Episode 156: Balancing Short-Term Execution with Sustainable Growth

Balancing Short-Term Execution with Sustainable Growth

As a business owner, your focus is often split between the immediate needs of your business and planning for the future. However, as your business grows and you have a team, you can’t always be the one focused on the short term. Today, we’re talking about what it would look like for you, as the business owner, to focus on vision, strategy, and growth while your team is executing the day-to-day.


In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • The importance of delegating daily tasks to the team while you focus on visionary leadership and problem-solving to ensure sustainable growth.
  • What it actually means to work ON your business instead of IN your business, including what to prioritize as CEO.
  • Why transitioning from short-term to long-term focus to drive sustainable growth is not an overnight process, and how to get started today.

As a business owner, your focus is often split between the immediate needs of your business and planning for the future. Now this is especially true as a solopreneur because it is up to you to balance it all. The business needs both short and long term results for sustainable growth and success. And when you're the only one in the business, you've gotta focus on both. Right? But as your business grows, who focuses on the short term versus the long term? There has to be a shift. You, as the business owner, can't be the 1 always focused on short term. You have to be able to pull back, to zoom out, to look at that 30,000 foot view, and make decisions ahead of time, not always just in the moment or for the short term. So this means that while your team is executing, while your team is implementing the day to day, You, as a business owner, need to be focused on vision and strategy for later.

One of my clients described it as feeling like She was finally on top of the mountain. Her team was working to climb that mountain and get to where she was. As the CEO, she was the visionary. She had already made it to the top and was looking even to the next Peak. She already understood what needed to happen to get there from a strategic perspective, and she was From the top yelling down to her team saying, hey. This is what's gonna happen. You're gonna encounter this, But keep going. It is worth it.

When you get to the top, this is where we will be, and then here's where we're going next. And just constantly casting that vision, encouraging them while they are the ones focused on Actually scaling that specific mountain, she's again looking at the next peak and telling them what it looks like to be up top so that they keep working towards that climb. Now I loved that analogy. Even more than that, I loved that she finally felt like she was in that place. Like, she had a team who could work in the day to day, who could focus on the short term, and She felt like she had the space and the time to be thinking about the bigger picture, looking ahead, and knowing that while Her team was climbing to reach the $1,000,000 goal that they set. She already said that it felt like it was done, that it was inevitable, and she no longer needed to worry about how to get to the top of that mountain. Even though they weren't quite there yet, The team had that under control, and she was focused on a $10,000,000 goal next. Okay? So with that analogy in mind, I want to talk to you about what it would look like for you as a business owner to focus on vision and strategy while your team is executing in the short term.

You've heard the phrase working on your business instead of in it, but I often get asked What exactly does that mean? So today, I wanna share some tangible examples of what you, as the CEO, can focus on. If you have a leadership team, you may be focused on it with your team. You don't have to be the one responsible for all of these things as your leadership team grows, but you still have a team that is implementing and executing the day to day. They are the ones working in the business while you're able to elevate to that CEO role and focus forward. Okay? So here are some examples. While the team day to day is focused on customer delivery, everything that is involving Fulfilling the promise that you sold, serving clients, delivering a great customer experience, customer support, Anything related to that fulfillment, the team can handle while you are focused on the bigger picture strategy around business model updates and innovation related to the changes that are coming, related to what you're gonna do that's new and different than what anyone else is doing. You get to focus on curriculum updates or service updates, whatever it might be, you get to think ahead while the team is executing the day to day. Another example is that your team can focus on hitting the short term targets For marketing and sales, while you're focused on the strategy for marketing and sales next quarter or next year or even well beyond, you can think further out what it's gonna look like as your business scales while your team hits today's targets.

You don't have to divide your focus. Next up, while your team is executing the current systems, the things that you already have in place, the processes that are already working, you and your leadership team can focus on operational structure and efficiency for the future. What does your org chart need to look like? Not for today, but when you hit that $1,000,000, what do your systems need to look like to Work even more efficiently. When you're ready to increase profit, when you're ready for your profit to look more like 6 figures or multiple six Figures, you've gotta be focused on different things. Your team can also focus on all of your current project management while you, as a business owner, can focus on planning future projects. You can outline what's coming up next, what the focus area is going to be for the next quarter, the next, again, year. I typically have an outline, A road map of all of the projects to come to help me achieve a bigger objective in the business, but I give direction and delegate projects on a quarterly basis to my team. Also, many business owners are getting pulled into quality control, and I wanna tell you that your team can handle this.

Your team can handle putting checks and balances in place, reviewing things without you having to see everything. And when they are responsible or the day to day quality control that allows you to innovate. Again, innovation is just so incredibly important, and you need to be spending time on it. Another category of business where you can work on the business instead of in it is with your financials and with your metrics. So If you have a team member who is handling the bookkeeping and the accounting, if you have a team member who is measuring KPIs, that is incredible. But as a business owner, you need to look at not only what has already happened, but you need to be forecasting and projecting for the future. The information that you receive, whether it's financial, whether it's key performance indicators, it's only as helpful as you use it to improve the future. So it's great to know it already happened, but it's even better to use that to model what is to come When you can create a sales forecast for the next 3 years, when you can forecast your profitability for the long term using the information that you have, When you can forecast where certain metrics will be, you can make better decisions using that data instead of just looking at what's already been accomplished.

And the last example that I'll share today is that your team can address and solve all of the immediate operational issues. But as a business owner, it's up to you to be anticipating future challenges. It's up to you to think about the problems that you're gonna face that will keep you from scaling In the future, not the problems you're facing today, but the problems that you could face, and to go ahead and come up with solutions to prevent them instead of to react to them. I want you to keep in mind that these are just some examples. There are many more things that you could be doing when you're working on the business. But thinking high level about strategy, Problem solving for the future, casting vision, these are all things that you as the CEO need to be spending time on, and it's not all gonna transition overnight. It's not all gonna transition at once. Typically, you will identify areas to shift, and you'll shift them 1 by 1.

You're gonna slowly work to get ahead of your team. You'll delegate, and then you get to elevate. So with this in mind, I want you to think about what you can begin to delegate and where you can start to get 90 days ahead of your team. What would it take for you to get 90 days ahead of your team on all major strategic decisions so that your team has everything that they need to execute, so that you've already made all of the decisions and you're not making those decisions in a rush because your team needs the answer now. You've already decided. You've already outlined everything. The vision and the strategy are in place. They are communicated, and now your team is executing.

They keep things moving. They are delivering results while you plan what your next level is. Okay? That's what's possible for you when you balance short term execution with long term sustainability. And when you step into your CEO role, not just as a title, not just to say that you're the business owner, but you actually start doing the work of a CEO and focusing on the business, truly working on your business instead of in it.

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