This is the fourth and final post in our series, Work On It, Not Just In It. You can read the first post here, the second here, and the third here.
When you think about your business, what do you see as your product? Is it the commodity you sell? The service you provide? The community you help build? Or is it the business itself?
In all my years as an EMyth Coach, I’ve seen my clients make many crucial shifts to their mindsets, but one of the most transformative is based on this idea: If you want to create a business that works—that can grow to provide the life you’ve always dreamed of—you have to think of your business as the product.
I’m not saying the quality of the commodity you sell, the service you provide, or the community you help build isn’t important. It is. But when you don’t see your business as the product, you—the business owner—get stuck in the Technician’s mindset. Your business becomes a job to show up to every day, with sales to make, orders to process, and customer issues to address. When you don’t see your business as the product, you are your business. Nothing can happen without you because you’re so entrenched in the technical work. You haven’t built the systems to ensure the technical work is done right, whether you’re there to oversee it or not.
Could you sell a business like that? I’m not saying you want to, but could you? Probably not. Because if you’re the engine of the entire business—if it’s dependent on you but you’re no longer there—then it’s not worth much to anyone else. In order for you to step away from your business, it has to be able to work without you. And if you’re not thinking of your business as the product, it probably can’t.
Because this is one of the most transformative mental shifts I see EMyth clients make, it’s also one of the hardest. Being the hero of your business—the one who can make the sale, calm the customer, finish the order—is validating. Being a Technician is validating. It’s immediate. So if you want to make the shift to seeing your business as the product, you have to find validation in other ways; namely, by envisioning and building the systems that support your team to make the sale, calm the customer, and finish the order with the same level of care, attention, and precision that you would dedicate to the job.
Part of my role as a coach is getting my clients to find that validation without them doing the technical work themselves; especially if they feel like they’re in overwhelm and no one can do it as well as they can. It can be hard to let go. I totally get it.
But when they take the leap and start thinking about their business this way, my clients consistently become more objective. They start to see the bigger picture and feel the power and joy that come with guiding their business toward a larger vision. Their business becomes a vehicle for building the life they want, rather than a job to show up to every day. Suddenly, they have teams they trust to handle every task the right way. They find joy where they once felt overwhelmed. The clients that make this shift are with me for a long time. They’re still heroes, but in a completely different way.
Where are you frustrated in your business? What tasks are your people not handling the way you want them to? Start there. Talk to your people. Figure out the process. Document it. Let them try it. Practice it. Fail. See where the gaps are.
This takes a lot of courage, but I promise it’ll dramatically increase the value of your business and the quality of your life. And trust me, you and your business are worth it.