If one of your New Year Resolutions is to get more organised and focus on your strategic aims, the realisation will strike home at some point that you are not superhuman; you simply won’t be able to do everything on the list yourself. The sensible solution is to let go of some of the ‘plate spinning’ and get help. Just because you work for yourself it doesn’t mean you need to do all the work yourself.
However, the thought of letting the ‘reins’ go a little and delegating some of your workload throws up an awkward hurdle. DELEGATING!
Why do we find it so hard to delegate?
Many of us find it difficult because we’re fearful…
• Fearful of losing control
• Fearful that no one can do it better than yourself
• Fearful of losing sight of the task, project, etc.
• Fearful that it will take twice as long due to the time it takes to fully brief someone
A few years ago outsourced a major project to someone I had known for years and was very capable. However, the thought of passing over this sacred project made my heart race and my brain whizz through all the credible reasons why I couldn’t delegate it. What was the project and why did it evoke such strong emotions? You might also wonder that if they were so capable how come I hadn’t thought of doing it sooner?
Believe it or not the project was Christmas. Yes, I outsourced Christmas to my husband (and if there are any children reading this, only those tasks that don’t fall within Santa’s Job Description). This is the fifth year in a row now…
As a self confessed control freak, this was an immense achievement. Each year I would pull together a plan that any military leader would be proud of in my desire for everyone to receive the perfect card, greeting, gift, visit with Santa, Christmas Dinner and for our children to experience all the family traditions on Christmas Eve.
A couple of years ago I ‘bit the bullet’. I simply let go because I needed to tend to my Virtual Assistant business and I realised it wasn’t physically possible to prepare for Christmas and look after my clients and their businesses at the same time. It wasn’t (as a few thought) that I didn’t care about Christmas or my family anymore. In fact, it was completely the opposite. I cared enough to want it to be a rip roaring success.
I realised too that many business owners feel overwhelmed and that the thought of delegating any part of their ‘business baby’ is difficult and seemingly unthinkable. As a Virtual Assistant I needed to demonstrate that I could exercise the same faith and trust in someone else to see a project through.
How easy or difficult it is to find someone to delegate to depends largely on your ability to be brave. Being brave enough to trust someone; to work in partnership with them to enhance your business and help you focus on the core elements that will move your business forward; being able to trust someone with your ‘business baby’. As long as you’ve done your research and verified their credentials, then you should be well on your way to ‘Organisational Bliss’.
I admit I didn’t trust my husband to do it as well as I would’ve done it. Yet he surprised me. I surprised myself too. This year, for the first time, we had a wonderful Christmas. We focussed on what was important. I wasn’t flying round in a fit of pique making sure that all the patterns on the gift-wrapping were perfectly aligned or that the Christmas dinner contained every type of meat cooked to Jamie Oliver’s recipes or that the crackers where the right type or that the house was immaculately clean. Everything got done. Good enough was, well, good enough! Everyone was happy. I let go and in the process made a hero out of my husband and I actually enjoyed another relatively stress-free Christmas.
If you can do the same for your business you’ll be giving yourself the best present in the world: time to grow your business.
Go on, be brave, hire a Virtual Assistant and outsource some of your To Do List to another highly-trained and independent entrepreneur.
Let Help Ahoy throw you and your business an ‘Administrative Lifeline’.
And for those of you wondering… YES, we’re happily married and NO, you can’t ‘borrow’ him next year!
Did you bite the bullet and relax a little this year?