14 Mistakes Founders Make as They Transition From Solopreneur to Manager

14 Mistakes Founders Make as They Transition From Solopreneur to Manager
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If you've recently grown your business and hired employees, you should know about these common pitfalls. Strong management is one of the most important skills for any founder, and the transition from solopreneur to manager is bigger than most realize. From micromanagement to failing to delegate, here's what you should be aware of:

A. Not Knowing Who Is Best at Which Tasks


Hiring people is great! It means your business is growing, and it allows you to focus on your genius, in theory. Two common mistakes: throwing stuff onto someone else without thinking through whose role it should be based on what the business needs and micromanaging. Empower people to do what they're great at. And don't dump things on others that you should be doing, even though it might suck. - Malachi Leopold, Media Lark, Inc.

A. Looking Over People's Shoulders


As a manager, you must learn to effectively delegate significant tasks you have previously completed and refrain from looking over shoulders to see if the task was done correctly. Additionally, you must set clear goals and expectations so you and your team can achieve success. A good manager also recognizes individual weaknesses and builds a strong team to complement those lacking skills. - Aimee Kandrac, WhatFriendsDo

A. Remaining an "Ego-System"


Ever hear of the "lone wolf" syndrome? Alone, you may be a rock star with superhero capabilities, but in a team, you're frustrating to work for. It's because your mentality is off. Stop focusing on being a personal "ego-system" and start becoming a team "eco-system." Swallow your pride and realize there are people better than you at certain jobs. Accept It! Your future will thank you. - Steven Picanza, Latin & Code

A. Assuming Employees Will Work All the Time


A solopreneur means you have to be invested emotionally, mentally and socially in your business all the time. Expecting an employee to love and work for your business like you do is unrealistic. Employees need time to relax and live their own life. That way, your employees will be able to come in every day and tackle the work with gusto. - Mike Sheffer, First Dynamic

A. Falling Into the "I Can Do It Myself" Trap


Learn to delegate as quickly as possible. If you're at the point where you've hired staff, trust that the individuals you've hired are competent, bright and great brand representatives. Give them room to operate, but provide them with support when they need it. Do not fall into the trap of "I can do it myself." Continuing to take on all the tasks your business requires will lead to burnout. - Michael Cleary, Huemor

A. Not Training People Properly


Learning and applying the skills of documenting and having people follow procedures. There are many things that you do 'the right way' by habit that others will surprisingly not do "correctly." You must start operating as if the people you hire are not at all familiar with what you need done and how. Make training materials for each repeated task and have them followed. Read "Work the System," by Sam Carpenter. - Aaron Nicholson, The Code Builders

A. Not Changing Your Perspective


Don't assume your employees will be as committed and driven as you to succeed. Entrepreneurs are a special breed. Recognize what motivates employees, set clear expectations and evaluate performance in a constructive way. As a manager, it is your job to help your employees succeed. This means providing the right training and support, as well as providing opportunity and rewards for hard work. - Christopher Rodgers, Colorado SEO Pros

A. Losing Direction


When you're doing it yourself, you can muddle through complicated strategic questions, but when you start to manage others, muddling through gets more and more expensive. Make sure you have true north as clear as possible and then talk about it over and over again with the folks you manage. It will help you all move that much faster. - Will Wright, Pack Health

A. Not Keeping Your Core Values Close to Heart


Keep the reason for inception close at heart. Remember, you started your company based on certain core values. It is now your job to spread the mission and vision to the rest of your team. - Amy Pazahanick, Agape Ventures

A. Thinking Employees Aren't Capable


Similar to my other contributing colleagues, not trusting employees is the biggest pitfall we see in clients we consult with. No one wants to be micromanaged, so remember, as you transition to manager, trust that your people understand the culture and values you want to create and let them fly on their own within reason. Delegation is important. However, they have to have some autonomy. - Steven Newlon, SYN3RGY Creative Group

A. Not Managing Expectations


The No. 1 pitfall to beware of as you transition from solopreneur to manager is managing expectations. As solopreneur, you are fully aware of your capabilities and you can judge and manage your expectations. But as you transition to become a manager, you can fall short in judging true expectations from your employees, as they mostly only have themselves as a reference. - Mayank Garg, Gozent, LLC

A. Trying to Control Everything


Trying to keep absolute control of every tiny aspect of your business as it grows is a huge pitfall. The sooner you learn to let go of the absolute control you had as a soloprenuer, and get used to your team getting the job done according to their own experience and competencies, the easier your life will be. Clear guidance, a strong culture and solid procedures will take care of the rest. - Antonio Gandara-Martinez, BounceChat

A. Forgetting There's a Learning Curve


Transitioning from solopreneur to manager means that you'll need to entrust others to execute tasks that you yourself used to complete. You might have certain efficiencies you've learned along the way, but this isn't always transferable when it comes to delegating tasks. Don't use yourself as the barometer -- pad extra for the learning curve and make sure you hire the right person for the job. - Kam Diba, Reverge

A. Not Building Repeatable Processes


When moving from a freelancer to agency owner, one of the hardest parts was getting all of the information out of my head and into a system that my employees could work with. Employee onboarding is always a work in progress, but each time I realize what details need to be explained more clearly and where more training time should be invested. - Kathryn Hawkins, Eucalypt Media

These answers are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners

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