People who dare to start a small business or creative project are by nature very independent. You want to do it all yourself. Maybe you file your own taxes, clean and organize your office/studio, created your own website, designed your logo, wrote your marketing materials and you somehow do everything else involved in your business or project.
Are you “saving money” by doing everything yourself? Actually, if you are doing everything yourself that is a clear indicator that your business and your income are not living up to their potential. If this is you, I have a name for you: “Task Hoarder.”
While you are an amazing circus act, you are actually hurting yourself by juggling all those random tasks in the air! Task hoarding keeps you from focusing on the work that only you should be doing.
YOU are only required for about 30% of the tasks necessary to run your business or project. The reason most small business owners are so depleted and are not making enough money is because they insist on doing everything themselves.
First, begin to sort out which tasks must be done by you. If you are a doctor, you must meet with your patients; a painter must actually move the brush over the canvas. Figure out which tasks have your name emblazoned on them and be brutally honest about this.
Then, ask yourself these questions about the tasks remaining:
Do you hoard tasks that you don’t even enjoy?
If you do not enjoy the task, it will take more energy and effort to get it accomplished. Why get good at something you don’t want to keep doing? Hand it off or hire it out to someone who likes this work and free yourself to do the work you love.
Do you hoard tasks that have a high learning curve and that you don’t necessarily need to learn?
The classic cases of this are tasks that involve technology. You may think you are saving money but if the learning curve for a task takes you twice as long as it would someone else, you are easily losing money, time and your mind! You will profit more by spending that time doing the work you are in this business to do, increasing your output and income and hiring someone to do the work they are already proficient at doing.
Do you hoard tasks that could be done as well (or almost as well) by someone else?
We are all a little hung up on the idea that we are the only one who can do things as well as they need to be done. This is a trap. This thinking keeps your business from growing.
When you are babying every mini-aspect of your project or business, you are neglecting the tasks that have your name on them and you inhibit your project or business from truly flourishing.
Endeavors that are successful are run by people who know their strengths, their limits, and then hand tasks off to others to accomplish faster, better and more happily so that the creative source of the endeavor is free to do what he or she does best.
© 2007 – 2011, Karrie Kohlhaas. All rights reserved.