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Asking for help has never been my strong suit. In fact, I’m pretty awful at it. I’ve always been a do-it-yourselfer. Part of it stems from the way I was raised. Part of it is just my personality. And, part of it is because I’m a stingy bastard who would rather spend 15 hours learning a new technique than let any of my hard-earned cash be pried from my cold dead hands.
Of course, the drive and desire to do things on your own can be a great thing. It’s helped us build our own business, allowing us to quit our 9-5 jobs and work for ourselves. This type of mindset is critical for anyone who dreams of entrepreneurship. You have to be willing to take chances, believe in yourself, and trust that you know how to do it better. Unfortunately, once the business grows large enough, this go-it-alone attitude can be an entrepreneur’s greatest hindrance.
For example, lately, I’ve found myself getting bogged down in the tiniest of details. Sure, I could pay somebody to make a media kit for me, but I could also do it myself. Yes, I could outsource a lot of my administrative tasks. But, why should I do that…when I can do it myself?
I’ll tell you why: Because it’s costing me huge amounts of time, energy, and – ultimately – money. Obviously, these tasks all need to be done, but they don’t pay the bills. In fact, they’re taking time and energy away from the projects that actually do make money. In effect, being cheap and doing it all myself is actually costing me money (and happiness) in the end. I need to learn how to delegate.
How to Know When It’s Time to Outsource
Outsourcing and delegating tasks doesn’t have to be just for entrepreneurs. In fact, almost everybody should consider outsourcing something in their lives. Here are a few tips to know when it is time to ask for help.
- You’re Feeling Overworked – Do you find yourself working late into the night or throughout the weekend? Maybe you’ve noticed your patience is thin. Perhaps you just can’t get out of bed in the morning. Chances are that you’re working too much. Feeling overworked can cause stress, exhaustion, and other health problems. If you’re feeling overworked, it may be time to look at hiring out some of the things in your life.
- You’re Not Able to Focus – Sometimes we’re unable to focus because we’re having a bad day. Other times, it’s because we have too much on our plate. If you’ve been having trouble focusing for a while now, it may be time to consider outsourcing some of your tasks. Determine which things you have to do and which things you can pay others to do for you. By eliminating some of the tasks on your to-do list, you’ll be able to focus on – and complete – the most important tasks at hand. Plus, the quality of your work should improve dramatically.
- You Can’t Get Everything Done – Having a to-do list a million miles long is stressful. Even worse is the feeling you get when you fail to complete it. Personally, I struggle with this every day. I tend to put more on my list than I can actually accomplish. I prioritize the things that must get done that day, which means a lot of the side projects never get the attention they deserve. What happens is I move the undone tasks to the next day, stress about it, and then move them to the back of the line behind the must-do’s once again. Every day the side projects pile up higher, causing me focus stress and focus issues while decreasing my productivity. What I should be doing is spending my focus on the things that a) I can’t outsource, b) currently make me money, and c) will make me money in the future. After that, I need to learn to outsource the rest…and so should you;)
Of course, not everybody has the luxury of being able to outsource tasks, particularly if you’re still paying off debt. However, if you can afford to, learning how to delegate can be essential to growing your wealth and your increasing your overall happiness. Remember, it isn’t a failure to hire somebody to cut the grass, clean the house, or do your taxes. The difference between successful entrepreneurs and those that burn out lays in their ability to delegate. Spending a little bit of money to keep your focus (and your sanity) can free you up to do other things, eliminating a lot of stress and making you a more money in the end.
Now, about that media kit…