Why management skills matter to businesses of 1

A non-obvious way to gain more power

Every business owner can benefit from honing their skills as a manager.

That’s true whether you have a team of 5, 10, or 50.

It’s also true if you’re a team of 1.


Management is more than making sure other people are getting their work done to a certain standard.

Management is connecting goals and metrics to daily performance and behavior. It’s optimizing processes and systems to shorten lead times and reduce redundancy. It’s aligning tactics with strategy and vision.

Management is an everyday part of owning and growing a business–no matter how many or how few people you hire.

The more you hone your management skills, the more stable your entire business is.

Breanne Dyck–one of our speakers for The Reluctant Manager–describes it with a karate analogy. She says that, in order to stay on your feet when being pushed, punched, or kicked, you’re tempted to tense up and muscle through it.

You become rigid and you’re actually very easy to push over.

Instead, if you forget trying to hold tight and muscle through it, you can focus on your structure–literally how your body is supporting itself. You can set that structure to withstand the blow fairly easily.

Breanne goes on to say:

Chances are that you’re relying too much on muscle and hustle in your business too… and let’s be honest, it can be exhausting.

Here’s the thing…

It’s so tempting to rely on “muscle” in our businesses.
To rely on your ability to push. To hustle. To make things happen.
But when you do that, it’s actually a sign that you’re not actually solid in your structure.
That you’re not really trusting your structure.

For our purposes, I’m going to define structure as management: it’s the mindset, systems, and tools you use to provide the framework for how you get things done.

When you’re a team of 5, 10, or 50, you might be able to fudge your structure and rely on the “muscle” of the people on your team. I don’t recommend it… but it happens.

But when you’re a team of 1, you need a solid framework, stable structure, and predictable strategy for getting things done. You can’t rely on muscling through because, first, it will exhaust you and, second, it will put you out of business.

Do a quick gut check:

Are you relying on your muscle to get through your day or week?

Or is your structure stable enough that you feel confident in your ability to work toward your goal with ease and intention?