Do You Know When to Hire Help? - Christine Kane

My very first house had a big lawn.

I mowed it myself.  (I prided myself on being a tried-and-true DIY gal.)

Only problem?

I hated mowing the lawn.  I dreaded it all week. I was always happy once it was finished… but I started dreading it again the very next day!

At that time, I was just beginning to Uplevel my business, which required that I view my time differently.

I realized that the simple act of writing content or creating a product could, in the long run, pay me WAY more than the short-term money I saved by mowing my own lawn.

So – even though I was scared – my first hire was a lawn guy.  Sounds simple, but that taught me how to value the Return on Investment of my genius work.

These days I have an in-house team working for me at Uplevel World Headquarters.  Delegation is no longer a question mark.

But I do work with clients and students who need to hire people – sometimes for the first time. They resist. They fight. They wonder if it’s time. And they wonder if they should pay for work they feel they “could” or “should” do themselves.

I tell them there are signals that it’s time to hire someone. Here they are:


1 – You don’t have enough time to do the thing you’re best at.

What are you good at?  What do you want to be good at?  How much time do you actually spend doing that thing?

If you’re running around getting menial tasks done – and you have no time to pursue your passion, or engage in your high-pay-off, high-delight activities – then ask yourself why.

Even if you let go of one item (like cleaning your house) you’re proactively choosing the value of your time.   And choice is a game-changer.

2 – You keep trying to get good at what you were born to suck at.

The Quickbooks tutorial you’re taking?

The “How to Be Your Own Accountant” book you’ve been trying to read?

The “Guide to Creating an Operations Manual” you’re plugging away at?

Unless you are an accountant, a bookkeeper or an operations manager – these are things you – face it – were born to suck at.

But I’ll bet you are masterful at the things you were born to do!

Hire all that other stuff.  (Yes, you can start small.)

3 – You’re worried about the economy.

Waiting for the economy to get better before you’ll hire someone? Why not become a part of the solution and use your money to improve the economy?

While everyone else is pulling back and firing people – you can experience what it’s like to be the change you wish to see in the world!

4 – No one can do it as good as you.

If you just shouted “Amen Sister!” – then please step away from your computer. Go to the bathroom mirror. Look into your eyes and say the following aloud:

“I have a bit of a control issue.”

The belief that no one can do it better than you serves only to keep you in the role of the Martyr.  Unless you are a brain surgeon, then there are many people who can (and will) do it as good as you. (And I doubt that brain surgeons run around cleaning the floor after surgery!)

5 – You’re playing not to lose.

Ask any coach or athlete about this.

When you play to not lose, all you’re doing is surviving, relying on yourself and hoping no one notices you.

When you play to win – you take risks, you keep your mental attitude strong, you rely on the team, you look for the goal.  Decide that you want to play to win.

6 – You’ve used this phrase at least once in the past month: “By the time I show someone how to do it, I could just do it myself.”

This is the mantra of someone who refuses to succeed. It’s the mantra of the struggle-addict.

Learning how to delegate is empowering. Not just for you, but for others as well. Besides, when you show them how to do it once, they can keep doing it so you don’t have to!

7 – You dread certain things so much that they don’t get done.

It’s okay to not enjoy certain aspects of your work or your life. This is the exact thing you can hire someone to do.

What items do you dread?  No matter what they are, when you get them off your plate, you’ll experience more energy just knowing they’re getting done – and you don’t have to worry about them anymore!


Share with me, my peeps!  Which signal is on your radar right now? And who are you going to hire?

  • Heather Cottrell

    Excellent post! As someone who is both the hired and the one hiring, I’ve encountered those points from both sides of the table. I really like #3 – what a great perspective. And #6, yes, I can relate.

    I already have people on my team and still I get stuck in “I can do it faster in the time it would take to explain how to do it”. I’ve recently begun fixing that one by doing the thing anyway (usually regarding web design), and recording my screen as a tool for my tech team to do it better next time. This is making a great difference in my business!

    Thanks for an awesome post.

  • Kathrine Farris


    Great Article, right on point!

    As the owner/operator of a Virtual Assisting company I can’t count the number of times that I’ve heard some of these. It’s unfortunate and very limiting for an entrepreneur to fall into these traps. No one can ever be good at everything, and it’s time for us ALL to stop doing those things that are holding us back. Personally, I have a passion for technology and marketing, so that’s what I focus on both for myself and my clients. Then, I partner with other Virtual Assistants to help with the rest. I currently manage a team of 10 US based VAs with a range of talents and expertise. Working in a team environment not only allows me to focus on what I do best, but it also allows me to collaborate and create a better end result then I could alone.

    Thank you,
    Kathrine Farris
    Strategic Office Support

  • georgia mansur

    Do you have any advice for finding a virtual assistant or someone that can manage your IT end of business? This is taking up FAR TOO MUCH of my time and eating into my creative and productive time. What is reasonable to pay someone for this type of work?

    • Kathrine Farris

      If you are looking for a US based VA, then I would be happy to talk with you.

  • Aracelys

    i got hold of Christine when looking for Vision Board Information i register ans since them i can’t stop reading and listen to her CD/DVD specially the call unfortunatully for me i cna not buy any of her product but i can tell you that she is taking my lenguges and i want to follow her instrations to the letter, in my vision board i have write UPLEVEL MY LIVE UPLEVEL ME i really wich that i can get old of everything that she over that i will level my life to the very top is somehting that i always want but don’t how to get it and yes i have read the secret and all the other but still is not feel like i getting there

  • Kimberly

    I guess I have different standards than some people for cleanliness — who in the heck is spending hours cleaning each week??!! Not I. Maybe 45 minutes total, every two weeks.

    What I could use is someone to do laundry, vacuum every other week and do dishes daily. (We don’t have a dishwasher unless you count my hands.) Vacuuming is easy to delegate but my wardrobe. Oy vey. “Ok, wash these on delicate, and you can dry this one but NOT this one, ever — and you have to hang this dress to dry but hang it like this or the shoulders will poof out. And wash these cashmere sweaters but block them and lay flat to dry and do not stretch them out!!! ” bwahahahahaa!

    I’m about to hire an intern to help with newsletters and posting of blogs and also to run errands, etc. YAY! I had one last year and it was great. Finally found a decent accountant. Still looking for a bookkeeper who understands lawyer books and doesn’t create more work for me, as they have in the past.

    Yep, the more money I make being me, the more I need to hire someone to do stuff that isn’t me so much.

  • Janelle

    Hired my first part-time marketing assistant last week and it feels so good! She’s amazing at all the things that I’m not, and I admire her ability to run a spreadsheet. I hung on for a long time. Too long. Until I woke-up-looking-for-clean-clothes-kind-of-long. Will be hiring for housekeeping, and turning more stuff over to my bookkeeper this month too.

    • Christine Kane

      Go Janelle! Next you’ll be needing a private chef and a personal concierge!

  • Kerry Dexter

    it’s #5 for me too. this is a great perspective that comes at a very good time for me. Christine, thank you.

  • Frauke Moebius

    It’s #5 for me. I now choose to play for the win.
    (I have someone who helps me with accounting and taxes. Does that count?)

  • Christina Ammerman

    Number 4. Yes, I have a control issue, and even though I’ve hired someone I find myself too often muttering that I could still do the work better than she does. Have I hired the wrong person for that work, or am I being to controlling to let her do her best work? This is the question I’ve been asking the empty room.


    • Christine Kane

      Christina –

      A few questions:

      1 – Have you trained her to do it EXACTLY how you like it? (Yes, even if that makes you feel like an overly persnickety meticulous little beyotch.)

      2 – Have you shown her examples of the end result that you most want, including an explanation of WHY you like it the way you like it?

      3 – Have you said to her: “here’s what it looks like when it’s done and done well…” ?

      Sometimes people just need good training.

      If you give good training and it’s still not getting done well – then, it could be a wrong hire.

      Remember, it’s DELEGATE. Not ABDICATE. Give her lots and lots of instructions!

      Let me know how that works.

  • Rebecca Clegg

    Ok, you have convinced me. I’m getting someone to clean the house. Working from home a lot, it’s a huge distraction and a major time waster!

    • Christine Kane

      Let us know how it goes, Rebecca. I promise you won’t regret it! (It’s the first thing I make my masterminders do if they don’t already have a cleaning person!)

  • Evie Burke

    Good ol’ #4. I know that I don’t need to do everything myself and have NO problem telling other people to hire help. But when the opportunity to have a VA for two months with only the cost of an honest testimonial (she’s just starting and wants to get her feet wet) my immediate thought was “But she won’t do it the way I like it done!”
    The truth is, she’s extremely capable and a friend who I trust. So, I told her I needed two weeks and then I’d hand off my newsletter and blog to her to publish. So, she’s working on it today and I get to work on other things like UYB!

  • Alexandre L’Eveille

    #6. Definitely 6 is my biggest one now. Sure, I can justify it by saying that good help is hard to find, but it can be done. I am making progress. I have outsourced work on two projects with success. It wasn’t the way I would do it…but it was way faster, the client was just as happy and I had more time to interact with the client.

    My first outsource when I started my business was accounting. Trusting someone to know my money horrors was just too personal. Once I did it and learned I can still look in QB and see everything, it was the best move ever. I hate accounting!

    • Christine Kane

      Alexandre – I’m with you on the accounting bit. That was my first hire, even before the lawn guy. And when it comes to hiring good help – you need good ads and a good interviewing process!

  • Marsha Stopa


    Christine, you continually amaze me at how neatly and fast you drill down to the point in so few words.

    Had me laughing out loud with No. 4.

    Thanks for everything you do.

  • Ruth

    I am realizing that i need to find a way to offload a lot of things I dread/dislike/suck at so that I can BEGIN working on my business. Time to row away from “Someday Isle”…and realize this is the only life I get.

  • Kim

    I am completely great with all you share here Christine. I do have a question though. When you’re barely established as a business, and much of your time is spent in business development with no initial payoff, how can I find the balance I need to be able to focus on my business when I still need an income? I’m currently working a part time job in addition to my business, and as my business grows, my part time job becomes more and more unbearable. For me, right now, it’s less about hiring someone and more about knowing when to take the leap away from my part time work and trust that the money will be there to put food on the table. I’m a single mom of two boys and this is often a very scary thing…in addition to the fact that I have plenty of debt to pay off and an terrified to accumulate more! I’d love any insight you have for this!

    • Christine Kane

      Kim – Okay, maybe at this point, you wait before you hire someone.

      I would also keep the part-time gig and manage my time REALLY well until I started generating some regular income with my business.

      Trust is great and faith is crucial in a business — but you also need to have that income stream so that you’re not taking action from a place of panic if things are ever slow.

      My biggest encouragement is to look at your part time position from a place of sheer gratitude because it is providing you the foundation for ultimately creating your very own business. (That’s how I used to look at waitressing when I was starting up as a performer and songwriter.)

      It’ll happen. I promise. Keep doing the work. It’ll pay off!

  • Dr. Anna Garrett

    I FINALLY unleashed my control-freakish grip on doing my own accounting in January. I am not sure why I held on so long, but my money desperately needed a system! Talk about feeling free!!!! Whohooo….best money I spend (except for the housecleaning peeps…they’re still #1)!

    • Christine Kane

      Wow Anna! As successful as you are in all things financial, real estate, business and otherwise — I’m in shock that this wasn’t an earlier obvious choice for you! (I shoulda kicked yer ass on this long ago my friend!) 🙂