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Growing a business is an ultramarathon, not a 5k

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The time it takes to grow a business is more like an ultramarathon than a 5k. The startup up world is full of 5k racers that want a fast ramp up,  and quick exit. The reality of it is, these startups rarely grow a profitable business. Rather than focus on running 5k you should run an ultramarathon. Ultras as trail runners call them, are races with 26-48 hour cut offs and range from 25-100+ miles. The time it takes you to finish one of these races is more in line with what it takes to build and run a successful business that generates a profit year over year.
It’s easy to get impatient though when the rest of the startup world is scrambling around looking for investors. It’s easy to fall prey to that. I’ve done it myself. I’m not opposed to investors, and in fact we are looking for investors now, but investors will not cure or solve your problems.

Your primary focus should always be profit! Run your startup in a manner that if investor money went away you could still stay in business.

Just like running an ultramarathon where slow steady patience is key. The same is true for running and growing a business. Bearded Brothers has now been in business for five years, and quite honestly we haven’t achieved the growth that I thought we would by now, but we are in it for the long haul. This isn’t a flip and sell business. We are an Evergreen company, and will be here for years to come.

Delegate using the 80% rule

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Delegating is one of the hardest things to do as an entrepreneur. But in reality letting go is what we find so hard. It’s not that we don’t want to delegate, it’s that we fear somebody else won’t and can’t do as good of a job as we can. I’m guilty of this myself. In the early stages of starting Bearded Brothers I had a hard time delegating and transferring over responsibilities to my team. I feared that nobody was going to do as good of job as I was going to do, there were even responsibilities that I actually enjoyed doing, but just didn’t want to let go of, even though they were things another person could easily do.

When I was struggling to start delegating responsibilities I was even aware of the 80% rule. The rule states if you can find and train somebody to do the job at least 80% as well as you can then it’s time to delegate. Even though I knew that I didn’t want to believe it was true.

But hindsight is 20/20. Now that Bearded Brothers is growing and thriving I have delegated lots of responsibilities, and it’s one of the smartest things I have ever done as a startup entrepreneur. Learning to delegate has freed up valuable time so I am able to focus on growing and expanding the business. I still do plenty of day-to-day operations type stuff, but even a lot of that I’m starting to pass on to other team members.

It can be extremely difficult to let go of duties in your business that you value and deem as important, but the reality of it is you can’t grow your business on your own. Delegating is 100% necessary for growth, and is the best thing you will ever do as a business owner. I promise, you will see immediate results as soon as you transfer responsibility, especially on time consuming responsibilities.