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How self-awareness can spur your business

Rose Muthoni @rosemuthoniN

Self-awareness is crucial when walking through the journey of life. It is, however, more important when running a business in a very competitive sector.

Take the salon businesses for example. You find that there are very many salons within an estate or town centre, however, what sets one salon owner apart from the other? What makes one salon more profitable than the other?

You would expect that two stylists, given the similar training and equal capital, will make the same amount of sales at the end of the day. Unfortunately, that is usually not the case. One of the two will be making lots of money while the counterpart struggles.

The answer is simple, the foundation of the successful entrepreneur amid not so successful business people, is self-aware. They know their strengths as well as their weaknesses. With this knowledge, they hire a team that covers their weaknesses and get out of their way. Like Scott Duffy so rightly put it in his bookBreakthrough, a self-aware boss works their strengths and hires their weakness.

“The greatest strategy is to find people that play doing the things she considers work,” says Duffy.

In short, the salon owner will hire someone to do their accounting if they hate mathematics. They will, for example, hire someone else to do braids and weaves and concentrate on their one love, say manicure and pedicure.

On the other hand, the struggling stylist will force themselves to love mathematics and plait not-so-neat braids to cover their overhead. She will try to do everything. She will be so busy working in the business that she will have no time to work on the business.

To avoid this pothole, hire yourself a great team. Do not be a jack of all trades, instead follow these few pointers to succeed in your venture

Hire to cover your weaknesses

The first step before hiring a team is to self-evaluate. Determine what you are good at. Are you good at finances? Are you a peoples person? Do you enjoy networking? Once you determine what you are good at, you will be able to pinpoint what you are not good at. Fill those gaps by hiring people who are good and enjoy doing what you can’t.

As a business owner, you might have a hard time employing someone as managing director or in a position of power. It is understandable that you do not want to give away control. But you need to get over it! Pride will not earn your business any money and it certainly will not give your business growth you crave for. If you are not a good leader or manager, surrender the reigns to someone who enjoys leading.

Whatever you do, do not hire ego boasters. Always hire people who is more educated or smarter that you. Shun the notion that you look or sound stupid around them. After all, you are the owner of the enterprise, hence the boss.

Be flexible

As a business grows, so does its need. An employee who was the perfect fit for a certain role may no longer fit the bill. One of your managers may be good at distribution but when a marketing role crops up, he might not be so good in it. Your chief executive might be good at getting you to the Sh10 million mark but might not have additional skills to push you to the Sh100 million mark.

You need to get the right people at every stage of the company’s growth. At the start-up stage, you need people who are multi skilled and who can take up multiple roles but as the business grows, you will need to identify your employee’s talent and help them specialize.

As you grow, leadership and management skills become paramount to your lead employers. Note that you should not stick to the old way of doing things when your business has soared to higher heights.

Self awareness is a very important aspect when trying to make it in business. This is what separates wheat from chaff.

Dedicate yourself to tasks you enjoy doing, and do not be afraid to delegate those that are not a perfect fit for you.

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