I will be the first to say, I can be a bit controlling. I’ve always found it difficult to delegate… even though I know that doing so will eventually create more time for me to work on the things that I actually LOVE.
I mean, I totally get the long-game logic. But personally, it’s always been easier said than done.
As a retail manager, I used to get so stressed out when I was training people to do certain parts of my job. I would think to myself, “good grief, I could do this twenty times perfectly in the amount of time it’s taking me to show you, then watch you consistently do it sub par”… (I clearly have issues).
It sucks to admit, but I think what it boils down to is that we controlling types don’t trust that other people will be able to do things the way that we can… the way WE LIKE THEM DONE.
So, it becomes “easier” to shoulder the burden of doing it all, so that we can ensure it’s being done to our liking. “Done right”.
However, when viewed from the non-crazy outside, this is obviously a sure-fire set up for burnout + business disaster.
If we don’t learn to hand off some parts of our daily responsibilities, we will never be able to reach our full potential. How will we ever get to the really important stuff if we spend all of our time doing, (and freaking out over), the smallest details?!
Now, I’m not here to tell you that I’m 100% “cured” of my controlling predisposition.
I still have a lot of work to do.
However, over the last couple of months, I’ve been loosening my strong hold on things that don’t need to be done by ME, by outsourcing certain parts of my business to other capable peeps.
And, GUESS WHAT?!
No one has died. My business has not burned to the ground… #success
In fact, since deciding to work with a Virtual Assistant in a few areas of my business, I’ve been able to:
- Plan + create blog content far in advance, (like this blog post, I’m writing this over a month before it’s actually going live!)
- Create separate exclusive content for a paid membership community + host weekly chats
- Get more consistent with my newsletters
- Continue to work with my social media clients, as well as take on side projects + one-offs, (before having help, I felt like I couldn’t handle doing one more creative thing… #booked)
- Consistently post + engage daily on social media
- Work on new digital products
I now feel like I have a little breathing room, to refresh some things that have been neglected in my business; things that always seem to get pushed down to the bottom of the to-do list.
And, I don’t beat myself up on those days when I’m not up at 6am, churning out new posts, products + ideas until sundown.
It feels… really nice. AND NORMAL. (which sadly, is new to me).
So, what do my VA’s do for me that allows me to feel like a regular girl?
- Schedule social posts weekly in Buffer to be posted to Twitter + Facebook
- Format weekly newsletters + schedule in Convertkit
- Help to manage my inbox
- Manage my Pinterest account to keep fresh pins cycling through Boardbooster
- Create graphics for The Gram Gang Instagram posts
- Curate content from The Gram Gang hashtag to repost + use in the newsletter
- Schedule The Gram Gang Instagram posts in Hootsuite
- Monitor + manage The Gram Gang Instagram account + Facebook page
- Add links + details to The Gram Gang magazine before sending
- Assist with simple client account management duties
- Other random administrative tasks + “techy” stuff
Could you imagine if I was trying to do ALLOFTHETHINGS, all by myself. #dead
What if you’re a control freak like me?! How can you streamline + delegate tasks in your own business? How do you start spending your precious time on stuff that you really want to do?
MAKE A LIST
Write out EVERYTHING that needs to be done each week/ each month in your business.
Then, circle the stuff that you don’t like doing, or the stuff that drains your energy. Try to pinpoint the tasks that are necessary to your overall business, but that don’t need YOU to make them work.
For me, I knew that I needed to write my own blog, newsletter, + membership content. I also needed to continue to create the visual content for myself + my clients, and I needed manage my own Instagram account. That’s important stuff to me, because I’m the voice of my business.
But, that doesn’t mean that I can’t pre-write content for blogs + newsletters, then have one of my lovely VA’s format + schedule everything for me. It’s sort of like an assembly line. I write it + send it over. Then, my assistant formats it, adds the links, and then schedules it for a the correct date + time.
I’m willing to bet that there are a handful of things that you repeatedly do each + every week in your business. And because of this, you can create a formal process out of it.
I realized that I wasn’t really engaging on Twitter, only cycling content through on a daily basis. I still want to remain present on that platform, but I’m not as active on it as I am with Instagram or SnapChat. I was spending a good amount of time each week loading my Buffer with posts to share. But, since this isn’t very personal, I knew I could create a process out of it, and pass it off.
RECORD YOUR PROCESSES
While it does take a little time up front to create the process + workflow, in the end it’s been the best thing ever. I like to think of it as my business' Operation Manual.
Since I was already doing these things in my business, I spent a week going through each process I wanted to outsource from start to finish. Once I clearly documented each step, I was able to easily hand off to a VA, who now knows exactly how to complete each task I assign.
COMMUNICATE + FOLLOW UP
Of course, there is probably going to be a little bit of a learning curve. No one is going to do it exactly LIKE YOU DO IT. However, if you’re clear in your expectation + specific with your process, bringing on the help of a VA can feel like a breathe of fresh air.
My little team has been using Trello to stay organized + I can easily see what has been done each week at a glance. Plus, we can communicate inside of Trello, so there is no need to send emails back + forth. With so many moving parts in my business, and a few extra hands touching those parts, this has made it a lot easier for me to feel like everyone is on the same page.
WHY YOU NEED A VA.
The simple fact is, no one can do it all. A lot of people will avoid hiring the help they need, saying that they can’t afford it. I totally get it, because I felt that way too. It’s scary to spend money before you feel like you’re really making it.
But the most brilliant reply I’ve heard on the subject has been this… “You can’t afford not to”. #truth
You have to think about outsourcing as an investment back into your business.
The time that you save by passing off the stuff that doesn’t need to be completed by you can be spent on the things that will continue to grow your business. You can then work ON IT, versus IN IT.
If you’re overwhelmed right now, you’ve already waited too long.
So, do you work with a Virtual Assistant or outsource parts of your business to others? What’s been your experience? Or, what’s currently keeping you from hiring help? Leave me a comment + let me know!