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By paulag | November 13, 2012
Now is the time to get real and admit that you can’t do it all. It is just not possible. There is only ONE of YOU. Your business will only grow so far unless you get help so you can focus on the most strategic and valuable tasks that play to your unique strengths.
So if you are:
- Feverishly busy
- Constantly up against the clock trying to get the to-do’s done for the week
- Regularly overwhelmed
- Spending lots of time on low-value tasks
- Doing stuff you hate to do or don’t do well
Then NOW is the time to start delegating.
When most business owners face the opportunity to delegate one (or both) of two things happen. You immediately say:
1) “But I don’t have the money to pay anyone else!”
2) “No one else will do it the way I do!” (Enter the control-freak whose mantra is “if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself” regardless of the task at hand).
Both of these excuses are your gremlins and ego-mind freaking out because you’re about to do something that feels uncomfortable. It’s ok if you’re uncomfortable (that’s how growth feels), but it’s not ok if you let it stop you.
First off, if you wait until you have “extra” money to pay someone, you never will. You need to put support in first before you can build (think: the house frame has to be in place before the second floor can be built). Make decisions based on where you want to be not where you currently are. It will likely be a stretch and that is ok. Start small and expand as you go (this is about succeeding in, not bankrupting your business). (If you need help finding extra money, view the tongue in cheek video)
Second, the control-freak or perfectionist way simply doesn’t work. It is the fastest path to burnout, fatigue, misery, and eventually disease. Be conscious about what you delegate and put parameters in place to ensure the job gets done well. It might not be exactly as you would do it but that is ok (and often it actually gets done better than you would because your team member has direct focus and you’re spread too thin!).
So, what should you delegate? Tasks to delegate fall into two categories:
1) Tasks that are low-value and regularly take up your time.
2) Tasks that someone else can do better than you.
Whether you love or hate the task is not the key determining factor. There may be tasks you really don’t mind doing but that are not the best, most profitable and productive use of your time. Delegating them frees you up to better leverage your time (whether that is for a sales conversation or much needed R&R). Then there are the tasks you hate and/or never get around to. Delegating these means they will actually get done in a timely manner and spare you angst.
So, what are some of the tasks that are ripe for handing over? Here’s a list of items commonly delegated to other team members by self-employed business owners:
- Administrative tasks (scheduling, correspondence, filing, organization).
- Online marketing (monitoring/scheduling social media, newsletters, teleclass setup, autoresponder setup, shopping cart administration).
- First-line customer service (easy inquiries that don’t require your attention such as “where do I register for her next class?”)
- Client care
- Data entry
- Contact management
- Web design, programming, updating
- Personal and business errands
- Scheduling (clients, prospects, medical appointments, other meetings)
- Document and presentation formatting
- Post articles to a blog, article marketing, etc.
These are just a few of many ways you can use team members to leverage your time. Gain support in your personal life as well – cleaning services for your house/office, lawn care, and other concierge services (groceries, appointments, etc.).
The most important thing to remember about delegation is that you are delegating tasks, not abdicating responsibility. Everything a team member does for you in your business is a reflection on you, your business, and your brand.
There are many ways to find, choose, and work with team members. Look for a future article on how to do that well…
My Coach’s Request to You:
1) Make a list of everything you do that takes time but does not capitalize on your unique abilities (and therefore lead toward profitability now or in the future).
2) Which of these tasks could you start delegating?
3) Commit to starting with a do-able stretch of team member hours within the next 30 days.
Need help identifying how you can delegate to grow your business and ease overwhelm? Need road-tested advice on how to create an effective team and pry your control-freak grip off of every task that needs to be done? Contact me for an Intuitive Intelligence® Activation Session to experience the thrill and leveraged success of having a support team.