October 11, 2010
As you grow a small to mid-sized company, effectively juggling personal and business needs is an acquired talent.
Recently, I started to plan a trip to South America. Simple enough, right? Wrong. After speaking to friends who have traveled there, lived there, and consulting travel sites, my two-city trip quickly turned into an overwhelming amount of options.
While, my entrepreneurial Type A personality trait would have loved to kick into full gear and spend a full week researching every option and booking the trip myself – this would be impossible. I hardly have time to eat during the day, let alone devote an entire week to researching a vacation.
I suddenly realized: it’s okay to not do this myself. It is okay to hire someone else [an expert] to get this done so I can focus on what’s important – my business. This is why I decided to take a leap of faith and hire someone else to do it for me. A travel agency [a specialist] who knows what they’re doing because guess what? This is what they do all of the time. Of course this will cost a bit more than if I booked it myself, but they will save me time & energy.
As an entrepreneur, doing everything ourselves is ingrained in our DNA. But you will quickly realize that you cannot do everything yourself forever. Whether it’s planning a vacation, marketing, PR, sales or administrative office assistance, there comes a time in any entrepreneur’s life when you simply have to let go and trust others to get the job done.
As scary as it is, it’s absolutely essential to the growth of your business. The alternative? Work around-the-clock with no end in sight, run yourself into the ground and as a result negatively impact your business.
Three years ago I was one year into my company as a one-woman shop. In a span of two months I had three new clients and all of a sudden I was working 24/7. I was trying to do way too many things at once, and slowly losing my sanity – and social life. After a month, I knew that I needed help, but was too afraid to consider the thought of letting go.
“Entrust my business, which I had built from the ground up, in the hands of someone else?” Too scary a thought. But, as I was standing in line at the Post Office one particular afternoon thinking about all of the other things I could be getting done – it hit me. I’m never going to grow unless I get over this and learn to delegate. I resolved right then and there to immediately start looking for an intern, and never looked back.
Building Your Team
Now of course building your team – be it an intern, an employee, or an outside agency – is a gamble. You really aren’t sure what you’re getting until you begin the relationship. But you can’t achieve success without taking a little risk. Yes, you may have to go through a bad apple or two, but when you find someone great, it will make all the difference in the world. Your life will be easier and you will get more done.
Don’t feel guilty about hiring a sales rep, a PR agency, or a broker to find you an office space, if you just simply don’t have the time or knowledge to do it yourself. Guess what? It’s okay to dip into your budget to save yourself time, energy and stress.
When It’s Time to Let Go
So, how does one know when it’s time to let go: Ask yourself, “Am I working 24/7? Are there general things I’m doing that someone else could do for me? Am I an expert in this field? If no, can I hire someone to assume this responsibility?”
In short, the secret to a successful business is to stick with what you’re good at [whatever that may be] and delegate the rest. Trying to take on every component of your business will stretch you too thin and prohibit you from moving forward.
Let go and learn to delegate. You will be on your way to, not only growth but ultimately, success.
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