I don’t wear (real) hats that often, unless I’m going to be in the sun, or in the cold weather. I have lot of hats, a habit of collecting them picked up from my Dad. He has quite a collection, many of them from trucking companies or manufacturers. In fact, as a child I thought he worked for Mack Trucks because of the Mack hats he had – he didn’t. Instead of real hats, however, I wear MANY virtual hats as an entrepreneur. They are the hats of consultant, photographer, business owner, business manager, accountant liasion, marketing and sales manager, social media overseer, human resources manager, web development supervisor, blogger, IT supervisor, client liaison, payroll manager, accounts payable, and less often, receivables handler. You get the idea. The thing is, the every day life of an entrepreneur involves one or more of these hats. Some entrepreneurs, including Melissa, switch hats less frequently or have fewer to wear – because their focus is driven by their primary hat or job. But, trial consultants, physicians, lawyers, accountants, and all professionals in small business environments have these roles/hats to fill. Some are able to hire people to wear some of these hats, some however, like me, find myself switching hats back and forth, many times daily, often in the same hour! The truth is, if you are operating your own business, your responsibilities are many. If you aren’t wearing the hat, you have to supervise the person(s) who is/are. And, this makes it difficult to focus. These business demands can sometimes pull one away from one’s primary task – doing what you do to make money. Some of these things involve regulated tasks, like doing payroll and filing payroll taxes. These are things with external deadlines. The key is to find ways to prioritize the tasks to meet those mandated, external, deadlines, while keeping an eye on the money making tasks – at times it is quite a juggling act!
David is right: I don’t wear as many hats in owning and operating our business as he does. My job primarily consists of preparing for research projects, for example, mock trials; conducting research; preparing detailed reports containing research results and recommendations for litigation strategies; supervising our research team; selecting juries; making presentations to lawyers, insurance adjusters, and other target audiences; and a few administrative tasks such as blog writing. I am the primary revenue generator for Magnus, such that all of our clients retain my company because they believe I am the litigation research consultant who will be most likely to ensure their and their clients’ success at trial, during mediation, or during arbitration. I delegate many more tasks to others than I perform myself, leaving me time to concentrate on the high level intellectual pursuits that are required to perform my job with the excellence my clients require, and deserve. This being said, however, there is absolutely no way I could do what I do absent David’s business acumen, as well as his capacity to shield me from the mind numbing and time wasting tasks that are a part of owning a small business (not to mention the fact that I would not fare well if I had to speak with our insurance company’s employees for what seems like the hundredth time while attempting to correct one of their errors!). All in all, it takes a good business manager to keep someone like me up and running on a daily basis. Hats off to you, David!