Are you one of them? Are you a creative who has stunted your growth because you either believe that no one can do it as good as you can, and/ or that it would be inappropriate/wrong/bad for you to presume that you deserve a second set of hands helping you. I’m telling you now – unequivocally – that my life would not survive without second hands… and third and fourth.
I didn’t always have extra hands helping me though (at least not enough extra hands). I used to constantly try 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 a volunteer. And I want to do all of those things exceptionally well! No pressure there, and it is certainly a recipe destined to leave me feeling like I’m not… well… enough. I also need to be an accountant, a house cleaner, a laundromat, a bookkeeper, a proofer, and a scheduler. I don’t like the second list nearly as much, because I’m not nearly as good or as passionate about it, but those tasks need to be done too.
Finally, I hit my breaking point and admitted that I needed help. I wasn’t capable of being and doing everything on my plate with only my two hands to accomplish it all. So, I set out to get myself some help, and I finally realized that I was willing to spend my money to buy more time.
Here’s how I discovered how and what I needed to let go of, and in what order I was going to delegate the tasks.
STEP 1: Make a list of everything you have to do – all the roles you play.
STEP 2: Circle the 5 things that you love to do and are best at.
STEP 3: Square the 5 things that you can’t stand doing and/or are worst at.
How long was your list? Are there any roles on your list that you could/would be willing to just get rid of entirely? What roles would you love to let go of and give to someone else?
When I made my list, the 5 things I squared (i.e. was willing/would love to get rid of) were;
1. Deep Cleaning
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 Craigslist (my first try around), 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, and I made it a point to take that time and spend it completely on my kiddos!
Next was Bookkeeping. This was a little more intimidating, but it had to be done. After all, the IRS does not accept “I couldn’t find the time” or “it scared me” as a reason for not filing taxes. Here are two resources to help you if outsourcing bookkeeping is on your squared list: Book Keeping 101 for Creatives and How to Hire an Account – 10 Questions to ask (Video).
Step by step, I have looked to delegate each squared item on that piece of paper. I either outsourced it or let it go. This gave me the time to refocus my passion and energy on what I am best at. It also created more revenue opportunities as I could spend more time doing what creates income and less time on the day to day tasks that used up the majority of my time and energy.
We are all works in progress – striving for better, not perfect. I hope this simple exercise helps you start thinking more about allowing second hands to build you up, help you accomplish more, and give you greater bliss as a girlboss.