As the 17th century English author John Donne famously put it, “No man is an island.” We are all better—better parents, better friends, better entrepreneurs—when we work together, rely on others, and let others rely on us. Unfortunately, in the world of entrepreneurship, many business owners think just the opposite. They view the ability to do everything on their own as a badge of honor and buy into the “hustle culture”, believing that burning the candle at both ends is what you need to do to be successful.
What I’ve found by working with hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs, though, is just the opposite. It’s those who reach out to others, delegate, outsource, and regularly get home before sunset who succeed. The ones who try to do it all themselves end up burned out, disillusioned, and ready to throw in the towel and go back to work for Corporate America.
You can’t be an expert in everything
No matter how smart you are, you simply can’t be an expert in everything that goes into making a business successful. You can’t be a social media guru and an accounting expert and a sales whiz and…well, you get where I’m going here. Most of those who go into business for themselves do so because they are very good at their specialty, whether that’s investing or designing websites, or doing other people’s taxes. However, once they start trying to run all the other aspects of their business, they start neglecting what it is they do best. They don’t have time to get coaching or to take courses so they can continue to improve their specialty. Instead, they run themselves ragged doing everything that could be done quicker, easier, and much more professionally by someone else.
Decide what you can outsource
There is no shame in outsourcing some (or even most) of your regular tasks that keep your business running. You don’t need to do all your own billing, you don’t need to cold call, you don’t need to create your own strategic marketing campaigns. If you really get down to the nitty-gritty and determine what your hourly rate is for what you specialize in, you’ll realize that you can easily outsource other tasks for less than that rate. This means you’ll be saving money in the long run because you’ll have more time to serve clients and your revenues will grow.
Find others to partner with
Just as there’s no shame in outsourcing, there is a lot to gain when you form strategic alliances and partnerships with other entrepreneurs. For example, if you design websites but sometimes dabble in social media, wouldn’t it make more sense to form a collaboration with an entrepreneur who is highly skilled in social media marketing? You can promote each other and work together to serve clients who need both services instead of using your valuable time and energy to create sub-par social media content.
Hire someone to kick your ass
Entrepreneurs need to continually improve their mindsets, their knowledge, and their business skills. There’s only so much of this you can do on your own and you can take your development quickly to the next level by hiring a business coach who is willing and able to kick your ass to help you succeed. A good business coach can spot outsourcing and collaboration opportunities, ensure your business practices are lining up with your values, and help you create a business that serves you instead of the other way around. The end of the year is quickly approaching and it’s those entrepreneurs who are willing to form and deepen connections and collaborations who are going to get ahead in 2022. If you want to be one of them, take my quiz to determine your profit potential and see if working with a business coach is right for you.