Joanna Marie, Negosentro | No matter how good an entrepreneur you are, there will always be something you don’t enjoy doing, or you find more of a struggle to undertake. It is understandable, as even the most gifted people can’t be good at absolutely everything. It can be very frustrating though, worrying that you have an Achilles heel or the sinking feeling that you need to deal with something you’d rather you didn’t have to. Everyone’s strengths and weaknesses vary, and that’s no bad thing – it is the basis for the importance of teamwork, everyone contributing something different that makes for a better whole. However, as the boss, you may feel that in order to be telling everyone else what to do, you should be able to do those things yourself and that there are some things you have no choice but to deal with.
Identifying why you don’t want to do what you don’t want to do
Knowing what it is that you don’t want to do is the easy part. There’s no mistaking that sinking feeling, the dread, and the procrastination. You might dislike doing the books because you find numbers hard work and can feel your brain tying itself in knots trying to get every cent accounted. Maybe you’re not a people person, so conducting staff appraisals feels like a form of torture for you. It could be sheer boredom because the hated task holds no interest for you at all, or it might be that you resent having to devote time to jobs that are keeping you away from activities you consider to be more fruitful and exciting. What you need to do is match the dislike with the reason, so that you can find the best solution to the problem.
Having to tackle a task you don’t want to do is one of the primary causes of procrastination; that is finding ways not to do what you should really be doing. A good procrastinator can keep themselves very busy with other tasks, blaming lack of time and opportunity for failing to get the disagreeable task completed. The best way to deal with this if you are guilty of it is to grab the bull by the horns. Make this task the first one you look at in the morning, and if you can, break it down so that you have a series of single actions to take rather than one overwhelming mountain of work.
Lack of practical skills
If you think numbers aren’t your thing, don’t put yourself down too much. After all, if you’re managing to run a profitable business and you’re keeping the IRS happy, you have at least a basic grasp of how to do your accounts. If this task is something you have to do yourself, make use of the best available accounting software you can afford to save you time, make doing the books less of a chore, and help you produce actionable financial data about your business. Brush up on your necessary math skills with an online course or evening class, so you can be more confident dealing with the daily entries and calculations. There are many software packages available which you can tailor to your business and adapt to suit you, and that comes with support desks to give you guidance and advice. If you can afford to employ a book-keeper and CPA, they will take the bulk of the burden from your shoulders, so you no longer have to grapple with your figures every day.
Lack of people skills
Some people are gregarious and outgoing and love to be social, whereas others are shy and retiring and prefer to keep themselves to themselves. In broad terms, you have extroverts and introverts, but there are many shades and cross-overs in personality types, so it’s not a simple boundary. Improving your people skills is something you will find beneficial in all areas of your life, so if you do struggle with social interactions and interpersonal communication, make the effort to learn more about the subject. It will be better for you because you won’t feel so stressed, and it’ll be better for your staff to have someone in charge who seems more caring and approachable. You don’t have to change your personality to be good with people; it is a skill that can be learned and managed very well. You may find it more tiring if it doesn’t come naturally, but you can still be an excellent people person if you work on your skills.
Finding another way
There are in reality very few jobs that you can’t delegate or outsource if you get the right person for the role. Say you are overloaded trying to keep your website, Twitter feed, Facebook page and Instagram account updated every day to ensure they are contributing to your marketing strategy. If you find this a chore because you’d much rather be sourcing new products or talking with prospective clients, then by soldiering on with the work you find such a bore you will not only be producing lower quality output, but you’ll come to stop enjoying your work. The answer is to stick with what you do best and get someone in or employ an agency to take care of all your social media marketing for you. You can also take a look at your staff and see if there is any scope for role diversity or promotion. Just because you find a task boring doesn’t mean someone else will – and if it helps them with their career and boosts their self-esteem they’ll be happy to do the job well.
You went into business because you had an entrepreneurial vision and you wanted to be master of your own destiny. If you end up spending your days doing tasks you don’t enjoy, then you’re not experiencing the liberty and mastery you wished for. Get to grips with the tasks you don’t like, or get someone better qualified to do them for you, but don’t just carry on stuck in the same rut.