Typically when Lisa Crilley Mallis works with business owners on delegating effectively, one of the top problems is getting them to realize it’s ok to let go! They believe they are the only ones who can do the job . . . and it’s difficult for them to give up control. But there is hope, even for the skeptical…to become a delegating machine!
(Yes – this is even AFTER they realize that they only have 168 hours each week . . . and that the business will hit a point where it can’t grow any longer because they are out of time!)
The other day, however, Lisa shared a story with me about a client she had (we’ll call her Maria). Maria shared that she’s worried about what people will think about her if she delegates. She’s afraid if she reaches out for help, she’ll be perceived as weak and less of a businesswoman.
In the case of the “control” situation, it’s pretty easy to attack this head-on using numbers. It takes you “X” number of hours to do this, this, and this. You have “X” number of hours available after doing this, this, and this. Now what?! Usually looking at black and white numbers helps even the most controlling entrepreneur give some tasks up.
However, in the case of feeling weak, the numbers don’t have the same impact – as Maria is making decisions based on emotion.
So, now what?
Lisa kept asking questions . . .
- WHO are you worried will think you are weak?
- WHAT’S the worst thing that can happen if they do? AND, can you live with it?
- WHAT’S one thing you could ask for help on that seems small and that might not trigger the “I’m less of a business owner” feeling?
Maria started to gain a little clarity here but was still hesitant to delegate. She did promise to delegate one task in the week between our sessions.
BUT . . . she came to our next session and still hadn’t delegated. Though she realized she “could live with the worst thing that could happen,” she was still feeling guilty.
So, we went down a different path . . . and flipped the scenario to one time she was asked for help. How did she feel lending a hand?
It turns out that Maria really likes to be a resource for people. It gives her a “warm fuzzy feeling” to be of service to friends and colleagues. At this point, the light bulb went on! She shared, “When I don’t reach out for help, or delegate, I’m preventing other people from getting this same fulfilled feeling!”
Now Maria is a delegating machine!
The moral of this story (and yes – it is a real story!) is that each business owner is different. The strategies that work for one won’t necessarily work for you. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries before you hit on the exact right plan to move forward as effectively and efficiently as possible. And when you hit that “sweet spot” in delegating and in your other systems, you can support your vision without overwork!
BUT…when you run into a roadblock, instead of trying harder, just reach out for help! Extra effort or discipline is not always the answer.
A big thank you to Lisa Crilley Mallis for sharing her story! When you’re ready to start delegating, Lisa can help you sort through what and how to delegate, and your friends at EVA can provide the professional VA’s to delegate to!