When I was in audit at KPMG one of the questions we used to ask business owners and managing directors to try and identify risk was, “what keeps you up at night?”.
What keeps me up at night as the CEO of Clear Books has changed as the company has grown but it’s never been about risk.
The One Man Band
When I was running Clear Books from home as a one man band, great ideas and an urgency to start working on them would literally keep me up at night. I would try to suppress the idea but inevitably had to admit defeat, jump out of bed and start developing a new feature at a ridiculous hour in the morning.
That used to happen a lot and it was exciting and exhilarating. As a one man band there is only one person who is going to get your startup moving forward. You.
As Clear Books grew I could no longer do everything myself. I built up a team and delegated.
What keeps me up at night changed to worrying about progress on what had been delegated. Because it is delegated you cannot jump out of bed and do it yourself.
Why is that taking so long? Who is doing that? Why are we doing that? The guys should be focusing on this. That still isn’t updated. Have we contacted that person? Why not? When is that feature going live?
I’ve realised it’s important to recognise that you can’t do everything yourself and things simply don’t happen overnight, at least not anymore, so try not to worry!