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Business Owners Need to Put Their Own Oxygen Mask on First

Screenshot 2022-07-15 134338

I’ve managed to minimize my air travel over the past three years.   

In fact, I have just one business trip to the airport since 2019 at this point.  And I’m not in a big rush to start piling up the air miles again yet either. 

As I recall, flying has quite a few annoyances.  Travelling two days for a two-hour meeting. Delays. Cancellations. Crowding. Impatient people. Loud, pre-flight announcements. I don’t miss it much and will be more prudent with my flights going forward.   

I was thinking about the pre-flight announcements lately though.  After a while you tend to tune them out, but there is some valuable information in there.  

Your seat cushion serves as an approved flotation device. A life vest is located under or between your seat. And, be sure to secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others. 

The reason you need to start the oxygen flow for yourself first, is that you cannot help others if you are not capable.  If you don’t have a free flow of oxygen, people dependent on you are in trouble 

Business Owners Need to Scale Themselves First 

Many business owners are looking for ways to scale and grow their businesses. 

They want to improve profitability.  They want to help their teams grow.  They want to modernize. 

And, they want to take a breath themselves.  To not be in the middle of everything, and to start increasing their personal freedom. 

Many of us have been trained that we should look after ourselves last as owners and leaders.  Be a servant leader.  Leaders eat last.  

I actually think this is good advice to build a great culture, and generally to be a good person.  But, it is the wrong approach if you want to scale your company. 

If you want to scale your business, you should eat first. 

You can’t help your team if you are consumed each day by fire-fighting.  


The Benefits of You Going First 

To make the business more scalable, you will have to start with yourself.    

This way, you can start simplifying how you spend your own time.  And then this will have several benefits. 

  • By removing some repetitive tasks from your own plate, you will have more time to help your team. 
  • With more time to think, you will make better, more thoughtful decisions. 
  • Some of the activities that you need to shed – will be the exact tasks some of your team crave.  You can improve two or more people’s work experience by delegating one activity. 
  • You will identify high-yield areas to modernize with technology. 
  • You will often find at least one item that doesn’t need to be done at all any more.  100% return on investment. 

So please.  When you decide to focus on scaling your business, put your own oxygen mask on first. Your team, your family, and friends will all thank you. 

Part 1 of 5 in our Scalability blog series. 

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