Go from strength to strength
We all know how important it is to work to your strengths. Yet how many of us work deliberately at doing just that?
If you want to have fun and lead a high-performing organisation, then this is something you need to really focus on and make happen.
It was my friend and colleague, Operations Director Tracey Underwood, who showed me a simple way to identify the jobs that you should be doing and the jobs you should be delegating.
Complete the following table below as honestly as you can:
- In the first column list the jobs that only you can do and that you love to do.
- In the second column list everything that you currently get involved in during your week.
- Now look at the jobs in the second column and think who they could move to. For example, Personal Assistant (PA) or Virtual Assistant (VA), Administrator
(In house or outsourced), Delegate to Paraplanner
(In house or outsourced). If you’re not sure who they could move to, place them in the last column and think about what type of support might allow you to get rid of that task.
|Jobs Only You Can Do (and love):||Jobs You Currently Do:||
Delegate to PA or VA:
Delegate to Administrator:
Delegate to Paraplanner:
Delegate to other support:
Take a second to imagine what your working life would be like if you could just focus on the things that only you can do. ‘Amazing’ is the word you’re looking for. How much faster could your business grow if you did what you were good at and loved to do?
Yet when I raise this issue with most business owners they look at me funny, as if to say, “It’ll never happen”.
That would be 100% correct, if you don’t take steps to make it happen. However, it is within your power to start to let go of jobs that are not jobs that only you can do and love.
Ask yourself three questions:
- What are the things in my business that are really valuable to get done?
- What are the things that I really enjoy doing?
- What are the things that I’m really good at?
Compare your answers to those three questions. Anything that appears on all three lists is a job that you should be doing. There won’t be very much that’s on all three lists, but it will be hugely valuable if you can spend most of your time on these tasks.
The Small Firm Challenge
If you’re a small firm, or earlier in the journey, it’s inevitable that you’ll be involved in almost everything in your business. But don’t stay there.
Many of the smaller firms I work with have elected to partner with outsourced administration and paraplanning services. They want to be able to scale these parts of their business as they grow.
Outsourcing is not a walk in the park. It comes with its own set of compromises or trade offs. However, so does recruiting team members yourself. Neither option is risk free or perfect.
One of the biggest mistakes I see smaller owner-operated firms making is waiting too long to start offloading jobs from the owner.
There are a couple of ways to help yourself get moving on this:
Check in with yourself
Remember what you are trying to do in your business.
Although earning enough money is a primary driver each year, it’s actually not the only goal. The business should also be fun to work in, and building a recurring revenue stream that can hopefully be sold in the future. When you remember that, you can make decisions that will advance you toward your goal, even if that means trimming this year’s income a little as you invest in yourself and your business.
Work out the real cost
When you consider the cost of hiring, try to bring it back to a worst case scenario. Ask yourself, “How much extra will I have to earn to simply break even when hiring this new person or outsourced service?”
If you can relate it back to an average client size, you’ll usually find that you don’t need to find many new clients to make the new support pay. In my mind, if all you do is break even and cover your costs, you’ve improved your life. That’s got an economic value.
The reality is that for almost every client I’ve taken through this process, they’ve not only covered costs (and improved their quality of life), but they’ve earned more personal income too.
The handbrake is you
The biggest handbrake to the growth of your business is you. If it makes you feel any better, the same is true for my business too.
If you already have a team in place, try communicating your goal of working on only three things that you are really good at to them. Let them know you’re getting everything else off your plate.
You might be amazed how eager they are to take away some of your current jobs. Your team will already know what you are good at, and what you are not so good at. Let them help you by taking away the stuff that you just don’t need to do.
Focus on the three things you are best at, and delegate the rest to good quality people as fast as humanly possible.
Let me know how you go.