When you first started out in business you probably did everything yourself. It took patience, tenacity, and discipline. You should be proud of yourself for getting this far.
As time has passed and business has grown, you may have lost patience with the tedious tasks involved in running your business. This impatience, frustration, or whatever you would call it, is your brain telling you it's time to step away from the busywork. It's no longer your job to see to the minor details. Don't ignore this message; to succeed you'll need to hand off your non-entrepreneurial tasks.
But wait. Who has the time to teach someone else every little detail involved in getting these tasks done? It only takes a few minutes to knock them out yourself, teaching sucks up so much more time. Isn't it just easier (and faster) to do it yourself?
This belief, these seven little words will kill your productivity, but what's worse is that they sabotage success--every time.
It's just easier to do it myself.
Don't kid yourself, it is not easier, nor is it faster--not in the long run. Besides, since when do you take the easy way out?
Here's the thing, what you believe is going to take two or three minutes almost always ends up being more complicated and time-consuming than you expect. I challenge you to test my theory: Estimate the time it will take for five or six small tasks, then track the time it really takes to do them. This is a great reality check.
Let's break it down further.
You're not cut out to do details.
Those little, annoying jobs: replying to standard questions, making arrangements, scheduling appointments, pulling reports, running errands, and fixing small problems. These are only a few examples of tedious work that will bore and frustrate you. You are the visionary, the innovator.
Again, I challenge you. As you perform these tasks, evaluate how you feel and think. Do you feel tense or anxious and in a hurry to move on to something important, like making money? Are your thoughts someplace else, like on all of the money-making activity that's not happening because you've just spent 30 minutes searching for the perfect restaurant for an upcoming business meeting? It's no longer your job. Pay someone to do these things and teach them well.
Yes, it will take time.
You've heard the old phrase, "You must spend money to make money." That also applies to time. You have to spend time to make time. It may be grueling to teach others how to do these things at first, but knowledge is cumulative. Every detail your student-employee picks up on adds up over time and creates a support foundation for greater knowledge and faster learning. The teaching process will quickly pick up its pace.
And yes, it will take money.
Well, yes and no. You will have to pay someone to do these things, but unless you are the rare exception you are losing money by not hiring the appropriate person. Yet another challenge: Take a look at your master list. How many action steps and ideas that will lead to revenue generation remain undone? Imagine if you claimed 10 or 20 hours per week to move these things along. Within a period of three months, you'd most likely make more money than it would cost to hire a part-time person to take the boring details off your plate. Within six months you'd be way ahead.
Partner up with your new person.
Have someone stay at your side for a week or so. If this is not possible then schedule one hour twice a day to work via video conferencing. This way you can share your desktop as necessary.
Your job is to teach. The employee's jobs are to learn and document. In addition to recording your screen when appropriate, have the other person take detailed notes. These notes can be edited and formatted over time to add to a procedure manual.
Watch for warning signs of self-sabotage.
I know it sounds counterintuitive, but many entrepreneurs persist in getting stuck in the details as a subconscious attempt to self-sabotage their success. As your time frees, track your productivity and habits. If you don't make progress quickly, you may need help to uncover fears and doubts surrounding success and/or failure.
Use your newfound time wisely.
Spend your time on money-making activities. Look for the lowest hanging fruit before initiating new income streams and other time-consuming projects. Find the fastest means to facilitate the income to support your new hire.
If you still believe it's just easier or faster to do these things yourself, you're not looking at the big picture. Go ahead, accept my challenges and see how you feel about it in a week or so.