It is interesting when I looked up the official definition to this word….all I found were links to the upcoming elections. Well – DUH – Amy – we are in an election year and there is lots of talk about delegates.
But I’m looking at this word as in – delegate – – like to assign part of your workload to someone else.
Delegate: v; to send or appoint (a person) as deputy or representative.
I think one of life’s most valuable lessons to learn how to delegate. Yet, I feel , for small business owners, this is probably one of the hardest things to learn and to do.
For me, when I was running my own business I had a couple of issues that set up hurdles for me to delegate:
- I was very independent and felt as most small business owners, that I was able to perform every task needed for my company.
- I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to afford delegating my workload to others.
Both of these situations are very common lines of thinking when I talk with other small business owners. And one of the things I like about being a small business owner myself and now consulting with small business owners is the “I can do it” mentality. But careful to not let this get in your way of yourself. Yes, it is probably true that you can do “it” – whatever it may be. But too many “its” and the service or product that you offer will begin to suffer.
It is important to take stock in the things in which you excel, the things you with which you struggle and the things which you don’t like doing very much.
For example: when I wanted to convert my business from a sole-proprietor to a Corporation, I know in my heart and my mind that I would have been able to figure all that was needed to do this. I mean, I have a BA in Business. Surely, that should give me a leg up on knowing what to do. But, I also admitted to myself that:
- I am not a lawyer, and
- I didn’t have the time to learn what was needed. Even from all I learned in college, I didn’t learn the intricacies of setting up a corporation.
So I allowed myself to hire a lawyer to handle this part of my company. That was probably the best idea I ever had. Not the becoming incorporated part (although that was pretty smart too), but the hiring a lawyer part. He told me things about what was required that I didn’t even know I didn’t know.
A client of mine hates to do invoicing for her company. I suggested she hire a bookkeeper to come in and do all her financials once or twice a month. She did so and now she doesn’t put invoicing her clients off until the last-minute. She saves herself many minutes each month not to mention the headache she doesn’t get anymore.
For personal or home management, it is important to realize where you can delegate certain tasks too. Delegating household task can be to hired help, like a babysitter or a house cleaner. But it can also roll into your kids. Heck I’ve even delegated mouse patrol to my cat – – I mean – there are just some things I won’t do!
Seriously, there is no reason our kids can’t do household chores these days and I’m always amazed at parents whom I talk with that say “Junior can’t do that”. And I ask…”have you had him try?” I think kids as young as three should be delegated things to do.
WORD OF CAUTION! I have learned it is best not to “delegate” household chores to your spouse or partner. This gives the wrong impression that you are really in charge and/or have some superiority over your significant other. It is best to use words like “share” or “let’s combine our efforts”.
One last thought – – trust. It is important to trust the person to whom you delegate jobs. Whether it is a co-worker you are asking for help on a project, an employee or a contractor…if you don’t trust them, they will fail. And – it is oh so important to be specific in what you are looking for and when giving the details of the assignment.
Did you know I can help you with finding ways to delegate some of your tasks – – and we’ll find more minutes in your day! Give me a call…I’d love to chat and get things rolling.
PS – we had a pretty good day, yesterday, on our 100 for May challenge….will you help me sell 100 copies of my eBook, Making Time for Dinner this month? Buy your copy today and ask your friends to do the same. And thanks!