Podcast Episode 17: Is it possible to find more time each day? Part 2

Last week, we talked about how doing lots of things, doesn’t necessarily mean your business is benefiting.  In fact, you might be doing your business more harm than good by doing everything yourself and not delegating work to others.

This week, we finish the conversation (We talked so much that we split the episode into two parts!) by talking more about how to delegate effectively.  We even share some of our delegating fails, what we learned, and why we’ll never repeat those mistakes again.

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And finally, we share how we create our ideal day–the ultimate goal of the 5 Days to Time Freedom Course.  What would your ideal day look like?

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Get your ideal day by checking out the course: 5 Days to Time Freedom.

And follow me on Instagram @shesonhertoes for even more insights on the podcast and what’s going on in the business … there might be an occasional bulldog pic too!

Podcast Episode 16: Is it possible to find more time each day? Part 1

As business owners, we wear a lot of hats—CEO, Director of Marketing, Scheduler, Head Janitor, Costco Supply Shopper—the list goes on.  But seriously, can someone please let me retire from IT Specialist?!

Do you find yourself exhausted at the end of each day … but haven’t made a dent in your to-do list? Does it seem like you’re working just to pay American Express?  Are you on the verge of massive burnout?  #beenthere

Oftentimes, as busy business owners, we are so focused on the day-to-day and getting our massive to-do lists complete that we fail to recognize if all this work we’re doing is really moving our businesses forward.

What do I mean by that? Well … if you’re doing lots of things, that doesn’t necessarily mean your business is benefiting.  In fact, you might be doing your business more harm than good by doing everything yourself and not delegating work to others.

Yep.  It’s time to take a cold, hard look at how you can find time freedom.  I’ve created a new course called 5 Days to Time Freedom. In as little as 5 days and you’ll determine where your time is being spent and whether it’s time to outsource or hire an employee to help you take your business to the next level.

Check out the course, 5 Days to Time Freedom

 

I’m Good at Everything! The 1 Thing You Should Absolutely Avoid When Delegating

Even those business owners who can literally do everything … or think they can do everything …  sometimes do find that they need to delegate.  Ahem, I wouldn’t know what you’re talking about!  Because, I’ve always been the perfect manager, knowing when to take on responsibility and knowing when to delegate out tasks.  Yeah, right!

The truth is, effective management, including how and when to delegate, requires extensive practice.  And extensive practice implies epic failures along the way.

That’s right.  You can teach yourself how to delegate.  It’s a learned skill.  So, if you’re really bad at it when you start, there’s still hope!  I’ve found that there are 3 steps to effective delegation.

Step 1:  Make a list.  Write down all of the things you should not be doing and prioritize the easiest ones to hand off to your employees.

Step 2:  Create a system.  This is where many managers and business owners fail at delegating.  You’ll want to systematize everything you delegate by writing out procedures for how to complete the tasks you are giving up.  Give explicit instructions.  Every detail is important.  Explain in detail to your employees how to do the task, the goal of completing it, and make sure they know they can check in with questions.  Yes, this is very time consuming—in the beginning—but you’re teaching your employees new skills.  Eventually these skills will become part of their daily work and you won’t have to spend as much time on explaining systems.

Step 3:  Start small.  Transfer 1 task at a time and schedule frequent check-ins to make sure the work is getting done to your satisfaction.  It’s important to remember to give feedback—good and bad as needed.  If you find the task isn’t completed to your satisfaction, this is where you give the employee the chance to correct it—not get frustrated and do it yourself!

Unfortunately, these steps take a lot of time to set up in the beginning, which is why many managers and business owners are really bad at transferring work to their employees.

You know the excuses … “If I do it myself, it will take less time.” Or … “I don’t have time to teach anyone how to do it, so I’ll just keep doing it myself.”  Or, my favorite … “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”  Bullsh*t!  If you don’t learn how to delegate tasks to your employees, you’ll never free up your own time to work on business owner stuff.  As the owner of the business, you’re the visionary—and if you’re stuck doing work that your employees can take care of, I highly doubt you’ll have time to think big and take your business to the next level.

There is, however, 1 thing that you should absolutely avoid when delegating … and that is, jumping back in to do everything yourself.  Once you start giving more responsibility to your employees, you cannot swoop back in and re-insert yourself into those activities.

I was 100% guilty of this when I first started giving my managers more responsibility.  It’s not that I didn’t trust my managers to take care of their work.  I just felt like I didn’t have enough to do.  When you’re used to doing almost everything, and then you hand off work, it’s important to have a plan to either accept that you have less to do, or find other things to do with that time.  Oops!

Even if you’re not so good at delegating in the beginning, keep at it.  You’ll get better with practice!  And don’t ever—and I mean ever—try to take back what you’ve delegated.

To All the Men Responsible for My #MeToo Stories … Thank You

I’ve struggled about whether to write about this topic.  Not because it doesn’t deserve attention or that women shouldn’t be victimized in the workplace, but because I’m not particularly angry or sad about any of the ridiculous things men have said or done to me at work.  In fact, I say … thank you.

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A friend of mine from college, who has a storied career working in corporate America, asked me what I thought when #metoo became a “thing.”  And I said, “Be your own boss!  Work for yourself.  Problem, solved.”  I stand by that.

Before opened my business, I guess you could say I worked in a perfect storm of male-dominated industries: politics, car sales, and investment banking.  One might say, every day at the office was a #metoo day.  Of course, I’ve made lasting friendships and shared great times with most of my co-workers, male and female alike.  But like many women, I have some truly epic #metoo stories …

Like the time a well-known, respected political consultant took me out and told me he wanted to buy me a condo so I could be his mistress.  Uh … tempting, but no.

Or the time political bloggers wrote posts that went viral about how I was sleeping with a reporter from a major newspaper.  These bloggers contended that I was doing this to get my boss, a Congressman, better coverage during a critical re-election campaign.  They couldn’t fathom that I just might actually be good at my job.  What?!  While I was flattered that these individuals were so interested in my personal life, none of it was true.  As an aside, you can probably still pull these up on Google.  You definitely could when I was applying to business school and my subsequent job, so that made for interesting interview conversations …

And then this is a classic, resisting daily advances from a co-worker both at work and out of the office.  This gem of a human made threats against my job and on several occasions, called me at midnight to tell me he hadn’t finished his own work and that if I didn’t go in to complete it, I would be fired.  After six months of that bullsh*t, I left to take another job.

These are just the 3 #metoo stories that immediately come to mind.

So, to all of you … Thank you for doubting my intelligence.  Calling me stupid.  Devaluing my contribution.  Reducing me to a piece of meat wearing heels.  Thank you for showing me what not to do as I build my own company and ultimately create a higher net worth than you.

Because that’s what these #metoo stories are all about, right?  Power.  Powerful individuals preying on perceived weaker subordinates.  Today, most power is fueled by money and generating wealth.  And the fastest way to create wealth is through business ownership or investment in real estate.  Let’s solve this problem by giving woman more opportunities to be powerful.

The way to prevent more #metoo stories is not to have everyone go to some bullsh*t sexual harassment training or for offices to become more tolerant.  The only way to correct this problem is for women to become their own boss!

Here’s your dose of reality for the day: you cannot change other people or their behavior, but you can change the way you react to them.

Tired of being treated second-class?  Or worse?!  Get out of there!  Start your own gig.  Be in charge of yourself.  And then give back to provide a better place to work for others.  Creating your own work environment is the only way you’ll have the power to prevent future #metoo stories.

There has never been a better time for a woman to own and operate her own business, and I am proud to be one of the many.  To all the men responsible for my #metoo stories … thank you … and f*ck off!