How to Stop Being a Control Freak In Your Business

Control Freak

Have you ever had a boss that was a complete control freak and drove you insane? Yeah, we’ve all been there. In fact, for most of us that could be the reason why we quit our jobs and went to work for ourselves.

The problem is when we become our old bosses. I’ve definitely had moments in my business when I was like “Oh damn, I sound like my last boss!” Granted, they were like a mentor to me and I have the utmost respect for them, but that doesn’t mean I want to run things the same way they did.

Because of this I made a promise to myself that I would not become a control freak in my business. At this point I’ve probably failed more times than I can count, but I have learned how to curb my hyper Type-A personality so that I don’t stall my business.

Have your team call you out.

When I first hired my virtual assistant almost three years ago (time flies!) I gave her permission to call me out if she ever thought I was behaving like a control freak.

Truth be told, this has probably been the most effective strategy in making sure I’m not trying to control every little detail of my business. By giving her permission, she didn’t have to feel intimidated to tell me if I was being a pain in the you know what.

I told my accountant the same thing. And my web designer. Basically, anyone I do work with has permission to call me out.

The reason this works is because I know I have a blind spot and sometimes it takes other people to point it out to me. By knowing and accepting this about myself, I can have other people help me without them worrying about whether or not I’m going to reprimand them.

Force yourself to chill out.

In the beginning stages of my business I was a control freak over my inbox. I would obsessively check my email just in case something went wrong (pretty sure this is some form of PTSD from my last job).

Eventually, I had to learn how to cut it out. First, by trusting my virtual assistant take the reigns of my email. Second, by literally forcing myself to stick to some sort of semblance of a work schedule. That means I don’t check email past 4 p.m. or on weekends. It wasn’t easy at first, and it sometimes still isn’t, but I force myself to do it anyway.

Realize something will always go wrong – and that’s okay.

I recently interviewed a bunch of startup founders for a client piece I was working on and found that they all had one thing in common: They all said entrepreneurship will require you to roll with the punches because there will always be something going wrong.

This is simultaneously the most liberating and most terrifying thing for a control freak to hear. It’s liberating because you realize there’s nothing you can do so why stress? It’s terrifying because as control freaks we like to feel like we can fix it.

I’ve had to practice taking the liberating approach and over time I have been able to accept it. But it’s been a process.

Final Thoughts

Behaving like a control freak in your business will only hinder your growth. If you happen to be a control freak naturally, try incorporating some of these tips to help you back off and get back to work.