Why You Should Always Aim to Replace Yourself

When you’re running your own business, you find yourself taking on several roles, roles you didn’t even know existed: Primary advisor. Secondary advisor. Planner. COI relationship builder. Referral source builder. Leader. Manager. Recruiter. Business development officer. Task pusher. Action item whip. Technology coach. Mess cleaner upper. Mentor. Succession builder…

You find yourself wearing too many hats — and eventually end up feeling overworked, overwhelmed, and burned out.

That’s why you should always aim to “replace” yourself. If you are thinking about your business as a business, rather than a one-woman show, you need to hand over some of those hats to your team members.

If anything, the hats you should still hold onto are “mentor” and succession builder.”

Define Your Priorities — and Let Go of Everything Else

When you’re doing too much at once, you can no longer give your clients your full value.

So today, make a list of all the responsibilities you do daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Which tasks can you give up to another team member? Which ones should you prioritize? Which ones can you train your team to do, if you were to take a sick day or vacation time?

I have an example of how I applied this to my own advisory business. When I truly committed to 90% business development, these are some of the things I gave up because I no longer had the time:

  • Reading my email: An associate took over. She told me specifically who or what I needed to respond to, and my senior team member responded to clients.

  • Reviewing meeting notes: Before, I would review all of my team’s meeting notes because I thought I had to make sure they captured everything important — in other words, things “that I would have captured.” I gave that up and instead put my full trust in my team to take the reins.

  • Spending any more than 10 minutes reviewing client meeting material: My team would already prepare this material in advance of a meeting. I realized this often meant my team member knew more about what was going on with the client. Therefore, I had to learn to keep my mouth shut and give agency to my team, so that I could focus on my own priorities.

Take a Day Off — and Truly Commit to It

How do you know if you’ve prepared and trained your team well enough that they could “replace” you? Take a day off — and commit to it.

Emergencies may come up, but trust that your team can handle the challenge. This will feel difficult, and your team might not think they’re ready — but you won’t know if you don’t try.

Take Your Business to the Next Level With Qii Consulting

Letting go of control is hard. It can feel vulnerable and uncertain, and no one likes to feel like they’re replaceable. But being “replaceable,” in this context, is a sign of being a great leader — and that you have built a strong, cohesive, and reliable team.

Today, I challenge you to take the time to define your priorities, let go of some tasks, and trust that your team can handle the responsibility and do the job well.

And if you’d like to talk more about how to delegate (and therefore get your free time back), reach out to me today.

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