Recently, I wrote about letting go. It seems many of you know you need to let certain things go, but find doing so scary and difficult. I get that. I was there, too. Do you ever feel like…
you can’t stop thinking of work, even when you’re relaxing.
your mind is always racing and never seems to “shut down.”
you feel like you are drowning or suffocating.
you skip meals to fit in more.
your important relationships with spouse, friends, kids and family members are deteriorating?
If you answered “yes” to any of these then you may be suffering from an inability to let things go. These are the warning signs that you are working hard, but not smart, and that it is time to delegate and ask for help.
Let me explain it this way: what is your time worth? I coached a client who owns a large company. He insisted on editing his own communications because nobody could do it as well as he could…because “it’s just as easy for me to do it, because it’ll take too long to explain it to someone else” AND because “it costs too much to pay someone else to do it”. Yet, he complained that the editing took hours from his week and that he suspected that his 25% drop in sales correlated to his lack of dedication to his broader responsibilities.
His inability to let go caused him to suffer in big ways–both financially and personally. His life satisfaction was looooow.
We figured out that his hourly rate was $250. I asked him if he would pay an editor $250/hour. He said no. He saw the light–he realized he shouldn’t be doing the work. He decided to let go and delegate all work that wasn’t worth his hourly salary. He found a $40/hour editor and reduced his 12-hour day to 10 hours. And he found the time to take a mountain-biking trip with his son which is his true definition of real success!
But before you say, “well I don’t make $250/hour” and tune out, listen further. Perhaps you aren’t making any money–right now. Before you scoff at what I say, let me ask you this: what are you not doing or experiencing because you aren’t getting help? Are you missing out on an opportunity to make money because you spend your time doing things you could delegate or pay others to do?
Recently I met with my client, a mother of two small children and a home-based freelance writer. She discussed her utter frustration with her inability to do it all. Parent, work, clean, cook, play. Completely capable and highly functional (sometimes the worst combo when it comes to letting go), I asked her what she could delegate to others, maybe the house cleaning? She argued that spending money on a cleaning lady was a silly waste of money because she could do it herself. “Why pay someone else to do what I myself can do?” Even though her house being a mess was enough to make her stark-raving mad. And even though the current state of her home actually rendered her immobile, verging on depression.
She realized she wasn’t finishing an article (with a potential pay-out of almost $2,000) because she wasn’t willing to pay someone $20/hour to clean her house. When viewed in this light, she saw the error in her thinking.
I’ll never forget a client who was a successful 45-year-old male. He sat with me recalling that all he remembers his mother doing was cleaning–even when he asked her to play. He told me how much he resented that. Well that statement left me scared and willing to change my ways. I still wonder what my children will say about me 20 years from now. And then I ask …what else do I need to let go of? What do you?
Here’s how to start:
First, you need help in order to focus on the money-making aspects of your business. Second, when you insist on doing it all–just because you can–your life’s satisfaction and ultimate success are at risk.
Some thoughts and beliefs to support you in changing your ways:
Purchase opportunities and experiences versus things.
Let others do what they are good at, and you do what you are good at.
Trust that when you provide others opportunities, opportunities will come back to you.
Know there is a way to work and live smarter than the way you are now.
The best investment you can make is in YOU. You are your greatest asset. Act like it.
Ready to get started? Here are 6 user-friendly web sites that can simplify your outsourcing search.
For those of you still wrestling with spending the money on that which you can do for yourself: yesterday, a colleague of mine told me she hired a Virtual Assistant on one of these sites for $8.00 an hour. Still think it’s smarter to do it yourself?? My mission is to support you in turning your “ideal” life into your “Real life”–one day at a time. Let’s start today.
Let me know what things you choose to give up…I can’t wait to hear what you gain in return. Let’s celebrate together.