If you were to ask me today, “How’s business?” I would respond positively, as I always have. And it’s a genuinely positive response. TechSoft Systems is experiencing fantastic growth. We have had opportunities to present proposals to new clients, expand relationships with current clients, form valuable partnerships and serve a broader range of companies than ever before. We have launched a new web site (www.techsoftsystems.com), and we have grown our staff.

By all traditional measures, TechSoft Systems is a tremendous success right now. But the truth is, I’m exhausted. Although I look at all of these factors as great blessings, it’s overwhelming at times to manage them. I know in principle that I need to work on my business not just in my business. Doing this requires great discipline and vision; it demands that I differentiate between that which is urgent and that which is truly important. Throughout my days, I have to routinely ask myself, “Where will my involvement have the greatest impact?” Unfortunately, this means that I simply can’t get to all that I wish I could. Nearly every night I fall asleep while working on my couch, only to awaken a few hours later with a stiff neck.

When I share this with other business owners, the response is almost always, “Well, this is a good problem to have, right?” My answer is, “Well, yes… assuming that I can continue to handle it well.” But what if I can’t? And even if I could, do I want to if it means it looks like this?

One of my business advisors, with whom I talk regularly, stated nearly two years ago that I needed to hire someone to assist with managing the day-to-day operations of TechSoft Systems. “Don’t wait until you don’t have time to select the right person.” It was good advice, and I wish I had taken it. It was a delayed and very lengthy search. I kept telling myself, “As soon as I find the right person, life will slow down a little.” “I’ll have time to rewrite that book once the new person starts.” The good news is that we finally found the right person. The bad news is, I’m still waiting for things to slow down.

Throughout this period, though, I have paused regularly to ponder that statement, “It’s a good problem to have,” and while it certainly does beat the alternative, I wonder how many businesses out there collapse under the pressure of their own success… or even sabotage their own success because they don’t know how to scale up their organization. Perhaps more accurately, they don’t know how to let go of some of what they once held fiercely to.

What I do know is that I don’t want this to become the New Normal. I want to be able to step back and work on the business instead of in it now. That’s going to require a learning curve… for me, for my staff and for the people I have yet to hire. I don’t want to focus on the problem anymore; I want to focus on the good.

Clifford A. Bailey
CEO of TechSoft Systems, Inc.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 at 8:03 am and is filed under Effectiveness, S.H.A.P.E.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.