As a creative entrepreneur, I had convinced myself that the key to success was to do everything myself. I believed that my unique vision and passion were the only things that could truly drive my business forward. However, I realized much later that this mindset was significantly holding me back.
When I finally decided to let go of some control and hand off tasks to others, my workflow was supercharged. I was able to focus on the things that I was truly passionate about, while I outsourced the things that weren't my zone of genius, but were for the people I gave those tasks to.
Watch me talk down below!
At first, this was incredibly difficult. I think all creative entrepreneurs who have poured their heart and soul into their business can agree. I now know that it's not only important, but incredibly necessary, to understand that delegating doesn't mean giving up control or compromising on quality. Instead, it allows you to prioritize and focus on the things that truly matter to you and that make the most impact for your business in the long run, while still ensuring that the other important aspects of your business are taken care of.
I’ll acknowledge that this can be tricky to navigate because these tasks do indeed feel like they’re necessary for you to personally manage. You likely have recurring thoughts come up that always leave us, unfortunately, feeling confident that we can’t release them, but that truth is that you’re doing yourself a major disservice by holding onto them.
- “I don’t have enough work to have someone help me”
- “I can’t afford to hire help”
- “I don’t have a system for them to follow”
- ”I can’t trust someone in my inbox to act on my behalf”
- ”It will take too much work to train someone”
Let’s unpack each of these.
“I don’t have enough work to have someone help me”
Guess what? You don’t need a bunch of work for someone to do. While you may not have enough work to justify hiring a full-time employee, there are plenty of part-time or freelance tasks you can free from your plate. Yes, even if that only means delegating an hour of work per week. It make a big difference in freeing up your time because it’s highly possible that your time isn’t spent only doing that task. It’s likely that the energy it takes from you affects your productivity as a whole, and when that daunting task isn’t weighing on you, you’re able to focus on what makes the most impact.
“I can’t afford to hire help”
While hiring help can seem like a big expense, it's important to remember that delegating tasks can and will actually save you money in the long run. By delegating tasks that are time-consuming or that drain your energy, you'll be able to focus on the things that truly matter to your business and will generate more income, guaranteed. By keeping those tasks on your plate, you are stifling your growth. The busier you get, the less you’re able to do the work that generates income. Too many entrepreneurs act as employees of their own business and that’s where they get stuck. In the book “Buy Back Your Time”, Dan Martell gives a formula so you can look at real numbers:
Take the amount you make per year and divide it by 2000. This is your hourly wage. Take that number and divide it by 4, revealing 25% of your overall income. This the hourly amount is your permission to spend to outsource.
Whether it’s $1/hr or $40/hr, it adds up. If editing images takes you 2 hours, you can plan ahead by not needing a quick turnaround, outsource those image edits on Upwork or Fiverr, and give yourself those 2 hours back to continue with the most important work.
"I don’t have a system for them to follow" It's okay if you don't have a system in place right now. The important thing is to be open to creating one. Start by identifying the tasks that can be delegated and work with the person you're delegating to in creating a system that works for both of you. Communication is key here, so make sure you're clear about your expectations and are willing to work together to create a system that works for everyone.
”I can’t trust someone in my inbox to act on my behalf”
It's all too common for entrepreneurs to fall into the trap of having their inbox plan their day. With emails coming in constantly, it can be easy to feel like you need to constantly check and respond to them in order to stay on top of things. However, this can quickly become a vicious cycle that stifles the important work that truly drives your business forward. So it's important to recognize that your inbox can also be a major time-suck, consuming hours of your day and taking away from the more important tasks that require your attention. This might surprise you but it's often recommended that entrepreneurs never touch their inbox and instead have someone else like a virtual assistant manage emails in order to handle it efficiently and effectively. When you're constantly reacting to incoming emails, you're not proactively working on the tasks that require your unique skills and expertise. This can leave you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, and can ultimately prevent you from achieving any growth with your goals. By delegating your inbox and focusing on the tasks that truly matter, you can break free from this cycle and take control of your day.
”It will take too much work to train someone”
I can definitely relate to this feeling. And while it's true that delegating tasks can take some upfront work in terms of training and onboarding, it's important to remember that this investment will pay off in the long run. By taking the time to train and onboard someone properly, you'll be setting them up for success and ensuring that the tasks are completed to your satisfaction. Remember that delegating is an ongoing process, and that the more you work with the person you're delegating to, the easier the process will become. I give a generous grace period as people learn. I’d rather it take someone longer in the beginning so they do it correctly. Speed and accuracy will come with time.
So, how do you decide what to delegate? I know this one is tough. So I've prepared a workbook for you to help nail all of these questions down 👇