How to Delegate: For Recovering Control Freaks

delegate

One of the most important skills that you need to master as a growing business owner is delegation.

The reality is that there’s only so much work you can do in 24 hours. As your business grows, and you get more clients, start to sell more products and have more customers to interact with, you’re going to run out of time eventually.

Not to mention all of the other things that need to happen to keep your business running: like keeping an eye on the bookkeeping, legal requirements, and often creating content.

It’s easy to fall intro the trap of the bottleneck entrepreneur. In today’s video we are going to discuss what you should hire out or delegate to other members of your team.

How to Delegate

Want the audio only version of this post?
Check out the podcast version here.

Where should you start with delegating?

There are different schools of thought when it comes to what things you should do as the business owner. One of the first things you should hire out is your bookkeeping, and most people agree with that.

Some schools of thought say that the only thing that you should do as the business owner is set the vision or the course for the company, and then make sure that it happens. Personally, I’m not quite there yet. However, I think it’s a great place to aspire to, as our businesses continue to grow.

Another way of looking at delegation is the only thing that you should be focused on is bringing money in the door, while other people on your team focus on everything else.

For example: you could be the one having sales conversations with people, putting together marketing campaigns to get people to buy your products. Then your team would be putting together the different pieces, keeping the ship running, and maybe even delivering on the products or services in some instances.

But even in this case, as your company grows you’ll want to put systems in place and train other people in your company to start taking over the sales aspects, so that you don’t become the bottleneck.

The delegation mindset

When it comes to delegating there are many different ways to slice the apple.

The most important thing is making sure that you have the right delegation mindset.

As a recovering control freak, I totally understand how hard it is to let someone else do work that you’re perfectly capable of doing yourself.

Plus, there are other considerations that come into play: finding the right people, paying them, trusting them to do things well, and not becoming a micromanager.

So here’s what I’m going to say about all of those obstacles:

“To have ownership of your company, you need to give ownership away to team members.” Click to tweet!

What I mean by this is that in order to be the owner of your business, other people in your business need to have full ownership to get their work done.

That means that they can make decisions on your behalf, and they can make things happen without depending on you. This helps reduce the bottleneck and the stress that can creep up when you start to hire people in your business.

I can say this because I’ve made this mistake myself, sometimes hiring people can be more stressful because you take on all of the ownership for what they are doing instead of letting them have the ownership of what they’re responsible for.

Once you have this attitude towards delegating and hiring, it’s way easier to to filter through the different people who you might consider hiring. You can just ask yourself, would you be comfortable giving this person ownership of this piece of the business?

Let me give you a few examples: when it came to organizing the Off The Charts Live conference last year, I gave ownership of a couple of the different aspects of the event to our brilliant execution strategist.

She was in charge of sponsorships, and not only did she think of the sponsors, contact them and also nurture and ensure that everything went smoothly for them, but she really rocked it in a way that I never could have done myself.

In other parts of my business, we have systems in place that make it easy to implement things that we do on a regular basis, like making these videos, uploading them, and publishing the newsletter.

I don’t have all my delegation skills dialed in yet, but like most things, delegation is a muscle that gets stronger the more you use it.

If you give your team ownership and the right instructions, you might need to steer them in the right direction if they go off course, but they’ll be more likely to run with the projects you give them and be a dream to work with!

How do you delegate in your business?

I’d love to hear what your relationship with delegation is like. Do you feel like you’re giving ownership or are you still the bottleneck in your business?

Be sure to share your tips in the comments below.  I’d love to hear all about your strategies for delegating tasks in your business!

P.S. We’re hiring!

It’s funny how things line up sometimes, but we’re currently looking to hire a Digital Business Manager – if that sounds like you or someone who would be a good fit, please pass it on!

12 Comments

  1. Monica Lee on October 30, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Preach it, Sister! haha! I think I am a recovering control freak too! I needed this!



    • Nathalie Lussier on October 30, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      Woohoo recovering control freaks, unite! Happy this was helpful for you Monica!



  2. Caroline Frenette Intuitive Leadership Coach on October 30, 2013 at 9:00 am

    I love this blog post Nathalie: thank you.

    In my past life I had 2 retails store + a yoga studio so it was paramount for me to delegate to my team. I learned really fast that I wanted to work with people who would be + do much better than me at the specific tasks. Then the challenge was to stop being a control freak and actually enjoy!

    In my current business I have enjoyed delegating graphic design, copy, programming, book keeping BUT I’m actually enjoying immensely NOT having any employees (it’s just so much work + energy to train people).

    I’m at a point in my business where pretty soon I will have to bring extra people in but I’m in no rush to do so. Still enjoying the freedom of being a solopreneur :)



    • Nathalie Lussier on October 30, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      I also totally hear you on loving the solo-preneur life. I think there’s a kind of peace that comes from not having a team. But there’s also more pressure as things pick up speed, and that can be solved by bringing others on board.

      I’ll be curious to know how you like having virtual team members (if that’s the way you go!) versus in person staff, Caroline! :)



  3. Randi Pierce on October 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    You're speaking my language! Total recovering control freak ;) And the other BIG thing for me was learning how to build healthy, cooperative & supportive relationships. Everything I learned about leadership and building relationships, I learned from my biz. Yes, in the beginning it was a bit rocky…but as I got more clear on who I was – and to watch out for my weaknesses – while honoring my true nature, I began attracting ideal team members. Virtual teams work best for me (I prefer to work alone), but the next level for me will be to step into 1-2, in-person staff members to support the daily going-on's of life as an entrepreneur ;)



  4. Randi Pierce on October 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    You're speaking my language! Total recovering control freak ;) And the other BIG thing for me was learning how to build healthy, cooperative & supportive relationships. Everything I learned about leadership and building relationships, I learned from my biz. Yes, in the beginning it was a bit rocky…but as I got more clear on who I was – and to watch out for my weaknesses – while honoring my true nature, I began attracting ideal team members. Virtual teams work best for me (I prefer to work alone), but the next level for me will be to step into 1-2, in-person staff members to support the daily going-on's of life as an entrepreneur ;)



  5. Amy Wright on October 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Love this video so much… great work Nathalie!



  6. Nathalie Lussier on October 30, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Thanks Amy! :)



  7. Nathalie Lussier on October 30, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I love what you shared here Randi Pierce! I think there's definitely a process that we go through as we build a business, where we get to know ourselves better… and in turn become better at building relationships and delegating (and hiring the right people). :)



  8. Laura on November 2, 2013 at 10:39 am

    You know, I have difficulty finding people who I feel like I would be comfortable giving ownership of part of my business. That sounds like I’ve got some issues to work through! Thanks for the perspective!



  9. Katie Lee on November 4, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    This is such a scary topic for me. I don't quite think I'm to the place of needing delegation, but I know I'm close. I've also been talking with my accountability group and they are all ready to delegate too. It's so hard to get to that point and yet so important for growth. For me, I'm need baby steps.



  10. Brendan Wallace on November 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Hiya would you add me as a friend ? Would be cool.