Are You A Reluctant Manager?

10-12 minutes of planning every day can cut 2 hours of wasted time and effort, according to Brian Tracy.

Well, I’ve never been much of a planner. 


I’ve had my to-do list, my calendar, and my business plan in my head.

As you might imagine, this has caused some problems.

I’ve missed important appointments. I’ve missed crucial deadlines. I’ve forgotten about key initiatives.

But most importantly: this attitude limited my ability to actually make my vision reality.

And here’s the thing…

It really is all an attitude.

My reluctance to use a planner, document systems, or keep an eye on my calendar isn’t a hard-wired personality trait. It’s an attitude that I’ve chosen to take.

In January, I finally recognized this and decided to make some big changes…

…and I’ve had an absolutely incredible year. 

I do spend 10-12 minutes planning out my day, reviewing our progress toward our goals, and checking in on where others are at.

I’m better organized personally, my team is more independent, my company is growing faster than ever, we’re accomplishing more together, and our customers are happier.

I don’t get it right all the time but I’m training myself to become a better manager of my world.

Now, I know my situation is not unique.

The Entrepreneur, The Manager, and The Technician

Most small business owners in the New Economy are a combination of, as Michael Gerber describes it in The E-Myth, The Technician–the “do the work” person–and The Entrepreneur–the visionary. 

What most lack is the skillset and identity as The Manager–the person who ensures ideas get turned into a plans or systems and that those plans or systems actually get implemented.

Gerber writes:

The fact of the matter is that we all have an Entrepreneur, Manager, and Technician inside us. And if they were equally balanced, we’d be describing an incredibly competent individual. The Entrepreneur would be free to forge ahead into new areas of interest; The Manager would be solidifying the base of operations; and The Technician would be doing the technical work.

Small businesses get started primarily because people who lean towards The Technician side sense they could get a better deal working for themselves. Some have taken a skill they learned in the corporate world or by formal education and translated into self-employment.

Others have gone off to learn a new skill they’re passionate about and recognize the opportunity contained in independent work over traditional employment.

Some small businesses do get started because of the singular vision and focus of The Entrepreneur at its helm… but, in watching the trajectory of hundreds of small businesses over the last 9 years, I think these businesses are the minority. Most often, once The Technician gets bit by the entrepreneurial bug, vision is unlocked and amplified–not the other way around.

The Management Gap

This leaves a gap–and a severe imbalance–between the desire to “do the work” and the vision to create something bigger and more impactful.

There is a constant, often overwhelming, push-pull between delivering your work (performing your service, making your product, supporting customers) and working on the business.

From both my personal experience and talking to so many business owners over the years, the reluctance to close the gap, create plans, and develop systems is often perceived as a personal failing and a product of their natural-born personality.

“I’m just not a manager.”

“I’m a creative, I like to go with the flow. I’m not the kind of person who plans.”

“I’m more of a doer than a planner.”

“I’m an INTP.” (Oh wait, maybe that’s just me…)

If you’ve attempted some of the managerial tasks, like creating standard operating procedures, using project management software, or hiring people, it was likely reluctantly or even begrudgingly. Maybe you quit shortly after you started, maybe you half-heartedly continue to keep up with it.

You likely give yourself an excuse by employing one of the lines above instead of truly examining the kind of real changes you could make in how you approach the operations of your business and the organization of your life.

In other words, you’re a reluctant manager.

You’re not alone.

No one starts a small business to become a manager.

But whether you’ve been in business 1 month, 1 year, or 1 decade, no doubt you’ve felt that small business crunch. You might have started your business to do the work you love, but you realize there is so much more to it than that.

You’re constantly pulled away from what you want or need to work on by things out of your control. You worry you’re not taking good enough care of your customers because of all the balls you’re trying to keep in the air. You always feel a few steps behind.

In essence, you’re struggling with how to manage it all: yourself, your time, and your systems.

You’re ready to be in control of your business and your priorities.

You’re ready to have your business provide for you instead of always providing for your business.

You’re ready to feel fully confident in the sustainability of your business and your lifestyle.

More than anything: you’re ready to shift your work environment from overwhelming & anxiety-inducing to calm, focused, and fun.

You’re in luck!

You’re invited to join me and 600 of my friends for The Reluctant Manager, a virtual conference about managing yourself, your systems, and your team—even if you really don’t want too.

My team at CoCommercial has pulled together an incredible line up of speakers who will share both their expertise and their hard-won experience to help you become a 5-star manager, without becoming a rigid planner or the boss you hated at your old job.

And, of course, I have a lot to say on this topic, as well!

Here’s what we’ll cover during The Reluctant Manager:

  • Welcome Session with CoCommercial founder Tara Gentile – 11am-11:20am Eastern/8am-8:20am Pacific
  • Building Strong Relationship So You Can Get The Most From Your Team with Lucus Lyons – 11:25am-12:15pm Eastern/8:25am-9:15am Pacific
  • How to Stop Suffering For Success with Lena West  – 12:25pm-1:15pm Eastern/9:25am-10:15am Pacific
  • Creating the Systems You Need to Make Your Company a Great Place to Work for You with Natasha Vorompiova  – 1:40pm-2:30pm Eastern/10:40am-11:30am Pacific
  • Integration Session with Tara Gentile – 3:15pm-4pm Eastern/12:15pm-1pm Pacific
  • Knowing What Hat To Wear & When with Breanne Dyck  – 4:10pm-5pm Eastern/1:10pm-2pm Pacific
  • Structuring Your Day For Maximum Joy & Efficiency with Marie Poulin  – 5:10pm-6pm Eastern/2:10pm-3pm Pacific
  • Closing Session with Tara Gentile – 6:10pm-6:30pm Eastern/3:10pm-3:30pm Pacific

Plus, you’ll be able to chat along with other attendees, ask speakers your nagging questions, and take the time to integrate what you’re learning so you can apply it right away.

Join this virtual conference absolutely free when you become a member of CoCommercial. Start your 30-day trial today and then mark your calendar for September 13 when we’ll meet in our virtual conference space and get to work.

To learn more about The Reluctant Manager virtual conference and CoCommercial—your small business brain trust–click here.