Beating Overwhelm with Hire, Outsource, Delegate!

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Are you overwhelmed and tired?

You don’t have to do it all yourself. In fact, the most successful business people are the ones who realize their boundaries and get other people to do the less lucrative work for them. They’re not wrung out. They’re still A-ok at the end of the day, ready for any spontaneous tasks that only they can do!

Watch this old Eric Brenn video below.

If it made you breathless, no wonder. It makes me wince, anticipating one of the bowls to fall off. And yet many business owners spin plates and bowls on sticks and don’t realize it. Success is addicting. It’s not surprising to keep wanting to replicate that success with each client. So we take on more and more and stretch ourselves too thin.

It’s nice at first. We feel superhuman. We have a full appointment book. But then, the more dishes we spin, the more overwhelmed we become, and eventually we drop and break things. Like missed client appointments, unattended tasks, unkept promises.

Here are 5 practical tips to prevent this:

  1. Stop thinking “Not yet” and start thinking “Now.” You may think you don’t have the time and money yet to expand, but missing a client because you’re spinning so many plates already or losing a client because the client is unhappy from your lack of proper focus will cost you more in the long run. And your name and reputation will suffer too, preventing you from getting more clients.
  2. Create systems for doing things – Stop reinventing the wheel. if you keep doing similar things, systematize the steps with a flowchart, a timetable, a marketing system, and so on. The simpler the system, the better it will be at keeping things easy.
  3. Hire employees –  Yes, this will eat up time for training and money for salaries, but you take your time and money back because you’re free to focus on valuable tasks. Be sure to create a financial model to ensure hiring employees makes financial sense. Start small with one employee working part-time and then expand.
  4. Outsource non-core tasks to professionals – yes you can theoretically build your own website, write all your own marketing materials, do your own bookkeeping and all of that. But it’s faster, cheaper and better to get professionals to do that. With a site like Upwork, you can find vetted professionals to do some of the work for you.  See what I said in #3. Don’t get burned out by the daily routine activities of entrepreneurship.
  5. Automate – there are plenty of apps that can save you time and the small charge is a great investment. Consider Calendly for scheduling your appointments, Wrike for online project management, GoogleDocs  or Dropbox for documentation sharing, Hootsuite for social media management and so on.

Ask yourself: What is your most valuable activity? What is the one thing only YOU can do? Do more of it. Focus on it. Delegate the rest.

That’s what it takes to be a business owner. What is your business’s core service? Do that. Your data spreadsheets, your social media, your analytics, your inventory, your customer service, your bookkeeping, your calendar, your email correspondence, etc., ad nauseam–these are important, too, but they are unnecessary for you to spin all by yourself.

Unless you’re Eric Brenn, don’t try it. Save your time and attention for what matters most. Take the other bowls down from their wobbling sticks and delegate.

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