The Mentality That’s Holding Us All Back In Our Businesses

The mentality that's holding you back in business

Each year in May, we celebrate a very special day for women: We take a full day to acknowledge and appreciate mothers.

On that one day, moms might get to sleep in, or enjoy a brunch. They might be brought flowers, or given a gift to go to a spa for a day.

And then Monday morning comes, and we go right back to life, as usual. Life where groceries, appointments, cleaning, jobs, and the needs of others overtake everything, and nothing can quite solve a problem like super mom.

The supermom mentality exists in business, too

It’s this “supermom” mentality that creates a lot of stress for mothers, everywhere. And it’s this “supermom” or “super(wo)man” mentality that often plagues small business owners who feel they need to do it all, as well.

When we start our own business, it’s up to us to decide what will be offered, how operations will run, and how the lights will stay on, among many other things. We pour our blood, sweat, and tears (sometimes figuratively; sometimes literally) into making our visions a reality. We might leave our desk at 5 or 6 pm each day, but our minds are in overdrive around the clock, never really shutting down.

And many of us consider our business to be our “baby.” Here’s why that’s a dangerous way to think of it: Because when we consider our business as our “baby,” we lose the ability to detach ourselves from outcomes, to take a significant break, and — most importantly — we fear what outsourcing and delegation might do to this business we’ve built from the ground up.

Supermom mentality takes over our business (and no, this isn’t limited to women, or moms), and our business ends up owning us, instead of the other way around.

The first step in overcoming super(wo)man mentality in your business

It wasn’t until I took a very distinct step that I was able to really put things in perspective in my graphic design business. That first step? I asked for help.

I joined a business mastermind. I hired an accountant. I paired up with an accountability partner. I hired a copywriter. I delegated certain aspects of projects that didn’t need my expertise.

This didn’t happen all at once, of course. It took a few years to even get started. It took a few tries to find the right people. And it took a whole lot of inner wrestling with the part of me that didn’t want to let go of any piece of my business before I was able to truly start seeing the benefits.

And, in my mind, when you ask for help and learn to trust other people in your business, two things happen:

  1. You do more of what you’re meant to do. Until I took the things that weren’t quite lighting me up off my plate, I couldn’t truly focus on the aspects of my business that do. For me, that’s digging through color books to develop potential brand palettes. That’s being on a photo set as art director to make sure my clients get the shots they want. That’s opening my windows at my home office and spending hours finding the layout for that brochure, or visitors guide, or direct mail piece that works just right. With a team of people on my side, I can spend more time doing what I started this business to do.

  2. You allow others to do more of what they’re meant to do. Of course, this goes both ways. What I really love about building a team of people I trust is that I can empower them to do more of what they’re meant to do. I give them the guidelines, then back off and give them the space. In letting them exercise their expertise in the best way they know how, I get to see what lights them up in their businesses, and help them to do more of that.

Focus on your supreme powers

I believe that everyone has supreme powers in this world. And it’s not until I focus on empowering others to use theirs that I can fully use mine.

Let go of the super(wo)man mentality in your business. Leverage the power of others. And watch your own shine through.

What could you make room for if you began to leverage the power of other people’s talents and focus on your own?

PS – Case in point: Until I learned to delegate certain portions of my business, I was not able to make nearly enough time in my life for painting. That has changed — and over the last few months, I’ve been blending my talents with that of a web designer and copywriter to bring my new painting site to life.