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Free from the “That’s Not my Job” Mentality

Most people usually have harsh words to say about a person who declares ‘that’s not my job’ when it comes to getting things done at work. Companies will go on and on about how they hire people who are accountable and responsible, never uttering the dreaded ‘that’s not my job’ in response to a customer request. Yet, it’s a belief most people have when it comes to all the functions a business requires to stay alive.

Even if you never say it, you live ‘that’s not my job’ most of the time. If your company has other people working there or other departments you are not a part of, you are quite comfortable that there are a number of functions that are not your job.

As an entrepreneur, every function of the business is yours to deal with. Of course, you may have an accountant who checks in on your books once a quarter and helps you with taxes or the lawyer friend you can call on to draft a contract or give advice. You may hire someone to build your website and enlist in the help of a marketing coach. Hiring someone with more expertise can be vital to your business’ survival. However, just because you get someone else to do these things doesn’t mean you were free from the decision. It is still your job to make sure you have sound accounting records, legal business practices, a decent website, and a means of attracting new clients, to name just a few of a business’ needs.

If you have been comfortable in a job where you really didn’t need to concern yourself with most of the aspects of a business, it can be a real challenge when you are suddenly required to deal with everything. “I don’t know. I never thought about that,” becomes a starting point for a lot of learning instead of a dismissive shrug that ends a conversation. If you want to grow and maintain a business, you need to be comfortable with the fact you need to grow and maintain your mind. You need to grow and maintain your knowledge. Even if you hire others to take care of things for you in some places, you will still need a basic understanding in order to make appropriate decisions.

Don’t let this scare you. It’s not as dreadfully dull and scary as it may seem. Sure, you can expect some areas of business to be boring or tedious, but there is a lot of fun to be had as well. If you’ve ever complained about having a job that was boring, unchallenging, or just stagnant because you never got to learn anything new, taking on a business of your own blows that away almost immediately. You get to learn about worlds of information you never experienced before. You get to meet all sorts of new people your old job would have never let you cross paths with, never mind sitting down for a real conversation. You are free to grow.

You can still delegate as your business grows and that will be something you will need to be good at when the time comes. This still means you need to know what’s going on and be able to understand what others are doing to your business. Think about any job you’ve had where it seemed like the boss or owner had no idea what was going on. Remember how out of touch and clueless you thought that person was or is? Don’t let that be you. Even if you are no longer part of the daily production or the grittiest details, everything is still yours to know and care about. Success comes from banishing “that’s not my job” from your life.

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