Today’s topic is a continuation of the ongoing series I’ve started on stress. The past few posts covered how stress is a general indicator and how to find out what the stress is trying to tell you so that you can deal with it. In this post, I’m going to focus on the feeling of being overwhelmed because you’ve reached a point where your small business requires more time and energy than you have. It’s not your fault; your business just needs to grow.
You know you’re at this stage when you need to start paying other people, or delegating, to grow your pay-check because you’ve maxed out your workload. It may seem counter-intuitive — if you do the extra work yourself, you’ll have more money to take home — but that extra money might actually degrade your time and focus and cost you the quality of your business. Delegating the tasks might actually be cheaper for you.
How do you get into this position? You’re set up by your history of doing well in business. This is primarily based on being willing to work hard to get everything done personally, which maximises the amount of money you can bring home. But it can work against you. If your business capacity is maxed out, you will either have to delegate, or downsize your business, in order to stay successful. (Remember, your business is not you.) If you’re earning enough money per hour from your business, you can hire somebody else to do it. Essentially, you want to leverage your time so that you’re doing the higher-value items of your business.
So the next step is deciding what to delegate or outsource. What’s the process to figure out what you can outsource? First, make a list of all your strengths related to business. Second, figure out your nature. I suggest you do this by writing a list of what you currently do with your time. If you find that you’re having trouble remembering because your day is extremely busy, try this exercise: while you're working, set a timer at every hourly interval for a week and write down a few short, simple sentences about what you’ve been doing for the last hour. You’ll find within these items there are things necessary for the business to run, with or without you. Mark them. Next, circle those things which require your specific expertise (it may not even be the whole task). And finally, highlight what you like to do with your job.