I recently saw a question posted on Quora which asked, “What is a sign that someone is not going to be successful in business?” The answer to which is similar to the question, “What is a sign that someone is not going to be successful in Half-Retirement?”
I have worked with thousands of business owners, and there is no one right answer. However, a trait that I see that holds many back from growing their business or perhaps just getting successful is too much do-it-yourselfism.
It’s more complex than simply being a poor delegator. It’s a propensity always to do it yourself. This creates a mindset of me first vs. letting a team handle it. Then it spills into your business model. The first problem that business owners with this do-it-yourself mentality create business models that sell their time vs. sell something which their team can deliver. Creating a product that sells “you” is much easier than creating a company.
The second problem too much DIY creates is an excessive work ethic. There’s nothing wrong with hard work. However, with a business built around the efforts of the owner, the only way to make more income is more hard work. Over time, this becomes the “winning formula.” Unlearning this winning formula can be hard. It’s worked for years, and now the owner needs to put down their favorite toy if they want to Half-Retire.
What’s the solution? The business model needs innovation. In particular, the model needs to be redesigned to deemphasize the work or talents of the owner. This may involve some marketing changes, a new product mix, or a rebuild of the entire business model. No matter what changes are made to the business model, the mindset of the owner must shift away from excessive DIY.