Companies Can Do it All By Themselves…and Fail Miserably

We all know managers, executives, and owners that believe in WCDEO (We Can Do Everything Ourselves).  While some of this mentality can be attributed to the noble business traits of frugality or efficiency, there is another more sinister side that can happen when this way of thinking goes too far. 

Trying to do everything themselves prevents companies from focusing correctly.

The truth is the largest reason for business failure is due to founders, owners, and executive teams practicing and holding onto this mistaken belief and practice that they can, or need to do everything themselves.

By overextending themselves they begin to struggle with a lack of vision, actionable strategy, fear of letting go or losing control, blindness, over-blown pride, or perfectionism. Even if they recognize they are in over their heads they don’t seek a cure because they think they can’t, or don’t want to “afford it”.

As a result, they fail to focus on building great products that people will buy and growing a highly successful business. Instead they focus on the unimportant, non-productive stuff and get pulled in too many different and distracting directions.

Companies need to focus on what they SHOULD do, not whether they CAN handle everything.

Companies that are able to be honest and recognize they can’t do everything themselves can diagnose and alleviate their wounds much faster and get back to growing. Great examples of companies that struggled through this dilemma range from classic firms like Proctor & Gamble and Cisco all the way to newcomers Slack and Whatsapp. Here’s how they overcame it:

First, they were realistic and honest with themselves. 

Second, they realized that the only way to succeed is to focus on those things they do best and let nothing distract them.

Third, they checked their pride and ego’s at the door, admitted that they weren’t experts in everything, and actively sought out the resources and external expertise to fill the holes and gaps.

Finally, they invested in those resources, recognizing that they weren’t wasting or spending money needlessly, but putting their money to work to produce the greatest long term ROI.

Wrapping it all up.

Emulate highly successful companies and focus on what is truly important while leveraging the right external resources for the challenges you are dealing with at the time.

For more discussions on challenges your company may be experiencing and to see how we’ve helped others, please visit us at

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