As a business owner, I make hundreds of decisions every day.
Although some of them are big decisions that have a long-term impact on the company, most of them are much smaller.
Should I take this meeting?
Should I speak at this conference or event?
Should I handle this client task or delegate it?
And, in these moments, I’ve begun to remember this important mantra:
“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”
Here is what I mean:
Just because you can check your cellphone or hop on a social network every five minutes, doesn’t mean you should.
Just because you can complete that task for a customer, doesn’t mean it’s the best use of your time. There might be someone better equipped to handle it — especially if you’re the CEO.
Just because your team has the skills to take on that new customer, doesn’t mean they are the best fit for your business or that you are the best fit for them.
Just because you can launch a new product or service, doesn’t mean it will be profitable for your business.
Just because you can use every social network available, doesn’t mean it’s that’s a strategic move for you or your company.
Just because you can figure out how to manage your technology needs (or accounting, legal, marketing, etc.), doesn’t mean that it’s wise for you to do so.
This can be a tough thing to remember — especially if you’re running a company and started out by “doing” all of the work yourself (like I did).
After all, if you’re a “doer” like me, it can be hard to transition from the mindset of simply getting things done and crossing items off the to-do list to focusing on the big picture of what needs to happen to advance your company.
Focus on What You Do Best
The world is full of infinite possibilities. It’s exciting to think about the options available to us and chase the latest shiny object.
And yet, we — and our businesses – benefit most by keeping focused on the one thing we do best.
In other words, if you are in the sales department, you need to focus on — you guessed it — cultivating relationships and developing programs that lead to sales. You shouldn’t be worrying about which accounting software your company needs or figuring out how to set up the hosting for your company’s website.
Leave those tasks to the people who know how to do them. Trying to tackle things that aren’t in your wheelhouse wastes so much time and money.
Success often takes restraint and discipline.
It means saying “no” to the things that distract you from your goals.
It means ignoring the crowd and staying true to your vision.
It means delegating or hiring to get work done that’s outside of your area of expertise.
It means doing the strategic, important work instead of crossing the easy tasks off the list.
You get the idea.
This is as much a reminder for myself as it is for you.
We all have unique skills and gifts. If we are to be at our best — for ourselves and for our businesses — we must focus on the one thing that will help us achieve our goals, each and every day.
Do you struggle with this? How do you stay focused on the most critical work for you and your business?
2 replies on “Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should”
Great post, Laura. This is a tough one for sure. Especially if you’re the DIY, bootstrapping entrepreneur that has worked to build something from scratch. It’s pretty freeing once you do it, though, isn’t it?
I think this relates to how we view money as well. Just because we can take on a project doesn’t mean we should. Or just because we can work 60 hours a week and give up our weekends doesn’t mean we should.
For me, it’s been a transition from the beginning where I did everything myself and took on every project where people would pay me. The longer I do this, the more I’m willing to give things up and focus on what I do best. 🙂
This is a GREAT post, Laura (and you write a lot of them!). I think this is also what separate the, ahem, ladies from the girls. It’s when we start saying “no” to what we shouldn’t focus on, and don’t need to be doing, that we start to focus better on what we SHOULD and CAN do!