The holiday season can be a very stressful time to own a business. While there are perks like out of town guests and extra retail sales, there are also the realities of snow, cold and flu season, and lots of vacations for my employees. I’ve taught so many classes and spent so much time at the desk throughout the last few weeks that I’ve noticed some of the administrative tasks that I need to do fall by the wayside.
Today, I was working the desk for a sick employee, and I found myself rushing through closing duties with a million to-do lists swirling around in my head for this afternoon. “Ugh, I don’t have time for this,” was the sentiment that crept up in my thoughts as I meticulously wiped down the bathroom floors. And then I caught myself.
Contrary to popular belief, you’re never too good to do the grunt work.
Far too many business owners, especially young business owners, develop a mentality that breeds hierarchy within their company culture. I’m all for delegating, but arrogance and leadership never go hand in hand. As soon as I buy into the mindset that I’m too “good” to do a basic chore for my studio, I risk losing the respect of my team and compromise a culture where everyone is encouraged to step up to the plate.
Our society paints a pretty picture of being a successful, female entrepreneur. She has perfectly filtered Instagram photos and wears the latest trends. She networks with the other important business owners in town and always finds time for a glass of wine and a business biography. No one documents the realities of the job – the unwashed hair hidden under a baseball cap, her chin breaking out because of stress, vacuuming the floors and crunching numbers on her phone while her husband is asleep. Being a girl boss isn’t about going to brunch and paying someone else to do the chores; it’s about picking up the slack and asking, “How can I help?” Every. Single. Time.
I don’t get this right every day, but I do understand how easy it can be to fall into a mindset of “I’ve paid my dues.” As a business owner, you’re never done paying your dues. I don’t care what you think the “dream job” is or who you idolize, I promise you that each and every successful female entrepreneur knows what it feels like to re-do a task someone did wrong, spend a sleepless night fixing a maintenance issue, and pretending that she has it all together.
YOU CAN’T BUILD A STRONG COMPANY WITHOUT A STRONG BACKBONE AND A CAN-DO ATTITUDE.
Every job will require you do to something that you don’t like, and no amount of authority or promotion will eliminate the work from a job. Don’t be the person who passes the baton on pitching in. Wrap your hair into a top knot, drink some more coffee, and get your hands dirty.