You are probably too young to remember Roy Castle and his signature song, which went like this :- “Dedication, Dedication, Dedication’s what you need. If you want to be the best, if you want to beat the rest, Dedication’s what you need”. There was a dedicated man. Did you know he had a world record for 24 taps in one minute? No – not the things that spout water….he was a tap dancer. Amongst other things. Anyway…
It is certainly true – you do need dedication to be an Entrepreneur. It’s not the bed of roses that employed people might think. I know some of my friends see me ‘swanning off’ to the Philippines and Marrakesh and London this month and think – what a great life. And don’t get me wrong it is. But I HAVE been in business for 16 years. And had 5 businesses.
At first it was hard. I had 2 months bill money in the bank when I started and an 18-month-old daughter and an unemployed husband. Yay! It had to work. You could say I was very motivated. It certainly has NOT been a bed of roses though. The stress of seeing a business fold after the death of my Father and the prolonged stress of keeping a recruitment business afloat – JUST – through 5 long years of recession, were no cake walk.
Whilst my friends all had steady jobs with regular incomes, I was wondering if I would have enough to pay the food bill on many occasions and sometimes had to resort to borrowing from friends to pay the staff (one memorable Christmas).
So, it is not an easy life being an entrepreneur. However, one thing does make it easier. Let me tell you the secret.
Well, it’s not a secret really – as it is in the title of this blog. It’s ‘Delegation’.
I was at an event this weekend coaching people to be better public speakers for my friend and mentor Andy Harrington. Now, that boy has delegation down to a fine art.
Imagine this. You organise big conferences where people learn to ‘do’ public speaking – amongst other things. It is a 4-day event at a hotel in Heathrow (usually), and involves tonnes of marketing to get 150 bums on seats. It takes a lot of organising both prior to and during the conference. And it takes an enormous amount of coaching of the delegates as well as lighting, AV, sound. Then there is a coaches’ dinner to sort, and social media to attend to. And then you also have to get on stage for 2.5 of those days and teach.
Or – in reality – you turn up – teach from stage and then go home, because everything else is delegated to people who are actually probably more qualified to do it than you, and you SHINE on stage – because you are great at that and you don’t have to do anything else but what you are uniquely qualified to do.
That’s where Andy’s business is at. And yes, I know he is highly successful and can AFFORD to have this big team around him, and it wasn’t always like that. I have to say though, that as soon as he possibly could he started delegating and asking people to help him – even before he could afford to pay them. And that is part of the reason for his growth. In fact (and god bless you Andy if you are reading this – because you know it is true) when he ‘interferes’ and starts making decisions about any of the other stuff (except for the teaching from stage) – things can go wrong. Because that is someone else’s area of unique qualification.
I have come to realise that accounts and financial matters are not my area of strength. I don’t like dealing with it and therefore I don’t prioritise it and therefore it is hard work. I know it’s something I CAN do well, because for the first 3 years of my business I did it all. The accounts and book keeping, the VAT, the payroll, the P60’s and P11D’s (in fact that is what I was doing the day before my son was born back in May 2003). I CAN do it – but I HATE doing it and as a result it takes me way longer than it would take someone else.
Which is why I have now outsourced it to someone who likes doing all of that invoicing and credit control stuff. I have also hired around me in my social media business people who are better and quicker at certain things than I am – like web developers and report writers. And I have even hired me an editor (that one is hard to give away because I am a rather good editor).
And as a result – I am growing the business that I always should have had. It’s only taken me 15 years to be an overnight success!!
So – what is it that you are holding onto that you should outsource or hire someone to do? If it’s social media – you might want to give us a call!! Or come along to our mastermind group – email me for more details.