15 December 2016

What’s on your head?

Speaking at one of our events, InspireMCR

On mine right now is my ‘writer hat’, along with my ‘CEO hat’ and my ‘Dad hat’. There are probably many more on there, but right now, they’re the main three. And that’s quite enough.

Why am I talking about hats? Whilst it sounds like I am a little too full of Christmas cheer, the hats analogy is one of the best I’ve seen to sum up what it is like being an entrepreneur.

I remember hearing this story from James Timpson some time ago. He asked someone to place one hat on their head. Then another, then another, and so on. Before long, there’s a column of hats on this person’s head and they’re starting to fall, they can’t reach to add any more on and suddenly it all collapses!

Imagine that each of those hats is a role within a business; a CEO hat, a marketer hat, a salesperson hat, a receptionist hat, a designer hat, a web dev hat, a maintenance hat, an office manager hat, a cleaner hat, a HR hat, a customer support hat, a trainer hat; the list is endless!

I remember wearing all of these hats in the early days of UKFast and there is certainly only so long that you can support the weight of so many roles. Something has to give eventually. I know how hard that first hire can be as a startup, but often that hire is the most important and will become a key pillar of the business. And they’ll take on some of your hats.

I was reminded of this hat analogy reading about Donald Trump’s conflict of interest with his business ventures and presidency. I cannot imagine how many hats Trump already wears without having the biggest of all – President of the United States. Something has to give there, and I was not surprised to hear that he would be stepping back from the Trump enterprises. No one person can take on all of those roles and do them well.

Perhaps the end of the year, start of a new one, is the perfect time to audit how many hats you’re wearing. Are you doing too much? The holidays are a time for reflection and an opportunity to make changes to keep you motivated, efficient and successful.

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