The following post, written by Deb O'Connor (then Deb Casey), was originally published on the SmallBizClub website.
Small business owners wear many hats. Owner. Salesperson. Bookkeeper. Cashier. Manager. Trainer. Janitor. Marketing. Computer repair. Web designer. Social media manager. Not to mention, of course, the specialty of the business, whether it’s tutoring kids in math, selling jewelry, running fitness classes, or buying and selling homes.
That’s too many hats. It reminds me of the Shel Silverstein poem Mr. Smeds and Mr. Spats. Mr. Spats had 21 unique hats. He came across Mr. Smeds who had 21 heads but only 1 hat. When I think of the small business owner, I think of Mr. Spats with 21 hats balanced on his head. He’s always moving a little to the left, a little to the right, trying to keep everything balanced, trying not to let anything fall off.
When I talk to small business owners about how many hats they wear, they immediately identify with this. Some even get tears in their eyes because it’s such a stressful way to live. Yet asking them to give up a hat is like taking off one of Mr. Smeds’s heads! So how does a small business owner balance all the many hats that they have to wear? With wisdom. Here’s how:
Now that you’ve reduced your hats, be careful not to add any new ones. You probably suspected, as wise business owners, that Mr. Spats, with his one head and 21 hats, would sell 20 hats to Mr. Smeds with his 21 heads and only one hat. That would balance so nicely. A nice 21 hats for the 21-head guy and 1 hat for the 1-head guy. No. Turns out, in true Shel Silverstein style, Mr. Spats bought Mr. Smeds’s hat!
Reducing the number of roles you manage allows you to focus on the passion of your business, which is the only way to succeed. So you can leave your hat on, baby. Just make sure it’s the right hat.
This post, written by Deb O'Connor (then Deb Casey), was originally published on the SmallBizClub website.