Whether you're just getting ready to make your first hire or already have a small team, there are certain challenges that all entrepreneurs face during growth phases of business. From figuring out how to delegate to overcoming self-doubt, these challenges can seem overwhelming at times, but the good news is that you're not alone—and there are ways to overcome them. Read on to learn more about the five most common leadership challenges faced by rapidly growing entrepreneurs and how you can overcome them.
One of the most difficult challenges entrepreneurs face is hiring the right people. You may not know exactly who to hire or what skills and experience are necessary to help support your business in its current season.
Unfortunately, there's no surefire way to guarantee that you'll always make the right hire. In fact, you'll save yourself a lot of stress and overwhelm if you accept the fact that you will likely make a few "wrong hires" before you get a good sense of who and what you really need in a team.
However, there are a few ways to cut out some of the guesswork.
Start by hiring people you know. Who do you know from a past life? Maybe it's a former co-worker, a friend of a friend, or girl you met at a networking event who you found extremely talented and hit it off with really well. When you already know someone at some level, you're able to more easily determine if their goals and values align with your company's mission - and if you already like and trust them, it takes out the fear of giving them access to some of the personal information they need from you to do their job effectively.
Another common challenge faced by entrepreneurs is creating a strong company culture. A good company culture can improve employee morale, reduce turnover, and attract top talent. These are things you likely never considered until you're business reached a point where it started to grow - and you had to start thinking about them. There are a number of things that go into creating culture, such as supportive leadership, benefits, growth opportunities, and security. Most entrepreneurs know what they want to create, but they're not sure how to create it.
So how do you create a strong company culture?
It starts with defining what kind of culture you want to create and making decisions that alight with that vision. Some great ways to get started building a strong culture include listening to your employees, learning what motivates them, leading your team vs managing them, offering perks and benefits, and always being open and honest about what is going on in the business. Transparency and vulnerability are two of the most underrated super powers of effective leaders - and these leadership traits are key in creating a culture your employees will thrive in.
If you're used to being a one-man show, it can be difficult to let go of the reins and delegate tasks to others. However, if you want your business to grow, delegation is essential. Not only will it free up your time so that you can focus on more important things, but it will also allow your team to take ownership of their projects. Giving them that level of power shows you trust them and gives them the freedom to thrive.
So how do you delegate effectively?
When delegating tasks, be sure to give clear instructions and provide adequate resources so that your team members can successfully complete them. Learning what your team needs from you is essential. Do they need a step by step checklist? Or do they just need an end goal and the freedom to make it happen in their own way? If you're not sure - a simple way to to find out is to simply ask your employees what they need from you. Be sure to check in periodically to ensure that everything is going according to plan - but don't forget there's a fine line between "checking in" and "micromanaging."
Another challenge faced by entrepreneurs is achieving a healthy work/life balance. When you're passionate about your work, it's easy to become consumed by it and neglect other important aspects of your life. Some entrepreneurs even feel guilty if they're not working enough hours or feel they're not brining in enough cash. You might feel like your health, relationships, and personal hobbies and interests get put on the back burner.
However, burning yourself out is not sustainable in the long run—and it's important to remember that there's more to life than work.
Here's a few tips to help achieve work/life balance:
Unplug from work when you're off the clock so that you can enjoy quality time with family and friends without thinking about work obligations constantly creeping into your thoughts.
Remember that more hours worked doesn't always mean more work is completed. Many entrepreneurs (and people in general) find that they're more productive when working less than a standard 40 hour week. It's important to find your sweet spot.
And finally, delegate what you can and learn to say no to opportunities and tasks that don't fuel your soul. When you say "no" to one task or opportunity, you open yourself up to say yes to another one.
Last but not least, self-doubt is a huge (often ignored) challenged faced by many entrepreneurs—especially women. It's easy to get discouraged when something goes wrong or when sales are slow, but it's important not too let self-doubt creep in and take over.
How do you overcome it?
First and foremost, you need to work on your relationship with yourself. When you doubt yourself, it's a sign that you don't trust yourself. Remember that every successful entrepreneur has had their fair share of failures —and they've used those failures as learning opportunities t o help them become better leaders. If you find yourself doubting your abilities, take a step back and think about all of the successes you've had so far — both big and small, then use those successes as motivation to keep going even when things get tough. Here's a more in depth article about building self trust to help you grow as a leader.
There are many challenges faced by female entrepreneurs, and these five are some of the most common among them: hiring the right people, creating culture, learning to delegate, maintaining work/life balance, and overcoming self-doubt. Remember, you're not alone in facing these challenges. Be in the Room is a supportive, no BS community full of incredible women navigating the same challenges you are facing day in and day out. With the right mindset and a group of supportive women at your side, you can overcome them too!
Ryann Dowdy is a community builder and expert in sales. She's built multiple 7-figure businesses of her own - and helped hundreds of women successfully build the 6 and 7-figure businesses of their dreams. Women have been drawn to her programs not only for her incredible expertise, but also for the community and connection opportunities they find themselves missing in their everyday lives. Today, as founder of Be in the Room, Ryann's mission is to create a space for women to come together and be fearlessly themselves while empowering the next generation of female leaders.