In order to build a strong business that gives you the freedom, lifestyle, and income you deserve, you can’t do everything yourself—something you’ve probably already figured out by now. We tend to wear too many hats, and hold on to way too many projects because we think that we can do it best.
That may be true in the short term, but it is depriving our team members of the chance to step up and use their gifts. Furthermore, even if your team member only completes the first draft of the project 50-70% as good as you, isn’t that better than you doing all of it? You can always give them feedback until they get to the point they don’t need to be supervised on that task.
That brings us to the main part of this chapter to cover what a lot of entrepreneurs haven’t often mastered, which is “effective delegation.” Effective delegation is where you have provided enough information so the team member can be successful with the project and give you the output or result you are expecting.
Delegation can be a difficult task to master. It is fair to say that as you work through this process, a lot of inefficiencies may rise to the top. In a moment, we’ll look at a powerful process you can use to make your delegation efforts super-effective.
In order to enjoy your Freedom Days, it is important for you to become super effective at delegating.
Here is the process that I recommend you follow in delegating tasks to others on your team so they are set up for success.
Provide the following information to them either in writing or orally. In writing is best, but you can also just tell them orally and let them write it down. The project description. This covers the details of what you want them to do.
1. What does success look like? This gives them more context around what you want the end result to look like, what it will be used for, or how you will measure if it was done the way you wanted.
2. The priority/deadline.
3. Level of creative leeway. This is where you let them know if you want their creativity, or if there is a specific format or order it must follow. It is important to be clear about this.
4. Level of authority. This is where you let them know what level of authority you are giving them. For example, are you wanting them to make the decision and sign up for the service, or present you with options? Sometimes, level of creative leeway and level of authority merge into one, but we list them out separately, so they aren’t missed.
5. Is there an existing policy or procedure they should follow?
If there is ever a problem in your organization, you won’t know if it is a people problem or a process problem unless you provide clear delegation instructions and a well-documented standard operating procedure.
You certainly don’t have to use these exact 6 questions or word them the same way as what I listed above. But I highly recommend that you start conveying this same type of information when you assign tasks to your team. You can also have your managers do the same thing. This is one of the best delegation hacks that I’ve ever discovered.
You can also assign keyboard shortcuts where this list of questions appears after pressing a certain key combination or typing a certain word or acronym. For example, you can create a shortcut on your iPhone and iPad, and program it to create the very list of questions every time you type the word “delegate.”
Outsourcing is an Important Part of Delegation.
You may sometimes need to outsource certain projects or roles outside the company, either on a temporary or long-term basis. That can come in the form of hiring an individual or a company as a contractor.
Some business owners have the mistaken belief that they can’t afford to hire any staff and should do everything themselves.
The reality is that you can hire talented people all over the world on an outsourced basis for practically any task you can imagine for a price that nearly any business can afford.
Whether you hire individuals as employees or contractors, or you use outsourced companies to help you, the key is to get the help you need with that proper expertise in that area.
If you don’t know where to start with outsourcing to find contractors or other companies to work for you, following are a few services we have found to be quite valuable:
- Onlinejobs.ph – English speaking workers in the Philippines
- Fiverr.com – Freelancers for just about anything
- Upwork.com – Freelancers for just about anything
- Designpickle.com – Graphic design
The hacks for outsourcing that I’ve learned are three-fold:
- Use the same delegation format mentioned before with your outsourced team as you do with your internal team whenever possible.
- Make sure you always have a written contract with your outsourced team that gives you ownership of the work they do for you (and covers other important terms too).
- My favorite outsourcing hack is to always have at least one person who works for you overseas in an opposite time zone, so that you can have a 24/7 operation. For example, when you are about to end your work each day, you can assign a task to your overseas team member that the US team has not completed. When you wake up to start the next day, the task is done. This allows you to have a 24/7 operation and it doesn’t cost a lot to do this. You will be amazed at how much progress you can make as a company when you incorporate this outsourcing hack. This concept alone will help you get faster results as a company even when you not working. It’s important enough to cover in more detail, which we’ll do next.
Achieve a 24/7 Operation
When you employ team members around the world, it will ensure you are always moving your company forward.
Just imagine the productivity that can be realized when you have people literally working around the clock to complete tasks.
This is what I’ve done in my companies for the past 8 years, and it has skyrocketed my results. I always have at least one team member in an opposite time zome so we make progress around the clock.
If you hire team members in other countries, it is important to always measure progress and to make sure your overseas team members feel included. I suggest you choose one night a week when your “working time zones” could overlap and set up a call with an online video service like Zoom or Skype so your international employees will feel connected to the rest of the team. A weekly check-in (refer to Growth Hack #7 in Chapter 3) can serve as a form of accountability to review current goals and ensure all team members are staying on task.
It is also important to keep your employees happy and let them know how much they are appreciated which results in higher productivity. It is a simple concept that so many business owners overlook.
Delegation and outsourcing really do closely relate to each other. The rest is pretty simple. Just get busy delegating and outsourcing if you are still trying to wear too many hats yourself.
True freedom comes from owning a business, not from having a business that owns you. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to identify what else you can delegate to your team so your company continues to grow without you even being there.
As I mentioned in the earlier chapters, freedom isn’t something you get to do once you reach a certain goal. It is something you DECIDE to step into today, and each day thereafter. Unless you are in the military or in prison, you have total control over your freedom, especially as an entrepreneur.
Once you truly accept this idea, you will be able to get rid of the daily pressure and stress that you put on yourself. Most of the pressure isn’t real. You can experience true freedom by just letting that pressure go and start focusing on the few tasks that produce the most results and eliminate or delegate the rest.
With the strategies covered in this chapter on delegating and outsourcing, you’ll be a master delegator in no time flat.
Stay tuned because in Chapter 8, we will share how you can combine all these concepts together so you can start living the Vacation Effect Lifestyle that you deserve.
In Chapter 4, your will learn how to achieve business growth by removing from your “to-do” list, not adding to it. This principle is called “Growth by Subtraction”, and when done correctly, it leads to “multiplication”.
In Chapter 9, you’ll learn the recommended next steps for creating the freedom lifestyle that you deserve. You’ll also learn the best resources (including a business growth coach) to support you in this process.