One of the biggest adjustments for an entrepreneur – at least for me – is giving up wearing all the hats. It’s part just innate control-freak-iness, another part just plain being accustomed to doing everything, and yet another part a reticence to part with the cash to pay someone. When you’ve been bootstrapping for a while and building and building, it can be tempting to avoid spending money / sit back and admire finally having a bank balance.
It’s like scarcity becomes a habit or something, go figure. ;>
But here’s the thing: you can only go so far on your own. Repeat after me:
I can only go so far on my own.
I mean it. Say it out loud. Right now. Doesn’t matter who’s looking or listening.
Keeping all the tasks to yourself can lead to the following: working all the time and still feeling like you’re making no progress. You work as hard and as many hours as you can, and still, even though you’ve been busy all damn day, you’re still no closer to working on that Big Thing you really want, that new idea, that new direction for your business, that TED talk.
If you want a different outcome -- if you really want to reach those goals you wrote down for yourself, those accomplishments you really crave -- then maybe it’s time to try a different tactic.
Learn to trade dollars for Done.
Example that’s not really about business, but is about your time. Do you spend hours every week cleaning your house? Do you tell yourself that a) you don’t have the cash to pay someone to do it, and b) that they’d never do it to your exacting standard, i.e., they wouldn’t do it just like you do? Here’s the thing: you only think you don’t have the cash because you’re not valuing your own time. Instead of vacuuming, you could be writing sales copy, closing a sale, inventing a new offer that perfectly meets the needs of your clients. Instead of scrubbing toilets, you could be inching closer to your goal of being a thought leader in your field. Or you could be sitting on your ass thinking your thoughts because you worked hard all week. Sure, will that person you hired potentially not do things exactly like you? You bet. But guess what: the house got cleaned. Without you.
It took me a long time to see how I was holding my own self back by insisting that If You Want Something Done Well, You Have To Do It Yourself. That’s a perfectionist trap, in my opinion, designed to keep us busy and feeling in control. But in control of what exactly?
What can you hand off?
Maybe, just maybe, that beloved To Do list is wrong. Maybe #allthehats is wrong, and it’s time to get back to having just one head.
Your time is seriously the most valuable thing you have.
Here’s the challenge: what are the things you do in a day, in a week, that yes, need doing but do not require YOU to do them? Delegate those. There are really smart, qualified people out there whose business it is to get those tasks done for you, so you can do the work you’re here to do that actually does require you. This post you’re reading right now: yes, I wrote it (that’s all me), but did I load it up into Active Campaign and fuss about the formatting and the image and whether the right things were centered and pink? No. Did I test it and then schedule it and will I be the one to post it to social media? Nope. Because I practiced and learned to trade dollars for Done, I have people who handle that for me. So I can focus elsewhere, like on growing my business.
Learn to trade dollars for Done.
If you want to get there, build a team. Start small, sure, to get used to how this feels -- hand off 10 hours of administrative tasks to a virtual assistant, hire someone to back-stop you on tech issues, whatever. Augment what you can accomplish by not keeping it just about you.
Learn to part with the cash. Get it Done.