I’m not going to lie: committing to doing less in my business was one of the scariest things I’ve done yet as an entrepreneur.
Which sounds stupid when you put it in writing — but I bet a lot of you know what I mean.
Two years ago, my husband and I went on a 16-day cruise to celebrate our anniversary, and I brought in extra help to make sure my clients were taken care of while I was away. And it was terrifying.
And it went totally smoothly.
Clients were happy. Writers were happy to have the extra moolah. And I was disconnected almost completely for more than two weeks! (Because seriously — have you ever seen how expensive internet service is on a cruise?!?)
But it still took a while for me to understand that it could be like that more of the time and that actually, my time was not being well spent doing the work I was doing.
There’s an exercise Todd Herman does inside the 90 Day Year (don’t worry; I’m not an affiliate!) in which he has you assign a dollar amount to each of the activities in your business. Checking Facebook and email, for example, is maybe a $5/hr task, whereas talking to prospective clients might be as much as a $10,000/hr task — depending on how much you charge!
It’s pretty eye-opening to go through your calendar and see where you’re spending most of your time, and how much (or how little) of your time is spend actually generating revenue for your business.
But it can be difficult to let go of those “$5” tasks — especially if you’ve always been a solopreneur, used to doing it all yourself. You may think, “I can do XYZ myself; why would I pay someone else to do it when I can?”
The question isn’t if you can; it’s whether it’s the best use of your time
I had this boss once who was always saying, “This isn’t a good use of my time,” when she was assigning me something to do. At the time it made me feel like CRAP — because the way she said it made it seem like the tasks were beneath her and only a menial like myself should take them on.
But now that I’m a business owner, I have a slightly different perspective. (Don’t get me wrong; she was still a jerk! But what was behind her words makes more sense.)
It reminds me of a client who came to me once for ghostblogging. We talked about what it would look like, and I gave her a proposal, and she asked for some time to run the numbers and think about it. But within just a couple of hours, I had an email from her saying, “You know what? If this frees me up to work with just one more client, it will more than pay for itself. Sign me up.”
Where is content marketing on your list?
When you’re considering outsourcing your content creation (or, really, any other task on your to-do list), it’s a good idea to ask yourself a few questions:
- How many hours per week am I spending on this task?
- What could I be doing with those hours if I wasn’t doing that?
- Is this something that only I can do?
The first two are relatively easy. If you’re not sure how long you spend doing different tasks, I recommend using a tool like Toggl or RescueTime to track your time for a week or two; you may be extremely surprised at how much time you are spending on things that don’t directly create revenue in your business!
Once you know for sure how long things take, think very seriously about what you could do with that time if you were not doing those tasks. Could you add more 1:1 clients to your schedule? Have more sales calls? Do more PR or interviews? Create your next product or course?
For the simplest version of this question, think about your hourly rate: could you hire someone to do this for less than your hourly rate?
Are you really the only person who can do that?
The third question is sometimes the sticky wicket.
Many times my clients in particular are skeptical that they can give up something so personal as blogging or creating content.
Yet in reality, I have only come across a very few clients in my years of doing this that really couldn’t give up their blogging — because it was so specialized or personal or whatever.
I had the same reaction when a coach I’d hired told me I needed to give up writing for clients and focus on doing sales, marketing, and strategy in my business. My immediate gut reaction was that I was the only one who could service these clients!
Which, of course, was total bunk.
Now, don’t tell my coach, but I still have a couple of VIP clients that I personally write for; but most of my time is now spent doing sales, marketing, and strategy while my team does the day-to-day and week-to-week writing for clients.
And you know what? I’m having my highest revenue year ever.
Whether you’re ready to outsource your content creation or something else in your business, I encourage you to consider how you can do less to accomplish more in your biz.
It could be a game changer.