If you own a small business or startup, you’ve probably heard that “you must delegate”. You can’t do it all on your own, and you’ve got to assign all those annoying little tasks to other people who have time for them.
Here’s the problem with that advice:
It assumes that you will be taking on tasks that have traditionally been deemed as management duties. But what if that’s not where your interest lies? What if you’re the type of business owner who wants to pursue a specific passion, instead of simply managing others whilst they pursue theirs?
There is a better way, and it involves not only getting everything done, but making sure that you’re doing what you love.
Delegation for the passionate business owner
It’s so important that you follow your passion, and that you know your “why.” Otherwise, you won’t be working in a business you love, doing what you’re meant to do.
Lots of entrepreneurs open their own businesses, making money doing what they love, and then something changes. The business grows and more team members are added. There is more to accomplish, and more to oversee.
And just like that, the founder of the business floats to the top because it is assumed he or she will oversee all operations. It is assumed they will delegate simpler tasks to newer employees. It is also assumed that they wish to be in management.
For the first in a series of articles helping small business owners use personal development to drive their company forwards, Centre of Excellence founder Sara Lou-Ann Jones reveals the custom goals all young companies need to identify.
When this happens, most business owners find themselves abandoning their inborn passion in exchange for a job in administration, which doesn’t vary much from business to business.
From the beginning (or now if you’ve already established your business), I urge you to break away from this traditional delegation method.
Instead, make a list of all tasks, including those that are currently required and those that you expect to develop.
Now, enter each task into one of three categories – A, B or C:
A) These are the tasks that you built your business around
They’re the reason you go to work every day, providing the one thing you want to create or give, more than anything else. You’re better than anyone you know at completing these tasks, and they just make you feel happy. Always hold onto these duties, in order to remain a fulfilled, passionate business owner.
B) These tasks are those that you’re proficient in, but you’d rather not do
Maybe in the beginning, when the budget is tight and only a few orders are rolling in, you will take care of them. But after your business grows, you will look for employees and/or contractors who specialise in these areas.
C) These tasks are the ones you despise doing
You procrastinate when they need doing, and you do not feel confident in your ability to complete them without assistance. These should be delegated as soon as possible.
Lots of small business owners feel overworked—like they’re crumbling under the weight of the businesses they’re supposed to love. And all along, they’ve been told it’s because they haven’t done enough delegating. When in fact, in most cases, they just haven’t done the right kind of delegating.
They have handed off the tasks they think should be handed off, and taken on tasks that they aren’t proficient in or that they simply don’t enjoy. The stress they feel isn’t due to being overworked, it’s due to living a life devoid of their passion.
If you no longer experience the exhilaration you felt when you first opened your business, then there’s a good chance that you didn’t get the delegation quite right.
It’s not too late. You can get back to doing what you love and delegating the rest, even if the tasks you delegate are the ones you’ve been told you “should” be doing. It’s time to do some soul searching, to decide on (or get back to) what you really, really love. No matter what that is.
If you feel that you need to acquire new skills in order to fully pursue your passion, or if your team members require additional training in order to perform their tasks with proficiency, pop into the Centre of Excellence. Browse more than 1,200 online certified courses to see what’s out there for you and your team to learn. Then get started delegating…what you want, rather than what you should.
Sara Lou-Ann Jones is the founder and CEO of the Centre of Excellence, a leading e-learning platform which offers thousands of different courses in a huge range of subject areas, from business to wellbeing.
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