My wife was recently subtly pointing out little things around the house that needed doing, as wives often do on Saturday afternoons when they sense you’re about to reach for a cool drink and a bit of downtime.
“Maybe you should get someone to come out and fix the silicon that’s coming off around the shower”, came the helpful suggestion.
Indignant that she implied I wasn’t capable of performing such a simple repair, I set out to prove her wrong and reclaim my manhood.
“I’ll fix this”, I said in my most macho voice as she rolled her eyes and left me to it.
Several visits to the local hardware store and a few hours later, I was proudly exhibiting the fruits of my labor.
Fast forward a few weeks and mold started showing up behind the silicon repair I’d made.
I finally gave in and called a professional.
“Did ya use bathroom grade anti-bacterial silicon mate?”, the gentleman condescendingly asked while inspecting my botched repair. The blank stare I gave in response ensured his bill was going to include a stupidity tax in addition to his normal charges for time and materials.
THE VALUE OF EXPERTS
The above is an example when I clearly didn’t follow my own advice. I’m a firm believer in using outsourcing as a strategic leverage tool.
Outsourcing to experts can help you leverage your time so that you can concentrate on the highest value tasks possible. Everything other than your highest value tasks should be delegated or outsourced.
In my sad tale above, I paid for the materials to do the job myself, then I spent hours of my time doing the job (incorrectly), then I had to hire someone to undo the mistakes I’d made and finally pay them to do the actual job properly.
Clearly not the best use of my time or resources.
As entrepreneurs we have a “can do” mindset. This often means when something needs to be done, we are tempted to just roll up our sleeves and just do it.
However, spending a lot of time doing things that aren’t your area of expertise can quickly become a very expensive exercise. Remember money is a renewable resource – you can always get more money but you can never get more time.
OUTSOURCING OPERATIONAL TASKS
Then there are other tasks which are necessary for the proper functioning of a business but don’t necessarily require any specialized expertise. These are often time consuming and repetitive.
Examples of this might include data entry, administration, follow up, shipping etc.
The common concern with outsourcing these tasks is quality. Will they get done as well as if I was doing them myself? The answer is probably not, but a rule of thumb I use is 80% as good by someone else is better than 100% done by me.
Letting go can be difficult, especially if you’re a control freak and perfectionist like most entrepreneurial types are. But it’s necessary if you’re going to get scalability and leverage in your business.
Otherwise you end up effectively paying yourself minimum wage for menial tasks while sacrificing high-value tasks such as marketing and business systems which take your business to the next level.
I’ll leave you with some timeless wisdom from the late great, Jim Rohn:
Learn how to separate the majors and the minors. A lot of people don’t do well simply because they major in minor things.
Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: Busy doing what?
Days are expensive. When you spend a day you have one less day to spend. So make sure you spend each one wisely.
We can no more afford to spend major time on minor things than we can to spend minor time on major things.
Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.
Time is the best-kept secret of the rich.