When you began your business, you were working from a mindset of all hands on deck. At least I was. And most of those ‘hands’ were my own. I was delivering organizing services, billing clients, developing marketing, speaking, ordering supplies, answering emails and literally every other task that needed doing.
I loved organizing and helping individuals solve their organizational and clutter challenges. I loved working with my clients and I was able to help them through challenging situations to be able to create an environment that support them. It was a great feeling and they got great results.
But, when it was time to grow, I knew I couldn’t add any more client appointments to my calendar. I couldn’t be in two places at once. In order to serve more clients, I brought on and trained more organizers. I was doing everything I had been doing originally and training and managing employees. My plate was full.
The money that was coming in I was using to pay my employees to serve clients. I was busy running the business. It got to the point that I saw almost no clients. It seemed like my business was growing because I was bringing on more organizers and serving more clients. But, I wasn’t growing. There were days that I would answer the phones or make calls for scheduling and the person on the other end had no idea they were talking to the owner of the company. That was a wake up call.
I had outsourced my unique brilliance, working with clients and giving them outstanding results. I was busy just trying to keep the company running, doing all the little tasks that a company must complete to operate.
How did that happen?
Have you also found yourself ‘hiding’ behind your business? Have you ever outsourced your unique brilliance?
I am not alone. In his book, Delivering Happiness, Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, describes a make or break moment in the history of the company. Zappos differentiated themselves on customer service which included accurate fulfillment of orders in a timely manner. But for a while, they outsourced this exact function to another company. For this company, it was just a ‘job,’ but for Zappos, it was their core competency. It nearly brought the company down. As soon as they realized what was happening, they brought their warehouse and purchase fulfillment back in house and applied their special process to it.
You cannot afford to outsource the thing that makes you unique and sets you apart. Within your company you cannot delegate your unique brilliance. Everything else you can and should let go of.
What can you let go of today to focus more on what you do best?
Being an entrepreneur and business owner is hard! Once you have your business up and running it's not uncommon to hit a few snags: scalability, staff retention, launching growth projects, getting enough sleep!