The Dangers Of Trying To Do It All Yourself

June 10, 2021

One of the major advantages of being a sole-trading entrepreneur is that you don’t have to convince anyone of the rightness of your decisions – you rule the roost, because you ARE the roost. It’s for this reason that a lot of skilled business owners grow their business to a certain point before selling it off to start another solo endeavor. For some people, the practice of working with a board of directors, or too large a team, can be stifling and stressful.

With that said, there is a balance to be met between having total overall control of a business and being a micromanager. Taking everything on yourself does mean that you don’t need to ask for permission and don’t have to evaluate other people’s ideas, and that can be liberating. However, it is not an uncomplicated positive, and a look at the reasoning below will illustrate why that is the case.

The impact of “marking your own homework”

If you’re used to getting your own way in business, then it can be difficult to listen to critical feedback – but that feedback is essential to correcting your oversights. And everyone makes mistakes in business, unless you think that you are somehow infallible in a way no other human has ever been. For sure, you can remain the person who makes the final decision, but every decision that is fundamental to the business’s future should be made in consultation with a trusted peer who will be honest. That second pair of eyes, and second brain, stops your decisions from becoming knee-jerk confirmations of your own instinct.

You have a very specific set of skills

Being an entrepreneur is exciting because it allows you to bring your own skills and talents to a situation. You’ve watched people do this and thought about how you’d make a decision if you were in their shoes – and now you are. But bear in mind that just as you watched them and zoned in on things you could do better, other people can look at you and think the same. Open yourself up to including other people’s ideas, focus on where you can use an API meaning that you are benefiting from collaboration with experts in other areas. Accept that your business gets stronger from broader output.

Things will go wrong sometimes, and you’ll need help
Retaining sole control of everything in a business is, aside from everything else, hard work. In the early days of a new endeavor, you’ll probably miss a considerable amount of sleep, and it is inevitable that there will be some nervous moments. If something goes wrong in your business, you will need help to fix it, and this means you’ll need to cede some element of control. Without you being patient and willing to compromise, sometimes that help will be denied to you – at other times, it simply won’t be as effective. Ask yourself if you’re willing and ready to let your company fail in order to retain that level of control.

Mark Asquith

That British podcast guy, Mark is co-founder of, the world's only growth-oriented podcast host. A Harvard, TEDx, Podcast Movement and Podfest speaker (amongst many more!), he's a wildly approachable Brit and Star Wars/DC Comics geek.

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