In your business are you an architect or a contractor?


In Hindu mythology there is a revered Goddess Kali who has eight hands. Alongside being the Goddess of darkness, destruction, and death, Kali is also a symbol of Mother Nature because she is believed to be timeless and formless, representing the creation of life and the universe as well.  The goddess is stated to destroy evil in order to defend the innocent.


Alas, as entrepreneurs, we neither have the divine advantage of eight hands like Goddess Kali nor the strength that the immortals do. The ground reality presents a different scenario of course. Entrepreneurs are relentlessly putting in 80 plus hour weeks in the hope that they will be able to scale their business to potential. They think they are scaling their business when in reality they are trying to grow the business. They think that being away from their business would be sacrilege. They have a team and think that they are delegating tasks appropriately.


Truth be told, entrepreneurs spend most of their time in ‘ contractor ‘ mode, wherein it becomes incumbent upon them to be deciding for others, what one call ‘ the deciding trap ‘ , where you are task rabbiting as outlined by author Mike Michalowicz in the updated edition of his book  Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself – Revised and Expanded . 


We have all heard this before but it is still worth reiterating- when a business doesn’t depend on the owner, it becomes more profitable and saleable. The inability to delegate effectively is a serious achilles heel amongst business owners. This applies to leaders in large organisations as well and hence not typical to entrepreneurs.


A growth mindset( more time, more effort, and hopefully better results) limits the possibility of the business realising its true potential which will come from having a scaling mindset, where they leverage resources to achieve the same or better results with less effort.


Working is Not Productivity. The message once(and even now) was loud and clear. Relentless self-optimisation was a way to cope, but is it really? Humans are NOT search engines !


There has been always something obscene about the cult of the hustle, the treadmill of alienated insecurity that tells you that the moment you stop running for even an instant, you will be flung flat on your face. Arbeit Macht FreiMeaning work sets you free. These words first appeared in an 1873 German novel. And later got adopted by the Nazis as a slogan. The mantra of work as freedom or a magical route to happiness has proved incredibly resilient. The reality is that for billions of people around the world , work is a tightrope walk oscillating between indignity and survival


Entrepreneurs suffer from the ‘ hero-trap ‘, a delusional state that tells them that they are Hercules +  Machiavelli combined. Sorry to disappoint the Type A Alpha, you are not. So, time to stop playing the Queen Bee role and start welcoming support and inspiring others to excel.


So, contractor, ready to enter into a contract with the architect in you? So that you can design, decide, delegate? Instead of only doing!

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