Why you're a slave to your cabinet shop
October 17, 2019 | 4:30 pm UTC
Are you a slave to your cabinet shop?
Until just a couple of years ago, I definitely was.
The primary reason that so many of us get stuck being a slave to our shops is that we don’t know how to fire ourselves. We don’t know how to start delegating the activities that we don’t personally have to be doing. You know what those activities are - running the saw, making sales, doing the accounting. We know that we need to fire ourselves from these things, but the “how” is a little tougher. 
Firing yourself doesn’t mean that you don’t want to work. It means that you don’t want to be so tied down to your business that you have no freedom. 
Let’s do an exercise. Ask yourself:
What would happen to your business if you left for a day? Probably, everything would be fine.
What if you left for a week that wasn’t a planned vacation, but an impromptu break? Could you do it? How would your business handle it? How would you handle it? Would you be stressed and worried about your shop the whole time, or would you be fine?
What if you left for one or two months? Is that even possible for your shop, or would your operation crumble? 
When you think about stepping away from your shop for a day, a week, or a month, when do you start to feel your blood pressure rise? That spot is the place you need to put in some work. If you can’t leave your business for a week for vacation or a family emergency, then you’re a slave to your business. 
Your goal should be to set up your shop so that it can survive without you if you need, or want, to leave for a week. 
You have to get yourself out of the mindset that you can never be away for any amount of time.
Being a slave to your shop isn’t just hard on you; it’s hard on your loved ones as well. I’m fortunate to have a wife who reels me back in if I get too focused on the business over our family. Always keep in mind that your attitude toward your business also affects your family. If you’re at risk of losing your family over your shop, then you’re definitely a slave to your business. 
It’s unreasonable for micromanagers to expect freedom from their shops. If you can’t let go and delegate, if you can’t trust your team to take responsibility for anything, then you’ll forever be a slave to your shop. 
Even worse, your shop will never be able to grow past your personal capacity. 
Personally, I’ve enjoyed the freedom of not being a slave to my shop for the past few years. Getting off the shop floor has opened up other opportunities for me like writing articles and creating a podcast.
What would you do if you had freedom from your shop? Would you expand your business? Would you golf more often? Spend more time with your family? Get a full eight hours of sleep each night? 

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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About the author
Jeff Finney

Jeff Finney is the founder of Ultimate Cabinet Components, based in Collinsville, Oklahoma; 918-371-7171. For more shop insights from Jeff, check out his articles at UltCab.com or listen to his podcasts at thepushthru.com. Jeff is also a 2018 Wood Industry 40 Under 40 honoree.