Have you ever thought: If I could spend half as much time on half as many things, I would be twice as effective”? Like many of the entrepreneurial leaders we work with, the endless wheel-spinning of urgent but lower-value work distracts and disrupts their ability to focus on their single most valuable contribution to the company. The “I’m just too busy to grow” mindset and feeling of being surrounded by business clutter holds us back from making our ultimate contribution to the world . As leaders, we all have great intentions around our impact and time. There are many adjustments that we can make in our business and our behavior to move out of a reactive space and into proactive growth.
First, know your worth. Many of the leaders I speak with don’t attribute the proper value to (1) their time and (2) the ROI of getting the help they need to better leverage themselves. To operate successfully in the entrepreneurial economy, time is your most valuable resource and it is finite. Parkinson’s Law states: “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” As an entrepreneur, you must ensure the majority of your time is ever-focused on your most valuable contribution. If you successfully delegate things off, be disciplined about not refilling that time with more clutter. To really apply this, we need to first understand our worth.
Our friend, Brittney Castro CFP and CEO of Financially Wise Inc has created a Worth Calculator Tool which you can download here. When we are clear on our own worth, we are empowered to make well informed decisions about investing in time and resources. For example, let’s say you’ve invested $250,000 into your expertise over the years. You want to work 48 weeks a year at 40 hours a week for a total of 1,920 hours a year. That $250,000 divided by 1,920 is $130 an hour. This is your hourly rate. Even if you are not actually making $130 an hour, simply use this number as a GUIDE. Use it to start delegating tasks and feel more confident with the amount you are investing to leverage your time and multiply your growth. If you’re not sure what to hand off, check out our resource around Sample Tasks you can delegate as a next step. And remember, don’t refill the time with more lower value work. When it comes to creating more time: “There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.” — T. Sowell
Next, continually commit resources to the “boring stuff” to create consistency and stability in your company. The boring stuff makes up at least 50% of your business and it is the backbone of how you deliver what you do in an effective, unique way at scale. By ignoring it either because it’s not interesting or a competence for you is not serving your vision. This indifference towards operations is likely driving alot of the chaos and wheel-spinning that is blowing up your day and distracting you from your most impactful work.
The beauty of delegation is that you’re not charged with doing it or hammering out the details to bring it to life. You simply need to articulate your operational vision and make an ongoing commitment to the delegation and process. Many times, just like in your entrepreneurial visioning, it may take many iterations of a process to find the right solution. The key here is your acceptance and support of that process to work through the kinks. For more insight on how to create scalable operational processes, checkout our recent webinar. Bonus Tip: A great starting place when it comes to building out operational processes, is always to look for the repeatable parts of the business and begin to capture, automate and delegate those processes first.
Lastly, create an accountability system for yourself to help see your best ideas through. This one hurts to hear sometimes as QuickStart entrepreneurs. Ideas are what motivate, define and excite us… doesn’t everyone see what a great shiny idea this is?? Let’s make it happen! Ok, let’s move onto the next cool idea!
The problem with this MO is that (1) without consistent follow-through to bring those ideas to fruition and (2) without committing to clarity yourself around the end result, heads are left spinning, projects are left uncompleted, team members are frustrated and nothing moves forward with ease. All of this contributes to the mindset of feeling too in the weeds to focus on growth. Nothing gets finished, momentum and growth are stalled because time (yours and your team’s) is being wastefully spent chasing down half-baked ideas.
The solution is simple: Check yourself. Build an accountability system and a culture of transparency with your team to temper this impulse. Let them feel empowered to speak up if the idea is not in alignment with the established priorities. Understand where and how you bottleneck your team from accomplishing their best work. Give them the tools and permission they need to hold you accountable for bringing clarity and commitment to your ideas before you are allowed to hand it off to them to execute. Commit to the theory of “Essentialism” which teaches “Less but better.” Use this newfound leverage to make the less you focus on all about your unique impact and the growth that awaits.