Like most dreamers, I can be a bit of a control freak. I can have this haughty attitude: “God called me to do this! I have to do it all. No one else will do it right!” For me, this is always the sin of pride: I begin to think my way is the only way and leave little room for God to be sovereign.
God made me a creative. I’m an idea maker, a dreamer, a connector of tasks to the efficient tool to finish the task, a doodler, a writer, and a complete scatter brain. My world is defined by seasonal spurts of energy for doing and long withdrawals into solitude to process life. My brain never stops creatively problem solving; I fall asleep each night mulling over another problem to be solved.
But with my propensity to be always about the solving of problems rather than completing of tasks, you can imagine that I struggle often as a photography business owner. I have learned recently that, even though I am a solo entrepreneur, I don’t have to do it all. God did not design me to do it all.
The key to staying on course as a dreamer is to recognize that you were not meant to complete it all. (<====Click to Tweet)
Let’s walk through the delegating some of the tasks you aren’t designed to do.
So quick, grab a sheet of paper and scribble down the tasks you have to do as part of your business but abhor doing (or procrastinate to the last minute). Here’s an abbreviated version of what I don’t do well in my business if left to myself:
- Website behind the scenes (fixing my contact form, figuring out how to get my email into Outlook)
- Client Workflow: Staying on task with to-dos for each client
- Some edits to pictures that are just too time consuming or out of my skill level
- Manning a table at events (I struggle being personable with strangers)
Now let’s look at your list again. Categorize these things into “Things I can ask for Help”, “Things I should outsource,” and “Things I just have to do!”
Hint: there should be only a few things in your “Things I just have to do category.” In my short list above the only thing I have to do is client workflow.
Things I can Ask for Help with Completing
God has given all of us different skill sets. When we use our skills to bless and serve others we are living right in the center of our God sized dreams. So why, when we reach the end of our skill sets, do we hesitate to tap into the skill sets of those around us? Why won’t we let others use their God size dream skills to serve and bless you?
Asking for help is affirming the God-Sized Dreams and skill set given to your friend.
I have asked for help from a website friend when I had problems with my contact form. My websites CSS coding was all geek to me. (yes… geek… not Greek… hahaha… get it? I’m so funny… ok… maybe not…).
My husband wrote and continues to edit my Excel Spreadsheet for Bookkeeping.
Look at your ask for help category, pray over who can step in and give life support to those categories.
Things I should Outsource
While it’s okay to ask for help on small projects, there are certain projects that just need professional help. It is okay to pay someone to complete a task for you that they are more equipped to do! When you outsource, you are a blessing financially and affirming that the business or skills they have are something that God has given them.
I budget my CPA’s fee into my cost of doing business. Ya’ll, I would be lost without him doing my taxes.
I pay my friend Mandolyn to sit with me at marketing or mini session events because she is amazing at connecting with people and making them feel comfortable and welcome. She frees me up to do my job of photographing little ones.
When I have a complicated edit, I outsource. Sure, I could spend 2 hours educating myself on completing the task, but I don’t have 2 hours to spend on one photo as a solo entrepreneur. Paying someone $10-15 is well worth saving myself 2 hours of time.
If God didn’t design you to do a certain task, it’s going to feel laborious and rob you of the energy to complete the primary tasks He has for you. Outsource as soon as you can. I’m still praying about outsourcing housecleaning 😉
Things I Just Have to Do
Unfortunately, I am not at the point where I can comfortably hire an assistant or virtual assistant to keep me on task and assist with client workflow. I have to do it all by myself.
The single best tool I have found for client workflow is 17Hats. It’s an online app that integrates template emails, bookkeeping, client workflow processes, calendars, and to do lists all into one place. Ya’ll, I have found my happy place.
17Hats probably isn’t the best solution for every dream. I’ve heard amazing things about using Evernote for business or even Excel. I have used Canned Responses in Gmail to speed things up as well as Boomerang, a Gmail plugin, for easy automated client follow-up.
The important part of making your “Things I have to Do” list manageable is to create an easy to follow workflow. And that takes time to establish and discipline to stick to the plan.
In conclusion let me state again:
The key to staying on course as a dreamer is to recognize that you were not meant to complete it all. God gives unique interlocking skills to complete our missions for His glory.
Shared By: Melissa Aldrich
Photo Credit: reneweveryday.com