What’s the best way to lower stress, grow your business beyond your wildest dreams and even work fewer hours than you are right now?
(insert the sound of slamming car brakes)
…but does the very thought of trusting someone else with any aspect of your business – the business you’ve invested your own hours, blood, sweat, and tears into – give you an immediate feeling of dread?
Eeks – the horror show in your mind spins wildly out of control:
- What if they make a mistake?
- Can they do that task as well as I do?
- How long does it take to teach someone else what I do?
- Is it worth it to hire someone else?
- Is my business even big enough or profitable enough to invest in help?
The answers to these burning questions and more are covered in this post.
The summary? You’re worth help right now…even help that costs money.
Make the business of your dreams
The exciting thing about having your own business is that you truly can do anything. Literally anything. You are capable of amazing things.
The harder truth for small business owners to swallow is that you personally cannot do everything well.
Have you heard the joke that you were tired of working 9-5, so you started your own business…and good news: now you’re working 24/7?
This does not a dream business make.
As you work to create a business that offers you the income and lifestyle that you truly want, it can feel terrifying to consider letting anybody else take the reins.
But the truth is, the sooner you delegate the parts of your business that you don’t do as well or the parts of your business that you do not enjoy, the more quickly you can grow the parts of your business that you do best: delegation in your business is how you create your actual dream job.
That is how you make more money, in less time than if you’re trying to do every dang thing yourself.
And a thriving business that is profitable and enjoyable is the whole point, right?
The first time that I was an entrepreneur I tried a lot of different things and made plenty of mistakes. One of the biggest mistakes was not delegating anything. By the time I threw my hands up in resignation and closed my business, I was tired to my bones. (…and also really broke.)
This time things are far different. My business has grown beyond my ambitious financial goals, I’m working less than full time and I enjoy my business most of the time. A lot of this success has to do with the fact that I delegate.
How do I delegate in my personal and professional life? Let’s dive in.
It may surprise you that even though I’m a good writer I’m actually a terrible speller. The first person I ever hired was actually my proofreader. Every single thing I publish for myself for clients goes to her to make sure I’ve crossed my t’s and dotted my i’s.
If you’re writing, make sure to charge enough to be able to hire a proofreader. The benefits of delegating this task are that I am able to provide a better service to my clients – they pay for a premium service and I cannot provide high-quality work without my proofreader’s help.
Next up: I delegated many tasks to a virtual assistant.
Having a virtual assistant
I hired a virtual assistant far sooner than I felt “ready”.
At the time I was still working a full-time job and growing my company and felt pressed for time but didn’t feel like I was making “enough” money to justify hiring an assistant. But I knew that one of my top goals was to not have a business where I felt so overwhelmed as I did years ago, the first time I had a business.
I decided to take the plunge.
I ended up hiring my VA for three hours a week, and goodness did it feel great to have fewer tasks clunking around in my brain. I delegated those tasks that need to be done, but I don’t personally need to do them. I also got to see her take on things like my social media and emails and love it.
And I intended to keep my word of having three hours of work for her to actually do each week. This meant that not only is she taking work off of my plate, but she also held me accountable for continuing to work on my business because I had promised her three hours a week.
Tips for onboarding a VA
- Document your standard operating procedures – i.e., how you actually do things – so that your VA has them for reference and you don’t have to start over with a new VA. I loved using Loom videos to make teaching things super simple.
- Do a trial run to make sure you’re a good fit.
My business benefits from having a proofreader because I am able to focus on the actual work – my writing – with far fewer distractions and worries. I get new ideas and a different perspective as we plan social media posts, email strategies, and how to optimize processes.
My newest contractor is my bookkeeper. She has been going through my expenses to help me get ready for filing my taxes this season. So, the investment was a bit bigger as she went through my entire 2021 financials, and then I’ll just have to pay her for a few hours each month.
Not only will I be better prepared for getting taxes done than ever before, but I’ll also be able to more thoughtfully evaluate my business in terms of what I charge and which clients and projects I prioritize: which work is the best combo of value and joy?
It isn’t all about money: knowing what you’re making vs. the time and energy spent allows me to continue to assess and adjust.
Sometimes I think that writing my own blogs is far more difficult than writing blogs for clients. So, I have asked for help occasionally and sought out guest posts.
Not only does this provide me with fresh new content, but I am also giving newer writers a chance to have a published piece: win-win!
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- How to Find Your Voice and Use it
Do you have a pitch for a paid guest post? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And next: how can you continue the delegation train beyond your business to simplify and streamline your personal life? Let’s explore a few options there.
Delegating in your personal life
Delegating is not limited to your business. The more that you can free up your day to spend it how you truly wish to, is a beautiful thing. The older I get, the more I’m interested in spending money on services rather than things.
A few ways that I delegate in my personal life to help me to really enjoy my day-to-day are with the following services.
Lawn care company
I hate cutting the grass. And I bemoan the time spent making a stupid rectangle of grass that isn’t even that good for the environment. Monoculture, anyone? Ugh.
So, I don’t do it anymore. I LOVE having the lawn crew come. They’re fast, they do the work far faster than I ever could have done and their results are better. Huzzah!
Each time the lawn gets cut, I feel profoundly grateful that I didn’t have to do this task. Even though I’ve had them cut my lawn for three summers now, I feel immense gratitude each time we visit. They do have a knack for coming while I’m hosting webinars, but I’ll take it.
More recently, I hired a cleaning lady to help. Now that I’m a new mom, weekend time with my partner feels ever more precious. I don’t want to waste that time cleaning the bathrooms. So now, twice a month my dear cleaning lady comes and gets the house spic and span. What a relief. It feels easier to focus on my business having a clean house!
I aspire to be the woman that doubles each recipe that she makes so that there is always a good option in the freezer. Currently, we are enjoying and grateful for the freezer meals I was able to assemble in December because we are all pretty darn tired at the end of the day. But as we get less tired as new parents, I’ll be able to cook more and continue to stock the freezer with healthy options.
I actually like going to the grocery store, browsing and finding new items, and picking out the perfect produce.
But my time is incredibly limited these days, so leisurely browsing simply isn’t a priority…or even an option, to be honest.
At the start of the pandemic, I started doing curbside pickup in an effort to limit risk. And Snickerdoodles, I never looked back. I even did a grocery delivery…and man did that feel fancy. I am so willing to pay the $10 fee plus tip to have groceries arrive at my door.
Key Takeaways: the benefits of delegation in business
No one wants to be stressed all the time and working 24/7, but that can be an easy trap to fall into as you begin your own business, time feels tight and the budget feels even tighter. But believe me, the benefits of delegation in your business are far greater than the cost.
Little by little, share the burden so that you’re left with the tasks that you do best and enjoy the most.
How are you delegating in your business and personal life? Comment below!