Entrepreneurship is a breeding ground for do-it-alls. When you own your own business, you get used to doing things on your own. In the beginning, you’re on a shoestring budget. Even after you’ve found funding or started bringing in income, you’re still stretching your budget by doing what you can yourself. Doing everything yourself becomes second nature. Some of us continue to try to do it all ourselves long after we no longer have to.
Yeah, I know your business is your baby. Your carried the idea, gave birth to it, and then raise it from a tiny startup to a living breathing business. But even the most protective mother has to let the babysitter take over every now and again. It’s called delegating and if you can’t learn this, you will spend the rest of your career running around like a chicken with your head cut off.
Understand Your Limitations
Did you know that you are not Superwoman? Did you know that you can’t be two places at once or work 20 hour a day, 7 days a week for a year straight? Those are just our everyday human limitation. In addition to that, we all have our personal limitations. One of my personal limitations is that I’m not a designer. I know just enough design to be dangerous, so I leave the website and marketing design to the professionals. It saves me time, money and having to present myself with crappily designed collateral.
Use Your Employees
There’s almost nothing worse than actually hiring someone to do a job and then not letting them do it. When you don’t let your employees do the jobs you gave them, you’re wasting your time and theirs. No, it would not be quicker if you just did it yourself. It would be quicker to teach your employees how to do the job you need them to do. Then the next time this comes up, you won’t have to explain. You can just let them do it. And if for some reason, you have an employee who you’ve explain how to do something over and over again but they just can’t deliver, it’s time to hire someone who can and let the one who can’t go explore other employment options.
Ask for Help
Let’s say you don’t have employees that you can delegate work to. It’s time to ask for help. People who are bad at delegating are usually bad at asking for help in general. Imagine if you walked past a burning building and saw a woman standing inside quietly waiting to be burned to death. You think she was an idiot for not asking for help, right? My mother always told me that closed mouths don’t get fed. I try to remember that every time my pride gets in the way of me asking for what I need. Tap into your network and ask for a little help getting a project done. The worst anyone can say is No, and even that’s not the end of the world.
Manage Your Expectations
Rome was not built in a day so why do we expect everything to happen right now? Each project your business takes on–building your website, expanding your locations or launching a new service–comes all in due time. Set realistic expectations instead of trying to pack everything into the shortest time possible. This is a combination of knowing your limitations and understanding the general limitations of a project. Set a generous timeline whenever possible and leave room for mistakes.