If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I am a big fan of outsourcing tasks that you are either not capable of completing (like taxes, creating legal documents or whatever is your skill gap) or loathe doing (like filing, making changes to your website or responding to tons of administrative emails).
At different points in my business, I had some really great support from top-notch administrative and business managers. But since moving to Arizona 3 years ago, I went back to doing all administrative tasks myself.
Last year, things really heated up in both my and my husband’s business. I got pretty stressed out trying to get everything done (while raising an active toddler) and resolved to get ongoing help in place.
The first step was hiring a virtual assistant from Multiple Streams Dream Team which hooked me up with my fabulous online biz partner Wanda. She is helping to set up the back-end of my online business, including a shopping cart system for new products, management of my ezine list and teleclass participants, website changes and a whole range of other infrastructure-building activities. I have been really excited to slowly delegate tasks to Wanda, and find more time freed up for fun and revenue-generating activities.
The second step was hiring someone to handle my in-office pile of papers and forms, invoicing and bookkeeping, since I was way out of control and just looking at all the piles of important but loathsome administrivia made me feel sick to my stomach. So at the end of December, I decided that I would hire an administrative assistant/business manager person to work part-time at my home office. I was prepared to write a job description and list it locally, although the thought of interviewing a bunch of people was not appealing.
When I got home from vacation, an email appeared in my inbox from Organizational Empowerment, a local firm that provides office organizing and “Girl Friday” services in your home or small business office. When I spoke to the owner, Suzanne Babb the first time, I got chills up my spine. She had spent years organizing offices in large corporations and had the exact skill set I was looking for. So much for going through painful interviews … it appeared that the perfect person had dropped herself into my email box at the right time.
Yesterday, Suzanne came here for the first time. I spent the first hour going over the pile of paperwork to delegate, which had things I had been accumulating for many months. Once we reviewed the pile, I went off to my room to prepare for my interview for Martha Beck. I could hear Suzanne cheerily calling people on the phone, typing furiously, copying and faxing. At the end of 2 hours, I was stunned, shocked and ecstatic that she had gotten through most of my immense pile of to-dos. It would have taken me 3 months to complete the tasks, and with much angst and frustration at that.
My conclusion: I am a lunkhead for not seeking help earlier.
With the star partners Wanda and Suzanne in my corner, I am now free to focus on the things I really enjoy that will bring my business to the next level. Like interviewing Randal Pinkett, Chairman and CEO of BCT Partners and last season’s winner of The Apprentice who I will be talking to in 30 minutes.
Don’t be a slow learner like me. Get yourself some help, pronto. You won’t regret it.