The Stand-Out Strategy to Deliver Yourself from Burnout
As the owner of a small business, you’re used to doing it all yourself. Now you’re ready to grow, but you’re getting in your own way:
Have you found that you’ve built yourself a successful creative agency, but that you’re stuck because you’re doing too much yourself?
Have you tried to bring on help, but found that no one is able to do the work as well as you?
At the same time, are you frustrated because your business is stuck and can’t grow without you spending significantly more time on it?
Are you considering hiring a manager to run your business for you? Is that even possible?
In this article, you’ll learn how the delegate and elevate system can help you unshackle yourself from your business and reignite your growth.
What is delegate and elevate?
Delegate and elevate describes the process of passing over some of what you do to allow yourself the time to do the more important things that you are best at. If you don’t do this, your business will continually hit a ceiling of your own making. It won’t reach its potential – you will burn out, and your business will never break through the ceiling.
You’re now at that point where you’re stuck in your business. It’s taking up all your time, but the rewards have stagnated. You’re looking for ways to unlock, but you’re telling yourself something fundamental:
“I need a manager for my business!”
When they get to the stage of being ready to grow, many business owners consider hiring a manager to run their business. This would certainly give you more time. You wouldn’t have to do the stuff you don’t like doing, or the tasks you aren’t great at. You’d finally be able to take that vacation you’ve been promising yourself.
It’s so tempting, that you start looking for someone like you. A person who can do it all, and who will pick up the reins and hit the ground running.
You can’t hire someone like you
There is only one problem with the ‘hire a manager like me’ strategy: you won’t find that person. You can’t clone yourself.
You have built a successful business from your business idea and with your passion. Along the way, you have picked up a set of unique abilities. You will never find the exact same skills in a single person. Further, if you hired a “clone” that person would have all the same weaknesses and blind spots that you do!
Should you be hiring a single person anyway? The reason you are considering hiring a manager is to take over the day-to-day management and reduce the number of hours you work. How long will it be before your new manager feels like you do now, and wants to leave? Then the hiring process starts over, and you’re in a worse position than you are today – because you’ve started to grow and taken on new customers.
A leadership team – the alternative to hiring a manager
If hiring a manager is not a viable option, what should you do? The answer is to bulid a leadership team that has the skills you need. This is the delegate piece of the delegate and elevate equation. There are several advantages to this strategy, including:
You can hire people with specific expertise across all the functions in your business.
Because your people do what they enjoy doing and are good at it, your business improves.
If one person leaves, you don’t suddenly need to pick up all the work you used to do.
With a team of skilled people on your side, you can free your time to focus on developing and initiating business growth strategies.
To deliver great management think who, not how
Here’s the secret to managing your business better: instead of thinking “how?” think “who?” (a concept explained in full in the book ‘Who Not How’ by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy).
Entrepreneurs and business owners tend to ask, “How do we do this?” Try asking yourself, “Who can I get to do this?” This is a mental shift, moving from trying to figure out how you can get everything done yourself to focusing on who you will work with – the operating system that will then allow you to elevate.
Make a list of all the tasks you do. Undoubtedly you have spent some hours considering how you can do many of these things more effectively and efficiently. Now, take 30 minutes figuring out who could do these tasks better:
What skills do they need?
What tasks will they do?
How many hours will they work?
Remember, you aren’t going to find someone who can do it all. You don’t want to. What you should do is write job descriptions that target specific skills to do the work that you need to get done.
How to hire the right people
You’ll need to judge who you need to hire and whether it is the right hiring decision, by considering:
Are you willing to trade some of your money to get some of your time back?
Are you spending way too much time on tasks that someone else could easily do?
Are there things on your weekly to-do list that you always dread doing (or that you are NOT doing)?
Once you have decided to hire someone to your team, you should create procedural guides for the tasks you expect from those who fill your open positions.
The next step is to find qualified candidates to build a virtual team. There are many freelance marketplaces where you can search (such as Upwork, for example).
Before you reach out to potential candidates, make sure that you have designed an interview process and interview questions that will help you ensure the person you select can do the job you need them to do.
Next, do a paid trial run on a single task or project. Make sure to give them your process guides. Their performance will determine if they are the right fit.
When I began to hire virtual assistants (VAs) to help me manage my business, I was amazed at the difference it made – and continues to make. I now have a team of five VAs, each with different skills that deliver better service to my clients and allow me to spend more time on the things I love doing.
(Read more in my article, ‘How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for Your Business’.)
Elevate – See your role shift
As you develop your team, you will notice your role in your business start to shift. You elevate yourself above the day-to-day management and start to lead. You do the things that you are good at, enjoy, and make a real difference to your firm. Your focus changes, and you stop feeling overwhelmed by your business. You regain control of it, and your life.
Take the first step. Sign up for my 5 Days to Get Control of Your Business (and Life) course – an email each day for five days. Each email delivers practical actions to take to start to regain the focus and energy you had when you started your business. It’s the first step to getting out of your own way and growing your business to its full potential.