Drop the Ego and Listen: A Lesson for Business Owners

As business owners we have become accustomed to controlling our own destiny and trusting our instincts.  When our instincts are correct we laud our decision making furthering our convictions.

Most of the time, it is impossible to see the faults in our decisions until months (maybe years) after our decisions are made.  Even then, we rarely recognize them.  We look back and say, “There is nothing I could have done differently.”  Really?  Nothing?  Then look back further!

Many times what we could have done differently is LISTEN!

It is impossible to be an expert in all things.  It is impossible to be able to see it all.  That’s why we have experts in the first place!  Experts don’t claim to know it all.  They claim to know it all within a very specific field.  There’s a difference.

Consider the example of a mother and/or father guiding their young children through life.  You will often hear the parent say, “I know what’s best for my children!”  This is no different with business owners.  As the matriarch or patriarch of our businesses, we “know what is best for our business.”

But don’t parents rely on doctors to keep their children in good health?  Don’t they rely on teachers to help educate them and coaches to teach them athletics?  Yes, they do.

A parent’s core business is parenting not coaching or healthcare.  But what is your core business?  This is not always easy to answer.  Or is it?  I define your core business as something you’re not willing to outsource to someone else.  This means, if you’re willing to open up your wallet and hire someone to do a job that job is not your core business.  The person you hired is the expert not you.  So, listen to them.

At times, their suggestions may be contrary to your instincts.  But in most cases, the expert is seeing things that you are not.  They may be trying to explain the repercussions of your instincts.  But, you’re not listening.

The attitude of, it’s my business, I know better is very common.  But, if we ignore the advice of the experts we hire, we will be forced to learn the lessons the experts already know the hard way.

People are experts for a reason. They’ve seen a large volume of cases within a niche field.  If you’ve done your due diligence before hiring them, you should trust and rely on their expertise.  After all, you’re paying for it!

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