If you could commit to one game-changing action that could really drive business this year, and help you work ON your business instead of IN your business, what would it be?
For 2016, I’ve made what I think is a transformational resolution, which will ultimately help me to be a better entrepreneur. This year, I will outsource every business function that is not a personal strength or core competency. The idea doesn’t necessarily appear profound, but consider the implications.
One of my first big projects of 2016 is realizing a super aggressive integrated marketing strategy. Even though I created this strategy, many of the necessary steps to make this successful aren’t aligned with my skill sets or interests. In fact, many of the tasks required paralyze me. I can’t even make simple buying decisions because I’m overwhelmed with information, or I’m intimidated by technology. Since I refuse to allow my lack of knowledge or lack of enjoyment stall my progress, I need to expand my options – and embrace the reality that someone out there loves to do all these things that I don’t.
My first step in meeting these people was to join niche Facebook and LinkedIn groups focused on these specialties I’m not versed in. I’ve met some awesome professionals who would love to do those things I’d rather not, and by forming and nurturing these relationships, I’m building my own ecosystem of experts to accomplish my goals. What’s more, these connections I’ve made are with strategic thinkers in their area of expertise. They require very little handholding or management, so I can continue working at a macro-level, and at my speed of efficiency, instead of supervising interns or entry-level candidates.
Some of the areas I am outsourcing are:
- Financial management
- Social media implementation. I created the initial strategy and divided it between two resources who specialize in specific platforms
- Management of my newsletter & blog
- Management of my YouTube channel
- Management of my upcoming podcast
Granted, most entrepreneurs could do these tasks for themselves, but consider the downsides. First, these processes could get in the way of your ability to focus on your core competency. And your core competency is the engine driving your business.
Second, handling all these processes would ask you to be an expert in too many areas. I’m positive that no single entrepreneur is interested in completing EVERY task within a successful business. The student of all is the master of none, right? Life is too short, and time is too valuable, to focus on any aspect where you don’t shine.
So where can you begin? I’ve created a quadrant to use when I’m planning my day, and these four categories help me invest my time accordingly.
As an entrepreneur, where do your strengths lie? Could you be outsourcing those dreaded tasks to someone who not only is an expert, but loves to do what you don’t? Someone who is thrilled to be in a dedicated swim lane, and invests all of their time/resources perfecting a specific craft? Imagine the quality of service and expertise you will receive from someone who spends 100% of their time on something they love. Isn’t this what your business deserves?
It’s something to consider as we head into this new year – and I think it helps us further reach our goal of “work on our business, not in our business.
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