The Magazine For Property Management Entrepreneurs and Executives

How to Work on Your Business, Not in It

Peter Lohmann
Peter Lohmann
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How to gain leverage

If you want to work on your business instead of being stuck in operations, you need to achieve leverage. In this context, leverage is the ability to get a lot done with little effort.

Tools, like software, are a form of leverage. Labor is another form of leverage. To put it bluntly, you need to hire people to do the work instead of doing it yourself. A lot of small business owners get hung up on the idea that certain parts of their business operations can only be done by them.

What held me back from letting go of certain operational tasks was a toxic combination of ego and fear. Ego says “nobody can do this as well as me.” Fear says “If I hire someone and they mess up, the business will fail.” Ignore these twin demons and press forward.

Shed the puritan work ethic

I had puritanical ideas about hard work and laziness drilled into me from a young age. The reality is though that working is a functional task. It has no moral value. This mindset shift is a journey that I am still on.

You do not need to be working every moment that you are at work. In fact, some of your most transformational and important “work” will be done while you are explicitly not working.

Get comfortable with 85% effort

As you start to gain leverage by hiring people, you will notice mistakes. And it can be very frustrating when you see a job done incorrectly.

I’m here to tell you to get comfortable with this. It’s not going away. Nobody is going to give as much attention or speed to tasks as an owner.

Peter Lohmann

Peter Lohmann

I’m the co-founder and CEO of RL Property Management, a residential property management company in Columbus, Ohio. I’m also the co-owner of Criterium-Liszkay, and engineering firm located in Columbus. I live in the Olde Towne East neighborhood with my wife and young daughter.

Small business lessons from inside a growing property management company by Peter Lohmann.