I’d rather strive for greatness at one thing then be mediocre at ten!
And yet I’m constantly trying to be about ten things at once. I’m a wife, a mother, an entrepreneur, a photographer, a designer, a business coach, a blogger, a sister and I want to do all of those things exceptionally well! I also need to be an accountant, a house cleaner, a laundromat, a book keeper, a proofer, a scheduler… I don’t like the second list nearly as much because I’m not nearly as good or as passionate about it.
Implementation Time – M.I.R. (Make it Real)! Make a list of everything you have to do. Now circle the 5 things that you love to do and are best at and put a square around the 5 things that you can’t stand doing and or are worst at.
How long was your list? What things on your list can you get rid of? What things would you love to get rid of?
When I made my list the 5 things I squared were;
1. Deep Cleaning
3. Editing & Retouching (the bulk of my photo work load and biggest time snatcher)
4. Scheduling and
5. Ordering Appointments (while I actually really enjoy ordering appointments they were sometimes taking up two to three nights of my week).
So I did the unthinkable. I let go of the notion that I had to control everything and started to outsource.
The first and easiest for me to let go of was the cleaning! Thanks to Craiglist, I found a great high-school girl (at $12 per hour) to come over once a week as her after school job. She did all the deep cleaning that I’d hated while I made it a point to take that time and spend it completely on my kiddos!
Next was the Editing & Retouching. It’s something I’d thought about for a long time but it wasn’t until I was hanging out at my friend Fundy when he said, “Leah, you’re the business owner. You shouldn’t be doing menial labor that you can teach anyone off the street to do that for $10 an hour”. I’d know it but it took Fundy’s timely bluntness to give me the kick I needed to make the change. I can tell you that I will never go back!
Item by item that had been squared on that piece of paper was outsourced or let go of, giving me the time to refocus my passion and energy on what I am best at!
I see and hear about it every day, too many amazing people have stunted their growth because either they believe that no one can do it as good as they can and or that it would be redonkulous to presume that they deserve a second set of hands. I’m telling you now, unequivocally that my life would not survive without second hands… And third and fourth.
BUT, I caution you to be very careful with what you outsource. I keep seeing people outsourcing their relationships instead of their workload. What message is that sending? Would it be fair to say that what we outsourse is either what we put the lower value on and or what we believe we are least proficient at?
Too many people believe that the obvious choice is to get someone to watch the kids… I just don’t get that. Yes, of course sometimes I do need to get baby sitters to watch the kids. Schedules conflict, it happens for sure but before I go that route – I’ve done everything I can to plan for every other outsourcing option first. I would much rather teach someone to do my job in Photoshop then to do my job as a mommy. I started this business to give my family more while fulfilling my own aspirations not to take anything away from them (especially not their mommy).
I want to make sure you know that I am far from perfect! I screw up all the time. I plan wrong or the unexpected happens or a million other things show me that I still have so much to learn. Keeping the balance seems to be a full time job all on it’s own – never mind ever paying any attention to what you’re actually balancing. I’m learning that I have to be realistic in my expectation for myself and constantly re-remind myself where my priorities should be… But it’s worth it, it’s so worth it because you and “I are Super Women!”
M.I.R. Make it Real by Taking Action!
Make Your LIst… Then Leave a Comment… I’m dying to know what five you circled and what five you squared.