Delegation. What is this crazy idea you speak of?!
Relax. It’s really not that crazy of an idea at all.
“Delegation means delegating responsibility, authority and accountability”. Now… doesn’t that sound pretty sweet? Sheesh, it does in my book! Who wouldn’t want to hand off a bit of responsibility and accountability to someone else? In strictly a good way of course! 😉
Effective delegation is something everyone talks about but very few manage to do with any sort of satisfaction or success.
In the J.O.B. world, it’s common practice for people to be promoted due to their efficiency levels in their current role.
What happens is that after someone gets promoted their old habits of performing the job they were so good at before… just so happens to stick with them like glue. More like super glue. Or wood glue even. STICKY.
So, in spite of being promoted they continue doing their previous work along with the added responsibility of the new job role. (Hmnn… can we say over-achiever?)
Fortunately this is a fairly natural tendency and people simply need to learn how to make a conscious effort to let go of their previous responsibilities and shift their focus 100% to their new role. In other words, loosen up the reins and let that pony RUN, RUN!
Now how does all this mumbo jumbo apply to YOU the entrepreneur?
Think about it for a sec.
Think of your decision to jump into entrepreneurship as a J.O.B. promotion. You’re now on to bigger and better things, more than simply clocking a time card and fulfilling your hourly duties.
However, those J.O.B. tendencies still tend to stick with you, primarily because you are now the “Jack (or Jill) of all trades” and must wear many different hats. You’re the end all and be all of your newfound business’s existence.
That’s a lot of pressure!
And you truck into it bravely, because hey… let’s get real… YOU already know how to do it properly. It’s easier for YOU to do it than to try and hire someone else to do it because ugg…
Then you have to train them to do what you want properly… you have to pay them… and not only that, what if they turn out to be a total dud?
Time and cash down the drain, when you could have went about your merry way and done it all yourself just fine, thankyouverymuch.
Alright, hold the phone my friend.
Yes it’s entirely possible that you and only you can perform certain business functions perfectly, and in no way shape or form leave it up to someone else that’s… well… not you.
Let’s move on shall we?
I am equally as certain that there are about a million other things that you do yourself, perfectly or not only because you can’t take the jump and learn to delegate properly. You’re a control freak.
I know this, because so am I.
Really, ask my boyfriend. Or my mom. Or my sister.
I like control and I am loath to give it up to someone who doesn’t quite meet my high expectations. Problem is, there is only going to be a rare few who can actually meet my high expectations, because it’s very likely I set them so high on purpose, just so I can sub-consciously avoid delegating anything out!!!
And it’s likely you’re very similar.
We as entrepreneurs are a “Can Do” sort of breed.
As in “I can do THIS” and “I can do THAT” and guess what… “I can do THIS too!”
We don’t like to let others take the driver’s seat, at least not at first. But boy oh boy, when you finally do release the choke hold on those reins ever so slightly, and allow someone else to share your daily work load… the feeling of freedom and relief is like being high! (On life of course, shame on you!)
Suddenly you have TIME to work on that project you’ve been shoving to the back-burner for so long…
You know, that one you KNOW could be wildly profitable if only you had time to get moving on it already? You know the one I’m talking about.
And, wait for it… suddenly you have TIME to take a day of rest during the week, and goof off with a friend or family member. Because you’re secure in the knowledge that even if you’re not there… that awesome person you just hired to help out with x and x and x is competently “getting it done”.
Wow… that sure feels nice doesn’t it?
Effective delegation is a marvelous and totally under-utilized tool which can often result in your biggest projects being accomplished stress and worry free, and often faster than if you try to do it all yourself.
And you’ll often find that when you do give up some responsibility to someone else, you’re pleasantly surprised at the results. There actually ARE people in this world who ROCK at some of the same things you rock at that you can hire for reasonable fees to help a sister (or brother!) out. Really there are!
- Tasks like handling and filtering email so that you only see those that are vitally important or extremely personal.
- Things that require geek speak, that you know nothing of but still attempt to do anyway… and that often takes you quadruple as long… when if you’d simply hired someone already GOOD at it, it’d be done already and you’d make up the cash outset in newly acquired time to do other things that will produce revenue for you.
- Tasks like handling phone calls and support.
- Tasks like keeping track of your books, especially if you’re like me and tend to be completely unorganized.
- Tasks like marketing and sales. Especially if you’re not that great at it yourself!
- And pretty much any task that is not a high-value return type of task that you and only you are qualified to do. Make sense?
So, I challenge you to sit down today and start writing down everything that you do in a day. If it’s not something you adore doing and it doesn’t offer a high-value return on your time… mark it for delegation.
Then you need to set out and start kissing a few frogs before you find your prince and princesses. It’s the only way to do it. Delegate something to someone and see how they work out. Start them with a trial project or something small and build up to giving them more and more responsibility on your team.
If they suck… sorry, but let ‘em go and move on. Fail fast, fail forward and keep looking until you find your wonder team. Once you do, reward them well and reward them often and you’ll find they just may be loyal for life!
Some places to begin looking for your dream team:
You can Google the term “Hire a VA or Virtual Assistant” and fine plenty of well-qualified freelancers ready to help you out. A client of mine in fact offers VA services for non-profit organizations. If that’s you, you can check her out at-
You can also check out various job boards, forums, and other sites related to your niche where there is a community. Also WAHM websites you can often find amazing women, at affordable rates that love the ability to work from home and make an income. YOU can give them that and in exchange they’ll help YOUR business succeed.
Oh and here is one more handy resource… Simple Solution VA. A PDF on things to look for in your team!
Stupid but necessary disclaimer:
I haven’t personally tried all of these services, but I do know quite a few folks who have tried at least one or the other, and really it will all come down to what option works best for you, the rates you can afford, and the requirements you need met. Each one might offer something different that you may or may not need in your attempts at delegation.
Just remember, be ready to kiss a few frogs, and you will eventually find your prince or princess… leaving you with time to focus on your passions. Now that’s just smart business.