Flipping the script: you teach me!

July 11, 2020

Where would I be without my task manager? I certainly wouldn’t be able to run my business the way I do today.

After a year-and-a-half of selling my productivity courses, I now make several times what I spend each month. That’s a great position to be in and I feel grateful. I also feel proud of my hard work.

As my business has grown, though, so have my commitments and responsibilities. I run the entire business by myself, so that means I do all of the following:

  • Creating course content (e.g. shooting and editing videos)
  • Delivering the course on my course platform
  • Student support
  • Marketing (e.g. shooting and editing YouTube videos)
  • Website design and development
  • Accounting and taxes
  • Building business relationships
  • Defining and executing on business strategy

I love building this business and I also love helping people be more productive, so I don’t mind doing all of the above. And until now, I’ve been able to run all of these parts of my business myself, through disciplined use of my task manager and by keeping the Big Picture in mind.

Today, however, I am approaching the point where I can no longer do everything myself without working a lot more than I want to. If I want my business to keep growing—and I do—then I will have to outsource some tasks. So outsourcing has been on my mind.

Instead of doing everything myself, I could hire an accountant to prepare my profit and loss statements, to file my tax returns, and to make sure I comply with the law. I could hire a video editor to create snappier, more engaging videos. I could hire a virtual assistant to upload my videos to the course platform.

Maybe I will hire people to do these things for me. But deciding to do so is hard.

Some of you are directors in large companies. Others manage big teams. If that’s you, delegating and outsourcing is already a part of your daily life. For me, it’s new.

I’m getting some practice at delegating in my Toastmasters club, of which I was just elected president. We have an active club, with around 40 members, so there is plenty to do—but the stakes are much lower there than they are in the business that makes me a living.

I pride myself on my self-awareness. I know that I have strong opinions about how I want things to be. I know that I like to do things right: no half-assing, no temporary solutions. And I know that I like to understand everything about my business.

Point is: outsourcing is a challenge for me. Fortunately, it’s the good kind of challenge: I’m having fun tackling this “problem”.

As I mentioned earlier, I am grateful that my business is so successful now. I feel proud. And I was able to get this far mainly by practicing what I preach. Now, though, I am entering a new phase, and I want to ask for your help. Usually, I teach you something. But today, I’d like you to teach me.

If you have experience outsourcing or delegating, would you email me your answer to the following question?

What’s the no. 1 thing you learned about outsourcing or delegating effectively?

Perhaps your answer will help me to avoid some of the mistakes that you made.

Thank you.

— Peter

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