The Control Illusion In Business

By: Lisa Marie Koebcke

The illusion of control exists to remind us all we’re human. Business owners not only need to be in control, they love it. Sometimes their need to be in control overshadows the issues that hamper their abilities to address issues properly. Sometimes they make mistakes which actually allow them to see things from the other side of the pillow. That is how we grow as individuals. Success builds confidence but it can also step into the world of overconfidence. When this happens, we have a tendency to overestimate our abilities.

You have to look back in order to move forward. That’s much more difficult than it sounds, but instead of focusing on what might happen, and trying to control the future, you have to analyze on what went wrong and what caused the shortcomings in the first place. That is what you need to do to develop, what you can control, a system. Control is an illusion but a system is tangible and that is something you can control. A system is a living organic creature that you need to nurture in order for it and your business to evolve.

  • Develop a system with a few things you CAN control
  • Become educated with the project/client
  • Assess your options and mitigate risks
  • Control spending and manage costs
  • Diversify only when you have the bandwidth
  • Only work with people you trust

Humans have limitations. We spend a considerable amount of our time trying to control what is outside of our control. We are imperfect at best. We build imperfect systems, and some of the proposed solutions are likely to be imperfect also. If you develop a system that works, the best you can do is to refine the system as shortcomings arise. You need to have a system in place to allow your work to retain, not control your acquired clientele. You can face the fear of failure that you might not be able to get new clientele and get your company over the hump. That is not control, that is reality. Remember, you not only need skill, but a little luck as well to reach your goal.

For most business owners, the challenge of accepting failure on marketing, leadership, and general operational procedures is unacceptable. You have to willing to take a risk. If you are endlessly conservative, you cannot maximize your potential. Remember, just because you failed, it doesn’t mean you did the wrong thing. Failure helps you reset your priorities. After all, most entrepreneurs and successful business owners reached their position through confidence and risk taking, If you don’t try you can’t succeed or fail. Failure is a building block of success. There are no participation medals in business.

The more successful you are, the more of a perfectionist you are, the more likely you suffer from the illusion of control. Remember, you can’t control everything. Sometimes you need to step back and let things play out. Besides, you can’t drive the hearse at your funeral.

What systems can you create? Please share and like on social media if you have any system you think would help other people. #ControlIllusion

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