I’ve been watching a lot of cowboy tv lately.

Blame Yellowstone if you want… I’m a writer and it’s a great story…

(I swear… it has nothing to do with the morally-grey muscle men who would burn the world down to defend you. Also is it weird that Kevin Costner seems hotter at 70 than he was in his Bodyguard days?)

Strapping anti-heroes aside – I’ve actually learned quite a lot from these shows.

For example, did you know it’s actually super easy for cows to die because they have too many farts?

No seriously… If they eat too much sweet stuff like clover or alfalfa – they get gassy and bloat up – compressing their lungs and blood vessels. Google it.

I also learned a ton of stuff about Native American culture, how to negotiate like a badass, how land development companies weasel their way to crazy tax breaks – my inner nerd is quite pleased.

But here’s what fascinated me most…

Back in the 1800’s there were a slew of accidental drownings in Germanic and Slavic countries.

The government – in all its wisdom – decided to fix the problem…

By making swimming illegal.

Yep! instead of bolstering programs teaching people how to swim so they don’t drown…

They just gathered round the table and said, “You know what? We’ll just tell them they’re not allowed to go in the water and then everyone will stop!”

Because that approach has worked SO well throughout history ammiright? 🙄

They went as far as to whip the bodies of drowned victims – just to make sure people were paying attention.

So when the immigrants came to the States to pioneer the west – a bunch of them died when they couldn’t cross the rivers, because they lacked the one life skill that could actually help.

Business owners do this kind of stuff all the time.

Instead of embracing emerging technologies, helping their team level up their skills, or adapting to changing markets – they cling to outdated practices and find themselves unable to compete. 

Then when things get hairy, they make arbitrary rules in an attempt to take control…

But in reality – they’re only making the problem worse… AND they’re taking away their power to fix the issue at its core.

Maybe they’re worried about security, or that their team is slacking off, or balls keep dropping and too many mistakes are made…

So they start micromanaging – rather than investing in skill development…

Or they start gatekeeping – rather than empowering their teams to take ownership of their roles…

Or they try to lock people into super restrictive contracts – rather than building a company where people are excited to come to work…  

You can’t keep a white-knuckled death grip on your business AND create a culture that fosters innovation and empowers rockstars to build you something bigger than you ever imagined. You just can’t.

And unless you help your team learn to find the root issue – the core problem buried underneath the symptom – you’re just putting bandaids on a wound that will never really heal.

You’ve gotta equip people with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to navigate challenges effectively.

And if you’re afraid you’ll invest all that time and money into training them only for them to leave – guess what…

People leave! If you get 2-5 good years out of a total rockstar – you’ve won the game.

So if you’re feeling like things just aren’t working – or that you’re trying to take control but everything keeps slipping through your fingers …

Then maybe it’s time to try a new approach.

It might be scary – but I promise you there are people out there doing it successfully, and there IS a better way.

If you’re not sure where to start, or it feels too overwhelming – I’d love to help with that.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve gotten pretty good at filling the gaps in people’s businesses.

Usually these “gaps” fall into one of 3 categories:

  1. An offer is missing or broken
  2. Pieces of the team or systems are missing or broke
  3. The visionary is getting burned out and bogged down by the day-to-day nitty gritty of the business, and needs help stepping out so they can work “on” the business instead of “in” the business

If you’d like some help filling those critical gaps, send me a message at rachel [at] rachelmazza.com and let’s chat. 

Hope you have a swimmingly great week, 🏊