What would you do if you had six months to remove yourself from your business?
Believe it or not, there is a way that you can remove yourself from your business entirely and have others running it for you without writing dozens of standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Writing SOPs and hiring people to do things the way you’ve always done them is time-consuming and extremely painful. It also doesn’t empower the people that you hire.
In this post, I’m going to explain the fastest and most simple way to build yourself out of your agency so that you can become a shareholder and have the business delivering a profit to you without doing any of the work.
Sounds good right?
Well, let’s dive in then.
Why Remove Yourself From Your Agency?
Let me just preface this by saying that you don't have to replace yourself in your business.
It's totally fine if you want to just run your business as a freelancer with a couple of other contractors helping you out. You can do that for the next 10 or 15 years or so and have a good lifestyle, as long as you are extracting profit from your business and making some investments such as buying a house or shares to set yourself up for retirement.
Yes, I said it… “retirement”.
A lot of people think that they’re so far away from retirement that it doesn't matter. But at some point in the future, you are going to need to think about how you want to take care of yourself and your family when you are no longer able to work.
Or one day you might just become burnt out and want to have other people doing the work for you.
You need some kind of plan and I’m not here to say there’s a right or a wrong way – I’m here to explain the fastest way.
Step 1. Find the True Vision For Your Business
If you want to remove yourself from your business, it all starts with a very important question…
Besides making money, why does your business exist?
You might say something along the lines of:
“Because we want to become the number one digital marketing agency on the planet for dentists.”
An answer like that is all about you. Who really cares? The dentists certainly don’t. Why would it matter to them that you are the number one agency on the planet for dentists?
So you might say something like:
“Because we help dentists grow and get more clients.”
What's the actual work that you are doing in the world? What you need to do is uncover the real true human stories amongst your clients.
So ask yourself (and your clients) questions like:
- Do you know how you impact the lives of your clients?
- What is the work that you are doing in the community?
- What are the stories that you can tell that prove that is true?
- What are the case studies?
Belonging and Significance
When you find your true vision as to why you exist in the world that you are trying to create, it not only helps you win more clients, it also helps you attract good staff without having to match the salaries of larger agencies.
I’ve recently been reading a lot of parenting books lately to figure out how to get four-year-olds who only have half a brain to do what you want them to do. And it turns out that there are two things that a four-year-old needs… belonging and significance.
They need to know that they belong to the family unit, and they need to know that they are significant – that they matter and that their ideas are being heard.
This applies to hiring. It comes down to culture and meaningful work. You need to provide a good culture for your team members to belong to. You also need to share your true vision so that they know that the work they’re doing matters.
I have seen this happen dozens of times in the agencies that we work with – someone takes a pay cut to work in that agency because they're miserable where they are even though they're making good money.
If they are earning really good money, but they're doing mind-numbing work that they don't care about with their boss breathing down their neck – then they're not going to hang around.
People will take a pay cut to come and work for something they believe in.
Step 2. Bring the Vision to Life
The next part is to figure out what the mission is that you're on right now.
What is it that you are trying to achieve as a way of bringing your vision to life?
Start to write down everything that you do in your agency. And then figure out what your org chart needs to look like in a year's time (if that's the date that you've given yourself to replace yourself).
- What does your team need to look like in order to deliver value to your clients?
- How much profit do they need to make in order for you to remove yourself from the business?
Whatever you think you need – triple it.
If you think you need to make $500k a year to remove yourself from business, set the goal at $1.5 million a year in revenue. It's going to cost you way more than you think to hire people and to deliver the value that you're promising.
Step 3: Get Out of the Way
Once you’ve figured out your org chart, don't hire people and then train them how to do their job. This might be a viable method, but it’s a lot slower.
The fastest way is to hire people using your vision story to attract them – people who want to be a part of your tribe and do that meaningful work.
Then give them their job scorecard which outlines the outcomes that you want them to achieve. Don’t outline how you want them to get there.
Get out of their way.
Don't micromanage them and don't try and lead them by telling them exactly what to do. All you need to do is make sure they've got access to all the necessary resources and that they are achieving their outcomes.
You don’t need to waste time on writing SOPs – get your team to then write them so that if they go on holiday, someone else can do their job while they're away.
Let your team figure it out and go and do something that you enjoy.
I like to leave work at 2 pm and go for a swim or play my guitar. And sometimes I just go and take a few days to incubate somewhere beautiful. Here’s last week’s escape in Red Hill, Victoria:
So here are the steps you need to take if you want to remove yourself from your business fast:
- Understand why your company exists because that's the vision story that you can use to attract the right candidates to your team.
- Work out what your org chart needs to look like so that you can actually get out of the business.
- Ensure that your employees feel like they belong to the team and that they understand that they're doing meaningful work.
- Delegate outcomes to team members and then get out of their way.
What I didn't mention earlier is that this also happens to be the scariest way to remove yourself from the business!
If you’re ready to make your plan to remove yourself from your business but think you need a little guidance, then click here to request a call with one of my amazing team members.