Many people worry that they will become replaceable one day. It’s one of the most common worries people have about their careers. It isn’t nice to imagine that some person or technology might come along and take your job. But it might surprise you to learn that for the most successful among us, this is exactly the goal. In fact, being able to replace yourself is one of the fundamental keys to growing as an entrepreneur.
Successful entrepreneurs realize that they need to train and develop the people around them. Those people should be able to run the company even in their absence. This can be a hard sell for those of us with even a modest ego. We want to believe we are the center of everything and that people would be lost without us. But this is counter to what we need to be successful.
When you become replaceable, you create a work environment that allows knowledge to flow at your company. You build leaders who you can trust to take care of your company while you focus on improving it. You can take on new projects and push the envelope while being confident that what you have built so far will be in good hands.
What are some ways you can replace yourself?
- Delegate – That means delegating decisions as well as tasks. Be a leader, not a ruler. You don’t need to make every decision yourself if you trust the people you have trained.
- Mentor – Find someone within your company to mentor and teach your skills and knowledge to.
- Have a system – We all like to think we’re super talented and what we do is akin to magic. But it shouldn’t be. Distill your job into a step-by-step process. You should be able to give someone a numbered list of steps to get the same results you do.
- Grow – There’s no point in this if you replace yourself and then just stagnate and sit on the sidelines. Replace yourself and use the freedom you now have to become even more skilled and knowledgeable so you have more to pass on.