Sickening lessons in life: knowing when to put down the tools

Nov 18, 2021
Doing it all yourself in your business

I felt queasy.

The sort of wave of nausea you get whilst lurching around the sharp left hand turn in your friend’s car whilst they drive like a maniac to get you to the cinema with time to spare for popcorn before the teasers for next season start rolling.

I steadied myself on the basin whilst stretching over to the cupboard under the sink to find another loo roll whilst trying to maintain ‘the hover’.

Something wasn’t right.

I looked up at the entrance to the bathroom.

That darn door. Yup, it was definitely still wonky. 12 degrees wonky, if we’re getting specific.

So wonky in fact, that whenever I sat down on the loo, I felt like I was midway through the main scene in ‘Titanic’, wondering when the icy waters would suddenly burst through the flimsy poorly-painted mdf door and snatch me from my porcelain throne, naked bum thrown into the air for all to see.

It had all started off so well.

It was 2001 and I’d just bought my first flat in Hove, UK.

Scrimped and saved for, it was hardly the stuff of dreams, but nothing my relentless enthusiasm and limited DIY skills couldn’t tart up, surely?

Bear in mind this was before the days where a gazillion instructional YouTube videos could have you learning Ju Jitsu in a matter of minutes. I had to rely on the paper leaflets at the front of our local hardware store.

EVERYTHING needed to be done. Walls papered and painted, splashbacks installed, skirtings sanded, taps changed, four internal doors fitted, linoleum replaced, and the bathroom floor tiled.

And I wanted to do it ALL myself - how hard could it be?

Armed with my battery-operated cordless drill, an over-inflated sense of my own ability and my dad on the end of the phone if it all went horribly wrong, I was good to go!

It was the fourth door that got me. Yep, the bathroom one.

I don’t know quite how it happened. The other three were near darn perfect (although each one had taken me three hours to fit, involved a variety of pretty fruity swearwords and created so much sawdust that the vacuum cleaner spectacularly blew up).

I’d hung it SO BADLY that I couldn’t even open it up all the way before it started scraping along the (painstakingly tiled) bathroom floor, leaving a delightful streak of Dulux in its wake.

It was a disaster. I cringed every time I had a visitor, hoping and praying that they’d relieved themselves before coming over and wouldn’t need to be shown the full glory of my ineptitude.

Six years later when I moved in with my husband to our first house as a married couple, and needed to hang a door, guess what I did?

Yep, I got over myself and hired a very pleasant and efficient tradesperson to do it instead.

Along with fitting carpets that actually touched the walls, tiling bathroom floors (grout destroys everything including your fingers, and thick tiles are a b*tch to cut) and installing a tap that wouldn’t leak for the next five years.

And they did perfectly, it in a quarter of the time, with significantly less dust.

As a business owner, it’s a right of passage to go through the nitty gritty of creating a website, mapping out your streamlined marketing funnel, writing ‘drool-worthy’ copy, setting up payment systems, posting inspirational quotes on Instagram, making ‘authentic’ videos, doing ALL THE THINGS and then FINALLY delivering your services to your customers.

In fact, it’s almost essential that you do everything yourself at the start, so you really understand how all the systems and processes in your business work.

There’s a sense of pride you can feel for being able to do everything yourself, without having to hire anyone else in. A lone she-wolf. Miss Independent.

But let’s face it, there’s only one of you. Maybe in another 50 years we’ll be able to clone ourselves, so we’ll have enough hands to do everything (just the way we like it) all at the same time, but right now? It doesn’t exist.

There will come a time when doing everything yourself will start to impact on the growth of your business.

You may already have noticed certain things happening such as.

  • a 'feast or famine' cycle of customers because you haven't got enough time to keep up the Facebook Ads to get the next bookings lined up, whilst you're busy doing your 1-2-1 sessions.
  • you're stressing out at the end of the financial year as you've left all your accounting til the last minute because you're terrified of spreadsheets.
  • you're feeling more and more resentful that you're STILL doing all the household chores yourself  ON TOP of running a business AND looking after kids/pets/ *insert anything else with needs, here*, just because your desk happens to be 10 feet away from the washing machine.
  • you feel that because you can do XYZ, you should do it.
  • you might want to hand over some of the tasks you have on your plate, but no idea which ones to pick, so you don't do anything.
  • you don't know if anyone can do it to your high standards (any perfectionists out there?), so you never ask for help.
  •  you tried it before, it didn't work out. it was a bad experience and not worth it.

This is no good for you, your business, or your family!

By continuing to do everything yourself, not only are you limiting your opportunities to achieve more, learn more and earn more, you're putting yourself at risk of the dreaded burnout.

Maybe you've even found yourself so distracted by your crazy to-do list that in the middle of your 1-2-1 with a client, you've totally missed what they just said and are praying that they didn't notice your thousand-yard stare.

Your family may be lurking in the background wondering why mum's new job (which was supposed to give her more relaxed time to spend with them) is causing her to break out in hives or explode every time someone forgets to change the loo roll.

If this is you, it's time to have a really good look at how your business is performing, and see where you may benefit from having an extra pair of hands, some expert assistance, or someone to take the thing you hate, off your plate completely.

Then you'll be able to focus on the thing you're really great at, and will make the most difference to your customer and your bottom line.

Yes, you may think you don't have the money to get someone else in to help out right now, but if you look at the cost of doing it versus the value that you will get, it might start to look very different. Wonky bathroom door, anyone?

If you want to take your business to the next level and create even more amazing experiences for your customer whilst still juggling all the other ‘must-do’ balls in the air, it’s time for you to start outsourcing.

It's ok! Don't freak out! I'm here to help you, step by step.

Whether you've never hired anyone before and have no idea where to start, or you had your fingers burned when the so-called 'professional' you brought in didn't deliver the results you wanted (and instead of making your life easier, created a whole world of stress and pain), I can (virtually) hold your hand through it all.

Here's the first step

  • Discover what you’re really good at (and love to do), what makes you feel queasy just thinking about it (but you know you just need a bit of help with), and what makes you run to the hills, screaming in terror.

Like finding out you’re a pro at creating beautiful kitchen splashbacks from emerald-green artisan tiles from Spain. And realising that you really are very bad at hanging bathroom doors (or any doors, for that matter).

Still unsure about which activities are ones you should definitely keep to yourself, and which ones you should delegate or outsource?

I have a FREE quick and easy personalised quiz which helps you identify what key tasks you should consider outsourcing right now in your business (or at home!). 

Click here and sign up to take the quiz, right now!

Ready for the next step yet?

Sign up here to learn more over the next few weeks about outsourcing effectively, including:

  • knowing exactly what you need to get done
  • finding the best person to do the job
  • confidently managing their performance, and
  • getting the result you want, without the drama.

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