What do I outsource? That is the most popular question I hear from solopreneurs and experts alike.  I get it. It’s a tough question, kinda like where to get the best oysters. Soo many choices!!  Personally, I’m an East Coast girl. Island Creek oysters are my jam!

Back to picking what to delegate.  Variety is the spice of life. It’s also good for problem-solving. I like to have an A and B method, just in case. I mentioned creating a Dammit List. We’ll get around the the Paper exercise sometime soon, but for now, how about a general checklist?  There’s something so soothing about a checklist, don’t you think. Tik. Tik. Tik.  Here’s it is:

Delegation Checklist

  1. What is the next task/project that will increase my income in the next 30 to 60 days?
  2. Whose time is better spent on this-mine or a teammate?
  3. Is it more cost-effective for a provider to do this?
  4. What’s the positive result of getting this done?
  5. Is an emotional attachment holding you back from delegating?

Unlike the Dammit List, which is based on a frustration, the Checklist organized around fast action.  I don’t know about you but I’ve had those ‘aimless’ periods where I’m not quite sure what to do next. I learned that focusing on clear financial goals worked best. Because I can plan forever. I LOVE planning but at some point you gotta poop and get off the pot.

What’s the next project that brings in cash?

This is trick question.  To entrepreneurs every project is gonna bring in cash…eventually.  I mean what can you finish in 30 days that generates income.  Maybe that’s an infoproduct (I’m obsessed with online courses- they are the next BIG thing)  Or bringing in one new client or speaking gig.

When your eye is forever on the mountaintop, you miss the gems at your feet.

Whose time is better spent on this mine or a teammate?

Another trick question! There are very few things YOU have to do on a day to day level. Do you think Steve Jobs was running out for toner cartridges. Eh, no. My biz idol, Sir Richard Branson has been quoted saying that successful people delegate.  Billionaires get my attention, how about you?

You are a super magic unicorn. (lol) Save your mojo and delegate just about everything else. Or eventually there won’t be enough unicorn to share. Everything that doesn’t require your personality, experience or expertise gets delegated!

Repeat after moi.  Who Else Can Do That?  Make this your mantra.I have a friend who is so accomplished you wouldn’t believe it. She makes me look like a loafer.  She let me know that she’d started to outsource more and loved it. She didn’t say exactly, but I heard some relief and pride in her voice. Did I mention outsourcing is good for your personal growth?

Isolation and insular thinking are part of the perils of working alone. The upside of having a teammate to work with is that you get another perspective and an accountability partner to boot!

Is it going to be more cost effective for a teammate to do this?

Generally, the answer to this is yes. Most coaches and experts I know make more than $50 an hour. Two of my clients report saving over $200 by outsourcing tasks they were doing themselves. Not to mention the time gain. What could you do with 2 extra hours a day? Write your book? Create a course? Take a course? Imagine using the time to create a video that goes viral.

What’s the positive result of getting this done?

Ok that sounds like a trick question but it isn’t.  Yes, the positive side is the work is done. But why not look a little further. Try this fun exercise.  The work got done and then…. go about 5 levels and see what turns up for you.   Too often, we are willing to play out all the drama, every bad outcome possible yet we don’t spend equal time doing that for the good outcome. Let yourself be motivated to outsource by the good it will do you and others.

Is an emotional attachment holding you back from delegating?

Business is always personal. Always. People pretended that business was business in my corporate life as an Ombudsman. The catch is you need an Ombuds, someone who can listen and help workers navigate work relationships, expressly because we are all different people.

There are days in business that suck. It’s the price of the ticket. I’ve wanted many times to get a job. Sometimes I did take short hops back to organized business. Always I can back to my first love entrepreneurship. We fight and make up.  I have a lot of love for the wonderful things my business has given me. My life is very blessed with flexibility and the ability to do what I love (build teams with cool people) and get paid.  I also hate that I worried myself sick over it literally.  It is what it is.

Learn to recognize your signs that emotion is up for you.  I know when I’m making a trip to Issues, the cool magazine store near my house, I’m hiding from something.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: running a business can be some of the deepest therapy work you ever do.

I love listening to Margaret Lynch and Pamela Bruner, both are business coaches who focus on the typical entrepreneur blocks: fear, fear of money, fear, fear of success, fear, fear of missing out, fear, fear of being a fraud, fear and the rest of the fears 🙂  I love using EFT to move ahead fearlessly.  Tapping works!

What resonates the most with you on the Delegation checklist. Let me know in the comments.


Dina Lynch Eisenberg, JD, is the CEO of OutsourceEasier.com, an outsourcing training/consulting firm for successful lawyers and entrepreneurs based in Oakland, CA.

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