I was going to bed crying and waking up vomiting.
I was putting in 80-hour week after 80-hour week and still not getting it all done.
I was acting as CEO, CFO, manager, secretary, and janitor. I was everything and more to the company I had started.
Things were going 24/7 with no sign of slowing down.
If it hadn’t been for a friend’s advice, I would have drowned. “Robert,” he said, “if you’re doing a job that can be hired out, hire it out!”
That one piece of advice changed my business forever. At that point, I was actually losing money due to the huge volume of little tasks getting in the way of the tasks that actually made money.
Does any of this sound familiar? Are you acting as content creator, content marketer, social media strategist, web developer, and more?
I’m here to tell you there is hope.
Why You Should Never Clean Your House Again
When I was first starting out, working non-stop, and feeling like I was never going to catch up, the first person I ever hired to help my business was…a maid.
It’s nearly impossible for me to be productive if my working environment is not clean and organized. I was working out of a home office (still am) and simply did not have enough hours in the day to take the time to properly clean and organize things.
For $25 a week, I found a friend’s wife who came and took care of all those simple things that were costing me precious time and money.
If you’re maxed out, you can’t afford to not start hiring out this kind of little stuff. Don’t even buy your own groceries if you have to.
It’s much easier (and cheaper) to find people to take the little things off your plate than it is to find qualified help with the bigger stuff, especially if you’re an entrepreneur who is just getting started.
So start with outsourcing the little things. When the money is there, you’re ready for the next level.
How to Get Creative and Hire Out the Big Stuff While Saving $$$
If you’re not an expert in one of the major areas you’re currently devoting a portion of your hours to, it’s time to find someone who is.
If you’re on this blog reading this post, that means you are in all likelihood a content creator or marketer, or a social media strategist/director. If you’re working for a company and they’re spreading you thin across a variety of tasks outside your job description, you need to slap your bosses naked and hide their clothes.
If you own your own business or are part of a small startup, you need to focus solely on your area(s) of expertise. You don’t need to be the graphic artist. You don’t need to be the web developer. You don’t need to be doing market research.
This is where most people fool themselves into thinking they need to spend waaayyyy too much money hiring the best graphic designer they can find away from a leading firm. While you can do that if you have the money, you can also get quality team members from unconventional sources. It is possible to maintain a low price while also maintaining an exceptional level of competency. How? Start thinking differently.
The first logo I ever had designed was for an artist management company I created back in 1981—First Image, Inc. I found a college kid studying graphic design who made it for $25 using press-on letters. Shockingly, I never lost business on account of the logo not looking pretty enough!
Three years ago, I needed a writer to redo a few simple chunks of content on a website, nothing sales copy-driven, just basic information. My assistant at the time used to sell ads for a local college’s newspaper back when he was in school there, so I had him e-mail a professor in the journalism department to see if she could recommend any talented student writers.
She came back with two names. I went with the first one who responded to the e-mail. Three years have passed and that student has since graduated, poured himself into learning online content creation and copywriting, and become one of the most valued members of this team.
He also has cost me less than anyone else I would have found had I started out by combing LinkedIn for experienced master copywriters.
Never forget this quote: “The value of experience is overrated, usually by old men who nod wisely and speak stupidly.” – Og Mandino
Two Important Questions for Your Business
These are the only two questions you need to ask to determine what type of outsourcing your life and business need right now:
- If I had more time, could I create better content?
- If I had more time, could I improve my social media strategy?
(If you’re not creating content, marketing it, or operating in the world of social media strategy and implementation, just substitute your big picture task.)
If you answered “no” to either of those questions, you need to do the following:
- Realize that you can ALWAYS do better and improve.
- Determine the outside source that can give you the necessary knowledge to improve your skill set in that particular area—it might be a consultant, a webinar, a book, a series of blog posts, etc.
If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, you need to do the following:
- Pinpoint the tasks that are sucking your time away from the big picture task.
- Ask yourself if they can be hired out (99% of the time the answer is yes).
- Hire them out.
Never forget that you don’t have to tap the same resources everyone else is using. Don’t try to be good at everything at the expense of mastering nothing. Seek consultation when you’re not knowledgeable, hire talent when the talent you possess does not suffice, and outsource the little things that are killing your schedule.
And if YOU are going to bed crying and waking up vomiting… know that it means you are doing something right. You are putting it all on the line to follow your passion. If you’re ready to take that passion to the next level, it’s time to outsource.