Last week technology kicked my butt. The kids would say “literally” and I have to admit, it sure felt literal. Building your own business sometimes feels like you're changing hats every five minutes. Instead of working on your business you spend time running around trying to figure out how to fix errors on your website, learning how to use social media, fixing printers that aren't working and the list goes on. What do you end up doing? Probably spending a whole day trying to fix the issue and falling further behind on work.
After spending a little too long on my internet issues and website last week, I took my own advice and hired someone to do some work on the backend of my website, and I called a technician to fix my wifi issues. Yes, it cost money to call someone to look at my wifi. But guess what? I ended up saving money by getting professional advice. Not only did I waste a bunch of working hours trying to fix it, but in the end I would have bought the wrong technology for what I thought needed to be fixed. What did it cost me in not getting all this work done earlier? The issues I had with my website caused me to delay getting my “join my newsletter” box working properly on my website and sending out email newsletters to my subscribers, not a good thing. The wifi issues meant that I couldn't get started with Periscope which is something I really want to do so that I can connect with you more.
The Real Cost of Doing It All Yourself
How do you know when it's time to hand over some work to someone else? It'll be different for everyone, but I can promise you that most people outsource way later than they should. It's so easy to think “I'll save money by doing it myself” but at what price? You could be spending your time doing income producing work instead. That is, work that will bring you income now and in the future, such as: creating content for your blog and social media; serving your customers in a way they deserve to be served; creating new products, services and courses to sell; or updating current products and services; improving your work systems so that communications with clients don't get lost and end up costing you money. In other words, that time can be spent working “on” your business.
Now what about you? What are you messing with that isn't in your zone of genius? As a creative person there's one thing that I can't stand, and that's doing bookkeeping and accounting work. Not to say that all creatives feel that way, but I'm sure you started your business because you were excited to share your knowledge and talents with the world, not to be working on your bookkeeping and taxes.
Don't run away now, I'm not saying you need to hire a whole host of staff to be bumping around your home office. Take a look at the things you don't enjoy doing in your business and tasks that leave you frustrated, that is the sort of work you can send off to someone else. I suggest that you keep a notepad nearby and every time you sit down to do something that is outside of your expertise, or that just isn't fun for you, note it all down. Take a look at that list at the end of the month and see where you can save time and ultimately money by passing that work on to someone else.
I have a challenge for you today: take a look at what is causing you niggling issues in your business and think about how it's holding you back. What can you hand over to an expert right now to get fixed so you can get on with your real work. Also think about those things that you really aren't qualified to do and that cause you stress, what can you hand over to someone else?
Bonus challenge: Dig deeper, is this a mindset issue? Think about if you're spending time on these things in order to stop yourself from doing the work you really do need to get on with. For example, holding yourself back with technology due to a fear of ‘putting yourself out there'.
Oh, and let me know if you've taken the challenge above. I'd love to know what work you're going to hand over so that you can concentrate on things that are really in your zone of genius, things that you enjoy doing in your business and that will help you to move your business forward.