I’m going to start our discussion on delegating with a story about a lawn…
My first house had a lawn. A big lawn. Lots of grass and weeds.
And at the time, I prided myself on being a “pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps,” DIY kinda gal. So I mowed it myself.
And every week… I loathed it. I’d be happy for a moment, looking out at the little lines along the grass, priding myself on my ability to “man up” and get shit done…
But by the next day I was already dreading the next week’s mowing.
This was many years ago – way back when I was a touring musician, running my own indie record label in my house. I was just beginning to Uplevel my business. Which meant that I had to get strategic about my time if I wanted to grow my business.
I realized that things I did to grow my business, like writing songs or creating an event, ultimately paid WAY more than what I was saving in the short-term by mowing my own lawn. (Not to mention the energy I lost in dreading it!)
So yeah, I was scared.
But I did it anyway: made my first hire. A lawn guy.
Seems like a small step, I know. But that lawn guy taught me about freedom and space…and my superpower. (Which is NOT mowing lawns.) Yes, he saved me just a few hours a week. But I could make many thousands in those three hours by doing some high-level creative focus work!
Lesson: VALUE your time as an INVESTMENT. Begin to think about how much of a RETURN you’re getting on that investment… and use these delegation basics to offload the rest.
So here’s an exercise to help you decide what to delegate. Follow each step carefully:
Take out a sheet of paper (or an Excel spreadsheet, if that’s how you roll).
1. Make a list of all of the tasks you currently perform in (or out) of your business, divided in 4 columns, organized by how much you enjoy doing them, and how well you do them.
2. In the first column, list the things you LOVE to do and EXCEL at. This is your “Superpower” column.
- You could do these things all day long and walk away nourished and energized.
- You’re recognized for being really good at these things. From a business standpoint, this column represents activities that produce 80% of your revenue.
3. In the second column, list the things you’re really good at… but are less happy-making. This is your “Skilled” column.
- You’re really good at these things, but it’s not where your superpower lies, that intersection of passion and skill.
- Truth be told, if you were to spend the whole day doing these – you’d walk away feeling depleted. This column typically represents about 20% of your income.
4. In the third column, list the things you’re competent at, but… yeah, no love lost there. This is your “Meh” column.
- You can do it, and you do… Because someone has to!
- But honestly – someone else could do it better.
5. The fourth column is called “Suckety-suck.” This is where you list the things that, quite honestly, you suck at. And despise. (Mowing the lawn comes to mind.)
- This is the kind of stuff that you dread And no matter how many ____ for Dummies books you buy, you’re not getting any better at it.
- They don’t contribute to your business’s growth or income in any way.
So where do you start delegating?
You guessed it. Columns 3 and 4.
In terms of prioritizing, consider which tasks take up the most time, with the least return; as well as which tasks drain you because they keep not getting done – or you dread them every time they must be done.
The ultimate goal is for you to spend the BULK of your time in your SUPERPOWER column. Where the investment of your valuable time is returning income and growth.
And then you too can smell the freshly-cut grass with pleasure instead of dread, my friend – whatever YOUR lawn-mowing nemesis. (Or, do like I did, and move to a house in the woods that has no lawn to speak of!)