Let me tell you something… if I’ve learned anything as I’ve built my business over the last 3 years, it’s this I am a MASTER at holding myself back.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever said to yourself “well shit, I know I should be doing [insert really cool, important business task here] but I don’t know… I just KEEP getting in my own way.”
Maybe it’s self-doubt, fear, or laziness, or maybe it’s just a simple lack of commitment or rapid downslide in momentum. Well, I’m going to tell you something important, sugar:
You’re only halfway right.
Sure, as a boss you have to take responsibility for every business fail – after all, it’s your business, and you’re the big decision-maker here. But the problem isn’t simply that you’re not doing enough. The problem is that you’re trying to do it all. If you’re not PUMPED to do at least 75% of the tasks on your to-do list, it’s time to delegate and eliminate.
[Tweet “Attempting to DIY everything in your business is a noble pursuit, but it’s also a futile one.”]
Here’s why: when you divide your attention among a variety of tasks, you’re not only creating a challenge in time management, you’re also creating a challenge in psychic management. Yeah, I just made that term up, but go with me on this one. What I mean by psychic management is this: As a human being, you have a limited amount of energy for decision-making, You also have a limited amount of discipline.
Running your own business requires a lot of self-motivation and discipline. Adhering to systems, routines, and schedules can be extremely dull and un-fun. BUT, those are necessary to keep the money flowing and the business humming along.
The problem for YOU is that once you exhaust your discipline, you’re tapped out. So if you’re forcing yourself to do a bunch of shit you hate, you’re doing your business a disservice. PLUS, you won’t be able to do it all. IT’S SCIENCE!
[Tweet “In business, you have to pick and choose the non-ideal tasks you spend time on, or you’re going to bleed yourself dry.”]
Think you’re guilty of this?
Here’s a quick DIY cheat sheet to help you decide what to start delegating or eliminating from your to-do list NOW.
Part 1: Organize.
- Go through your to-do list and color-code your tasks. Green (or pink, if you’re nerdy like me) denotes a task that you’re excited to do. Yellow denotes a task you feel neutral about doing. Red denotes a task that gives you the “ughs!” Know what I’m gonna say here? ALL the reds need to go, and NOW.
- Go through all of the yellow tasks and ask yourself “would an expert do this faster than me?” If your answer is “YES” then delegate. You don’t want to waste $500 of your billable hours on something that an expert could do for $100. #math In my case, this is often design work. I enjoy it, it’s not an “UGH” for me, but it will take me 20 hours to accomplish something that a pro designer could do in 2. No brainer.
- Your FINAL to-do list should have a total list of 3 to 5 tasks that you’re regularly responsible for. That’s IT. In the first year or so of business, you’ll have 50, and that’s normal, but once you’re booking regular clients, it’s time to level up by paring down.
Part 2: Eliminate or delegate.
- Go through all of the tasks that need to leave your list, and ask yourself HOW those tasks make money. (How long, how much, and how frequently.) Anything that’s setting you up for a return that is MORE than 6 months down the line should be hacked from the list. Why? Because businesses evolve. And while you might have some incredible ideas about where your business is going in 2 or 3 years, how you approach that plan of action will undoubtedly change in 6 months’ time.
- Everything that stays on the list gets a budget for delegation based on the amount of income it will return to you. So, let’s say you often book business from posting picture quotes on Twitter. You MUST keep this task, but you can outsource the creation and scheduling of those posts in accordance with the amount of revenue it will bring in. I typically budget about 10% of total revenue. So if you’re booking about $2000 per month on Twitter, you can budget $200 towards having an assistant do that for you each month. If you book $30,000 worth of clients from your sales page over its lifetime you can budget $3000 or so to outsource it. Of course, the number you’re comfy with is totally up to you and may go up or down. You’re the boss, after all.
The main idea here is that YOU know your business best, but when you’re an ambitious, hard-working, stop-at-nothing type of person (and I know you are), it’s normal to get caught up in the “yes, I can!” instead of the “no, this isn’t my job.” Use this cheat sheet flexibly to achieve your goals, and if you have any questions, hit me up in the comments below!
Don’t forget that if copywriting ends up in your “delegation” category, we’re always here to help in a variety of ways to fit your budget. Wanna review what we offer? You can do that right here.