Your need for control will destroy you

July 10, 2018

Your need for control will destroy you

Are you controlling the right things?

Control is a funny thing. As the boss of a business, it is easy to imagine that you need to have control of every little detail, because “nobody else can do it for you”. As a business owner, your need for control often comes from a want to protect your brand, your business and ultimately your legacy.

But here’s the irony. When you hold onto everything so tightly, thinking that no-one can do as good a job as you, or that you are responsible for all the answers and ideas (because it’s your job as the boss) — you are actually putting yourself in an environment of zero control.

So why is it so important to understand and get control of your control issues?

Because the more you put yourself in this environment, the less you will be able to get things done that make an impact:

  • The less talent you will attract around you;
  • The less energy you will have for the transformational things that can grow your business; and
  • The less you will learn and grow as a person.

All this amounts to a self-fulfilling prophecy in which you keep control of the things that don’t matter, only to lose control of the things that do.

So how do you separate the things that you need to control from the things that you don’t?

The first thing to do is consider what will or could have the most impact on the things you care most about. Some starting points to think about:

  • The quality of your product or service
  • The results and value you deliver to your clients
  • The people representing you
  • The experience your customer has when dealing with your brand

These things are so important because any one of them could be the difference between a wildly successful business and one that fails. These are the things you need to be in control of.

Consider this scenario. In your attempt to control every aspect of your business, you:

  • Don’t outsource anything, so your list gets bigger and bigger;
  • Become increasingly exhausted as a result of trying to stay on top of everything, and only react to the immediate tasks in front of you;
  • Have no time or energy to think clearly about the direction of the business, the next product or service, or your vision for the future;
  • Don’t have the time or space to think creatively and produce quality work, therefore the quality of what you do produce starts to decline or stagnate;
  • Are so busy being busy, that you don’t realise that the ‘busyness’ is what is keeping you from being effective or making money.

The effect of ‘busynessis crippling.

Above are just some of the symptoms. If you extrapolate this out further, you can then see how your stress levels increase, your patience declines and your energy to invest in the more complex and critical things is diverted elsewhere.

Imagine if you finally hire a staff member, but ‘don’t have time’ to properly onboard them, train them and indoctrinate them in what it means to represent your brand?

Imagine if you are so busy responding and reacting and doing, that you ‘don’t have time’ to personally call and thank your clients, or invest time in finding your next one?

This is the reality of those who confuse control with micro-management and focus on the wrong things. If this sounds like you or someone you know, take a step back, stop reacting, and assess where it is that you are spending your time.

Invest in an expert who can work with you to get your vision and strategy clear, and help you work out what you should be spending your time on and how you can make that possible.

I can guarantee you that if you devoted all your time to:

  • Developing amazing products that produced results for your clients;
  • Finding, developing and retaining incredibly talented people to work with and represent you; and
  • Creating and environment and space to generate your next amazing idea — you can’t help but be successful.

Key take-aways

  • Don’t mistake ‘control’ for micro-managing the smallest things
  • Understand that you actually need to relinquish control of the vast majority of your tasks and to do list, so that you can truly gain control over the things that matter.
  • Focus on the things you can control; your environment, your mindset and those you surround yourself with.
  • Invest in specialists who you can outsource to. Anything that you aren’t brilliant at should be outsourced to an A grade team of specialists that understand you and your business, and who can represent your brand.

Need more help? I’ve got your back!

Get in touch with me to learn more about how you can:

  • Stop being reactive, exhausted and out of control
  • Start being proactive, energised and effective at protecting and growing your brand
  • Take back control of what’s most important to you.

Contact me at

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