Plan for a business that survives you having (… getting) a life. Part 1

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Plan for a business that survives you having (… getting) a life. Part 1
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One of the hardest things you are going to face as your business grows and gets more successful is actually one of the oldest, most unavoidable [and simplest] problems out there:

You CAN take a step back and let other people be YOU for a while.

The Stand-In

I recently finished Lily Chu’s Audible Original, The Stand-In. This RomCom tells the story of a famous and successful actress who hires a lookalike to live parts of her life for her.


The bones of this story are a classic so I was ALL IN as this Prince and the Pauper-inspired story gave me the awkwardness I expected from a person walking away from their life and just leaving someone else in charge while also managing charm (and love). We all know the moral of this story and while I am frequently guilty of RomCom, I could not help but see some unique parallels to entrepreneur life that I wanted to discuss with you! 🥰

Your business isn’t sustainable if it’s running its batteries off YOU.


Much like the heroine, I think we all start this adventure with THE fantasy, right?

Makin’ money on the beach!

Your business isn’t sustainable if it’s running its batteries off YOU. In the early stages of building a business, reality does not stack up to the dream. It’s incredibly easy to create a JOB while chasing that dopamine hit that comes from getting things done exactly the way we want them.
It’s unfortunate, but not taking care of yourself, even as your business succeeds is the norm 🥺

So what CAN you do?

You have to figure out how to let other people in, and that means letting go of the tasks you’ve always done yourself, finding someone else you trust to do them, and then stepping away to let that person do their new job (which used to be part of your job).

In other words… letting go.

This isn’t easy because you have to make sure that your business is still the stellar operation that your customers know and love. It means really knowing your value, knowing your own zone of genius, and what you excel at.  Know your role.

The internet tells you this in a growing variety of Instagram captions:
Hiring assistance for “that ain’t me” tasks is necessary.
(… not like it’s MY job or anything 🤓 )

It’s also easier to do.
(say WHAAAT!?)

We’ve talked before about increasing efficiency by hiring other people to do the stuff that you don’t love. What’s much, much harder is. . . 

Hiring people to do the stuff that you DO love; the real substance of your business and your brand.  BUT are you running the risk of stifling the growth of your business just so that you can retain control?

Part of owning a successful business is deciding how the business will grow.

Can duplicating a role that you love be done in a way that makes you happy?

It’s up to you to determine how “growth” is measured. You are the Chief Deciding Officer on whether or not your business is taking on more and more clients or working towards developing deeper client relationships for fewer clients (and a higher price point) OR repackaging your offer in some other, sustainable way.

HOW to think about replacing yourself.

Next email – you know, a couple of weeks from now – we’re going to get into HOW to think about replacing yourself: how to evaluate everything you do in your organization and think about how it can be divided and conquered (and replaced and paid for…), but first you have to do the hard part: admitting that your business might someday have to function in your absence.

Maybe that time isn’t soon. Maybe your fledgling organization is far away from even hiring its first employee.


  • Think about how your business’ capacity aligns with the roles within your organization.
  • Think about developing the kind of coverage that can free you and your time for being you in other ways.

I used to be in a mastermind where we talked a lot about “million-dollar decisions.” The thoughts that can save you from burnout and ultimately, save your business, too? Definitely million-dollar decisions.

Don’t neglect yourself in favor of success; there’s only one of you…but we’re here to help you work that out. 🤓

This article was originally an email to my mailing list. Join my list for monthly doses of “let’s fix this” AND access to the RJ Lewis Digital resource library.