. First you’ve got to build tools and systems that allow for efficient work whether in or out, and also have dashboard monitoring of financials, marketing, operations, CRM, etc. Without this the business has not started to become an enterprise that is scalable. Also, if you’re like me, or share my experience at all, you may have held many of the job titles or positions in the business on your growth path. This is a strength and a weakness. When you know the work and business deeply at many levels, there’s a tendency to want to over-compensate and plug the gaps yourself. This is good and necessary when bootstrapping, but it’s a liability once you’re trying to build a team and a maturing organization. Being embedded inside of the office does not allow an objective view for the highly engaged owner. You can’t see things as clearly from within, despite what you may think. People depend on you; you’re efficient; you can get stuff done; it feels good to “know your stuff.” It also is a major empediment and roadblock to future growth. You’ve got to get out of the way. Forcing yourself to “go remote” offers a step in the right direction and completely new perspective. You aren’t physically present. It CAN’T be the same. Once out you’ll be able to see very quickly where you’re over-compensating, where there are real gaps, lack of process, people isssues, unclear role definition, positives, negatives, who is stepping up to assume responsibility, and how well the business functions without you directly involved. You’ll be able to assess functionality from a people and systems-based set of solutions; from results orientation. Strengths and weaknesses are exposed very clearly. It can be uncomfortable because you’ll have to allow for new types of mistakes. You’ll have to coach to the mistakes and not fix them yourself. You’ll delegate in a way that was not known prior. Our mentality should be “always present just not always physically there.” And you should connect daily with your people so that you manifest this reality in your actions. Get used to it. Try it on. Adapt. Phones, mobile devices, cloud, computer tools, apps, and other remote tools can facilitate this while you untether. If you don’t, you’ll hit roadblocks. You’ll limit growth. Plus if you, your staff, clients, and interested observers are really thinking, everyone will know that the more sustainable an organization, the more it functions without the direct daily involvement of the owner(s), founder(s), the more valuable it is to all involved. Stay tuned as I share more experiences on this topic.