September 12, 2011 | When it comes to running their businesses, many business owners get in their own way.

For example, they hire an assistant but don’t give the assistant anything to do. Or, the assistant suggests changes, which the business owner swore were welcome, only to be completely ignored.

It’s difficult to let go. Change is the single most threatening thing to the human being. “What if my new assistant makes a mistake?” The irony here is that we all make mistakes; somehow, however, we tolerate our own better than others’.

What could be improved in your business? Your quoting system? Returning phone calls and emails? Attending to the finishing touches on a job? Marketing more consistently? Pricing more profitably? Hiring the right people? All of the above?

I have a client who just hired a couple to organize him. They are fantastic. He’s thrilled to have them. Yet, at a meeting earlier this week, he kept saying, “I this” and “I that.” With the two others sitting there, it was “I, I, I.”

After a few minutes of this, I asked him, “What are these two doing sitting here, if you’re still taking every single thing on your own shoulders? You alone can’t get it all done; what are you doing to yourself? When are you going to include them in what you’re doing? It’s about ‘we,’ not ‘I’.” At that point he wrote ‘WE” on the page with his notes.

Control freaks bring stress upon themselves. With so many truly competent people out there, give yourself a break! By trying to save money or hoarding all the tasks for yourself, you’re giving your business no chance to grow.

It isn’t just the economy, after all.