When I left my corporate career behind I knew that there was one rule I was going to go all-in on.
No more days of missing my kiddo’s ballet show, or waking my baby up too early just so that I could bathe him myself and bond.
Yes, I actually did that for a whole year and I regret it often – before I quit my high-paying office job.
I was going to build a business that would support my lifestyle, not the other way around.
That meant if my kids had school events, I was going to be there. If they needed help with homework, I was going to do it with them.
I thought I had this magic formula figured out when my entrepreneurial journey was taking off.
After all, every time my business needed me, I just turned to my two new best friends: early mornings and late nights. And the two were always happy to oblige.
So yes – my kids had me with them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and we spent time together every afternoon, but another problem arose.
I didn’t really get much sleep.
I’m talking about multiple nights a week in which I would only have two or three hours of sleep. Four if I got lucky. Five hours were considered a luxury.
And then eventually I noticed that being tired during my “kids time” was… let’s say – counterproductive.
I remember taking my kids to see a movie and sleeping right through most of it.
I remember getting so emotionally and physically drained after doing 15 meetings before lunch time, and knowing I had 6 more meetings later that night…
I was so swamped with schedules that in the precious afternoon family time I had allotted for myself, all I could manage to make myself do was… fall asleep.
I was too tired to even read them a bed-time story.
I was barely functioning, let alone being present and emotionally available for my kids during the time that I had promised myself I would be.
This post is not about me beating myself up. I achieved a lot with my six businesses and am spending an amazing amount of time with my family.
I am ok with making mistakes, learning from them, and in general – doing a lot.
But when you are a business owner, there are many hats that you have to wear. You are responsible for making decisions, overseeing projects, and establishing a great relationship with your clients.
Handling all of that by yourself is a madman’s burden.
After a while, I realized that delegation is not just about efficiency or freeing up your time. It’s also about priorities.
And if you want to be successful in business without sacrificing your family life, you have to learn how to delegate as quickly as possible.
So when I see an opportunity to delegate something, I take it, and I highly recommend you do so too. (In the hero’s journey, we can compare it to crossing the threshold and the growth that follows.)
When I gave the same suggestion to my colleagues, I was shocked to find out that many business owners are reluctant and struggle with delegation.
They either don’t know how to do it or they’re afraid of what might happen if they let go of some control.
But delegation is not about dumping tasks on someone else and forgetting about them. It’s not about giving up control completely either.
It’s about taking the time to find the right person for the job, training them well, and then trusting them to do it. You will still be present, overseeing and providing guidance to those who are working on a project.
Delegation can be hard, but there are some strategies you can use to make it easier:
- Start small. If delegation is new to you, start with small tasks that you’re comfortable delegating. As you become more comfortable with the process, you can delegate bigger and more important tasks.
- Be clear and concise. When delegating a task, be sure to provide clear instructions on what needs to be done and by when. Ambiguous instructions will only lead to frustration on both your part and that of the person you’re delegating to.
- Set expectations. In addition to being clear about the task at hand, it’s also important to set expectations for the finished product. This will help ensure that the person you’re delegating to knows what level of quality you expect.
- Give feedback. After the task is completed, take some time to provide feedback on what was done well and what could be improved upon. This will help the person you delegated to learn and grow in their role.
The delegation of tasks is one of the most important skills a business owner can benefit from if he knows how to do it the right way.
It’s the mark of a true leader, to know how to identify the tasks that only he can do, and delegate the rest. It can help you maximize productivity and still have the quality bonding time that you and your family deserve.
If you want to have a successful business AND a happy family life, then delegation is not optional. It’s a helpful tool that you can use to make sure you keep your sanity intact.
So if you’re still trying to do it all by yourself – stop.
Because there are far more valuable things you can’t really delegate. Like eating with your kids, helping them with their challenges and homework, playing ball with them. Hugging them.
None of these is delegatable.
Now back to you… What’s the one thing you would love to delegate right now in your business?
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