|My favorite fireworks of 2010 came from Disney, not this legal holiday.|
The need to celebrate a new trip around the sun is a compelling, ancient human tradition, with the only disagreements being which calendar and where a circle begins. This blog’s tradition of covering our legal holidays is somewhat less compelling, but I’m an Aggie and Aggies are all about traditions. So, in the spirit of the culture honored by the legal holiday, I am proposing (again) a resolution for every owner, current or aspiring, of a human-owned business. I offered this resolution last year, but with the continuing effect of the Great Recession on most parts of the economy [soap box alert] other than the folks on Wall Street who started it, you can be forgiven I you made little progress toward it in 2010.
In 2011, resolve to make yourself less important to your business. This may seem counterintuitive, but “entrepreneurs” who brag about how hard they work, how little vacation they take, and how they carry the weight of the business on their backs, have created nothing more than high-paying jobs for themselves. Not only are such folks (you, possibly?) risking health, marriage, family, etc., they are missing the opportunity to create more personal wealth by building a more sustainable business that can spin-off more income to them while they own it, and result in a much higher purchase price when the business is eventually sold.
Resolving to be less important to your business requires you to develop key people and systems to do the company’s critical work. Your development work could be challenging and frustrating, but the pay-off, a business that doesn’t rise or fall, live or die with you, is a huge, huge benefit to you, your family, your employees.