Delegation, to an entrepreneur or small business owner it is one of the most terrifying thoughts.  Which is kinda crazy when you really think about it since one of the biggest struggles for small business is lack of time preventing them from making more money.  Delegation should free up time, once the mandatory handoff period occurs, allowing us to make more money.  All problems solved!

So how come it doesn’t work that way?

I have struggled with delegation for years and have seen businesses who didn’t find a way to delegate a.k.a to accept change have it push them to the point of bankruptcy, either quickly or slowly.

So why do we hate delegating?

  • Loss of control – we are smart, we know best, if we let someone else do it they’ll just screw it up.
  • The unknown – while it’s not getting done today at least we know that it’s getting done instead of it happening behind our back and then having to deal with the cleanup.
  • The cost – I’m not rich, why waste money paying someone for something we can do ourselves.  That’s dumb!

Can you relate to any of these great reasons not to delegate?  Man, I sure could.

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I remember when I on-boarded my first assistant, and handed off some basic admin, the first week I was in complete panic mode.  What is happening?  How is it getting done?  Does she know what she is doing? My intermittent insomnia was kicked up to consistent no sleep, high stress and near full on freak out.

In all the years I worked in corporate jobs I must have had dozens of assistants, they never stressed me out, so why did having an assistant I had complete choice and control over work delegation cause me so much anxiety?

My au ha moment was that the source of anxiety was because I was invested end to end in my business.  In a job, you are invested in parts of the business, not the entire business.  I never handled outside sales, so I became invested the second the contract was signed until the final client closeout when I would submit final billing and assume that accounting sent out the bill and the client paid it.

As the CEO of my company, I am invested end to end, from initial client selection and pitch through to final billing and close out.  How could anyone else possibly be as committed or invested in the business of my business as I am?  Best just to do it myself.

Here’s the question though… are you the CEO of your business or just a self-employed worker bee?

A thriving company doesn’t have issues with delegating the work, their focus is in finding the right talent to delegate to.  That was how I had to start thinking about it.  My focus needed to be cultivating talent not trying to figure out how to do everything myself.

Are you ready to think like a CEO?  If you are here are a few steps to get you started:

  1. Delegate what you don’t know how to do: That stuff you spend hours on YouTube trying to figure out, instead of the crazy amount of time spent figuring it out invest a little time in finding out what you really need and then find someone who can do it for you.
  2. Delegate process driven tasks: Profitable businesses run on processes if you don’t have processes in place you’re gonna need them.  Spend a few hours documenting the process and then find the rock star who can do it for you.
  3. Delegate what you don’t like to do to someone who loves to do it: I love writing strategy plans, I was shocked to find out that is not fun for everyone.  For almost every function in a business, there is someone who loves to do it.  Identify the function and the results required and find the resource who can do it with natural skill, talent + passion.

Delegation can be done in layers without stressing you to the point of wrinkles, start small with that to do list of junk you have been putting off until you can figure out how to do it, turn that over to the pro’s and once you see what a great job they do you will be confident about moving onto delegation of day to day admin and key functions.

The cost investment in delegation will almost certainly be recouped by the added time you can spend on client acquisition and delivery increasing your top and bottom line.

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