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Is your business running you?

Then here is a novel idea…stop trying to do it all yourself! 🙂

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard from many experts that delegating is the best way you can grow your business quickly. I mean I did a quick search on twitter and I saw no less than 50 articles talking about the benefits of having other people implement your marketing initiatives, doing tasks you hate and keep procrastinating on, helping you launch a new program, ramp up your social media activities and the list goes on and on.

Because as we all know when you delegate, you free up your time to focus on the important strategic work of the business. The bigger fish – the tasks that you enjoy the most, that make you the most money (like product and service creation, sales meetings, client interaction etc…) and cause you to feel as if your business is effortless.

So, why are you still trying to do everything yourself?

You probably answered – ugh, because, I cannot afford it! Or I’m afraid the person I hire won’t do the work as well as I can. Or, let me guess, you don’t have time to find help, much less figure out what to delegate. Hate to break it to you — but those are just excuses.

For the purpose of this article let’s tackle the biggest excuse – you cannot afford to delegate. You cannot afford not to delegate if you are at your wits end and so swamped with work you don’t even have time to take a 5 minute breather throughout your day.

So many of us think delegating is either an all or nothing kind of thing. That couldn’t be further from the truth. You can delegate even if you are on a shoe string budget. I have and in some cases still do during slow months, like last year when I took a long sabbatical due to pregnancy.

If you have $100 bucks to spend right now, no problem. I can assure you that you can make a huge dent on your to-do list even with this minimal amount. You can hire someone for just a couple of hours a month to help you out. If you are clear on your goals and what needs to be done $100 bucks can go very far. So, don’t fret if your budget is not big, the idea is to start, so you can get more free time to work on cash-generating activities. So please stop being in overwhelm and thinking that if you don’t have tons of cash, you can’t do anything.

The key is to be clear on what needs to be done and determine YOUR budget so you know what you’re working with – make sense?

Here is the thing, no matter what level of business you’re in right now – you absolutely need to get support to create more time in your day so you can work on what you love doing. I’m not advocating that you just hire someone for the sake of hiring. No, it has to be a strategic decision. However, it’s absolutely impossible to achieve significant growth without bringing other people on board!

Unless, of course, you love being stuck where you are because you must do everything yourself, or you like spending 3-5 hours answering mundane questions from tire-kickers who never plan to buy anyway, or better yet, you like having those dark circles under your eyes because you have so much to do you’ve barely gotten shut eye the last few nights. When was the last time you had a date with your hubby or meet your girl friends for a nice evening out without worrying that the business will fall apart?

I know, I know I’m being facetious, but why on earth wouldn’t you want to delegate — knowing darn well, it’s how you create a sustainable business that can grow into multiple six figures and beyond, profitably, and without you losing your mind?

If you pay attention to all successful women entrepreneurs — you know the one’s that are consistently generating high six and seven figures, you’ll notice the one thing they all have in common is: they don’t do it alone. They all kicked to the curb the typical do-it-yourself business owner mentality and are laughing all the way to the bank doing what they love while bringing home the bacon.

So, if you are not delegating, how can you cross over to the greener side?

How do you overcome the hurdle of being self-employed and having a do-it-yourself mentality?

Let me give you some scenarios and food for thought:

1. When you are asked to share what you do — do you answer, I work on my website? No – right? Usually you tell people what your passion is, and how you help other people with your brilliance. I know I do.

2. When you are trying to figure out what your top 3 income generating tasks are — is setting up appointments, emailing people, setting up a shopping cart at the top of your list? I doubt it. For me is coaching and creating products. You too, must have 3-5 things that are directly tie to more income.

3. When you are asked what your hourly rate is? Is it really $10-$75 an hour or is it more like $200 ++ an hour? As you go through your day, ask yourself, is what I’m working on right now better done by someone else who’ll charge much less than my hourly rate? For example, if you are worth $350 per hour and you are updating your own website (which you could pay someone $40 per hour to do so), sure you are saving $40 bucks, but you could be making $350/hr. How about submitting articles, this task would probably cost around $3-$5 an hour –should you really be submitting those articles?

So, if you are making good money, but you’re working around the clock, you’re overwhelmed on the verge of burn out because your to-do list is a mile long, and you’re trading “hours-for-dollars” — then I want you to ask yourself the following questions. But, really take the time and write down your answers, okay. Here we go:

1. What is the most important task you are doing in your business right now that someone else could do better, faster, cheaper?

2. Which task is a major bottleneck keeping you from making progress and doesn’t require YOUR expertise that someone else can do for you?

3. What single task can make you the most money by having someone else take care of it?

Once you answer these questions then take action and get that much needed support. This is the only way you are going to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself and take your business to that next big level.

If you are already delegating, but feel as if you are still working non-stop, then it’s time to start building your support team!

If you are not farming out those mundane tasks so you can free up time to bring in more money and help more people with your brilliance – what are YOU waiting for?

18 Comments

  1. Oy! Thanks for the kick in the pants Yvette! Sheesh…. I’ve been dancing around this for quite a while. The thing is, I enjoy stretching my brain and learning how to do new things (in the technical/social media arena) and yet this is often a barrier to working smarter/faster/attracting and building relationships with customers. I actually know exactly who I’ve been considering hiring and will contact her this week. She should give you a commission!

    • She should ;-). Kidding aside big congrats on your decision!

  2. This is perfect timing. I have been struggling with this exact question over the last few days. Ok, Ok, you’ve convinced me to hire a VA for the mundane stuff that is eating up far too much time. Thank you for the kick in the pants.

    • You’re welcome! Super excited for you.

  3. Can I please be a testimonial for this one? I used to do everything by myself. I started finding assistance on Odesk.com but then took the plunge and found a part-time Virtual Assistant on HireMyMom.com. Best business decision ever! Sara is my hero. She has taken on so much and loves it because she is getting paid to learn. I am learning to delegate like never before and trust her with so much. It has been the most rewarding experience … and now I’m freed up to bring in more money! Perfect!

    • YAY, Tanya!!

  4. Brilliant idea! It’s the same reason I hired a house keeper 🙂 For people like me, who are just in their business infancy, you can even delegate tasks for super cheap using fiverr.com!

  5. Yevette, you are so right! I have a huge issue with trying to do everything myself. I really need to figure out what tasks I can hire someone to do. I am a perfectionist and an over-achiever, so it is hard for me to have someone else do work for me. I am considering hiring my 19 year old daughter, but am concerned about the family relationship getting in the way. I do know that I need to take the leap soon because there are only so many hours in the day. Oh, and I really need to hire a housekeeper too. ; )

  6. I’m such an advocate for hiring VA’s and freelance staff for projects. I really couldn’t have built my last business better with any other model. It allows for growth at your own pace & I’ve often found that people who are focused on one specific task in my business are way more effective than the ones who are physically in my office space, being distracted by my energy. Within the first 2 months of this business, I had already started interviewing a new VA. I love that she’s my cheerleader & is so eager to take more and more work off my plate as I continue to get busier. We’ve already started delegating projects from her plate to others. Highly recommend it! ~ Loralee

    • Loralee, thank you SO much for sharing, its so important for other’s to hear from like-minded people their triumph’s with delegation. Bravo!

  7. Thanks for the kick in the butt! Those 3 scenarios combined with the final three questions were the icing on the cake. I’ve been through the whole “how much is your time worth” calculation – and STILL do most everything myself. This post really helps me tilt the issue just enough that I am finally getting it. The comments of other’s success certainly help too!

    • You’re welcome, Jennifer!

  8. Great post! I think you were specifically talking to me! Cost and time to look for VAs were definitely my 2 ‘excuses’ to not delegate. Do you have any recommendations on good VAs that you’ve personally used?

  9. How did you get to be such a smarty pants?;) I keep hitting this wall, time and time again. So thank you for spelling it out for me. I get so caught up in finding what’s wrong with other people’s work, and it’s just an excuse that keeps me small and overwhelmed. Thank you Systems Genius!

  10. Delegating and letting go of tasks seems to be one of my greatest challenges! Thanks so much for your three scenarios and the three questions! They really help put it all into perspective!

  11. Thanks for the reminder to all us of entrepreneurs! We need to shine at what we are good at, and let others step in and shine by helping us with what they are good at! It’s truly a win-win!! Love this article and, while I have some support, I will be looking for help with my biz tasks that are taking away from what I should be doing!!!

    xo, Tina

  12. You had me at “stop trying to do it all yourself”. It’s been a recurring theme latley for me as I’ve finally started to let go and delegate….starting with getting my site redesigned by a pro. It’s really been such a relief!
    Funny thing is I was the king of delegation before I was forced to cut back when by biz took a hit with recession. It’s been hard to get that muscle back again and trust that the expense is worth it….but your so right, it is! Great and timely post for me Yvette!

  13. Yvette,

    You and I have discussed the topic of delegation before, so you know that I am in total agreement with you. I was one of those “no one can do it as well as I can” solopreneurs for the longest time, and also thought that I couldn’t afford help. Thank God that’s behind me!

    Congrats for bringing so many others on board with this posting. I find Scott’s comment – that he used to be the “king of delegation” but found it difficult to begin again after stopping for a while – intriguing. I wonder if he had difficulty accepting the need to delegate the first time around.

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