Overcoming Founder's Dilemma: 5 Strategies for Building a Successful Agency
Have you experienced the dreadful feeling of not being good enough?
Mistakes, miscommunication, and stress are all natural consequences of becoming a creative agency owner. But when you allow these moments to transform into self-doubt, it can translate into some serious consequences for your agency.
Your mindset is the most critical resource your business has, and it’s your responsibility as the owner to preserve it as much as possible.
Warning Signs You’re Struggling with Founder’s Dilemma:
Imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and fears being exposed as a "fraud." This mindset roadblock is a critical contributor to the development of founder’s dilemma.
If you've done any of the following recently, it may be a sign that your mindset is secretly holding you and your business back:
You downplay your achievements and dismiss compliments from others.
You're constantly comparing yourself to others and feeling like you fall short.
You avoid taking on new challenges or opportunities out of fear of failure or rejection.
You avoid asking for help because you don't want to appear inferior.
Feeling like an imposter within your own business is a common part of the growth process many agency owners experience at some point in their careers.
However, it’s important to break these habits as soon as possible before they cause serious damage to your agency.
The Five Core Problems of Founder's Dilemma:
While running a creative agency can bring a wealth of opportunities and positive experiences, it can also bring an equal amount of stress if you’re not careful. When you are struggling with the founder’s dilemma, you need to change how you react to challenges within your agency.
There are five core limiting beliefs that agency owners with founder's dilemma must address to see growth within their agency:
E-book or white paper: Create a comprehensive guide or report that addresses a specific pain point or problem your audience is facing, and offers actionable solutions.
Case study or success story: Share a real-life example of how your business helped a customer overcome a challenge and achieve success, complete with data and insights.
Webinar or video training: Host a live or pre-recorded video session that educates your audience on a relevant topic, and offers exclusive insights or tips.
Quiz or assessment: Develop an interactive quiz or assessment that helps your audience identify their pain points or needs, and offers personalized recommendations or solutions.
Checklist or template: Create a downloadable resource that helps your audience simplify or streamline a process, such as a checklist for launching a new product or a template for creating social media posts.
Ways to Conquer the Founder's Dilemma
The good news is that you CAN overcome founder’s dilemma with the right mindset shift. To build your confidence and generate some quick wins for a mental reset, try these top tips:
Evaluate your tasks: As an agency owner, you should evaluate all of your tasks and categorize them into what you're good at and enjoy and what you're not good at and hate. Once you've identified your weakest tasks, you can delegate them to others and focus on activities that will help your agency grow.
Focus on your team: Your team can’t thrive if you don’t trust them. Empower your team to make decisions on their own and develop their problem-solving skills so they can start taking on more responsibility.
Set boundaries: Setting boundaries is essential. When you're on-call to solve every problem that arises, you're preventing your team from developing their problem-solving skills and ultimately, limiting their potential. Instead, empower your team to make decisions so you are no longer the bottleneck of projects moving forward.
Focus on money-generating activities: As the agency owner, you need to focus on activities that will generate revenue and grow your business. This means prioritizing sales, marketing, and other activities that directly impact your bottom line and delegating everything else.
Seek outside support: Sometimes you need a second opinion. This could be a mentor, coach, or even a business consultant. Colleagues with more experience in the industry can provide you with valuable insights and guidance they’ve learned along the way that can help you avoid costly mistakes and make smarter choices.
Don’t let founder’s dilemma hold your agency back. When you prioritize your well-being and focus on activities that will drive growth and success for your agency, you can conquer the founder's dilemma and build the agency of your dreams.