Most entrepreneurs are multi-talented people. They are very well versed in performing a number of different tasks. Although that sounds like a very positive trait, from experience this alone can lead new entrepreneurs to committing one of the biggest classical mistakes in their first few years in business, which is trying to do everything on their own.
When I started my training business, I was not any different. I spent my days designing and delivering training, finding clients, taking care of all the admin work and preparing the books. A little while later, I found myself also designing my website, running email campaigns to clients, responding to clients complaints and connecting with prospects on social media. Sooner than later, I started to feel exhausted and overwhelmed. There are only 24 hours in a day and they were not enough to carry out all of these tasks alone. The dream of running my own business shortly turned out to be the biggest nightmare.
If you can relate to the above story, you are not alone. Most entrepreneurs learn to hire support only after they experience first hand that it is impossible to grow their business otherwise. In his book the E-Myth, Michael Gerber explains this problem very eloquently, pointing out that an entrepreneur’s primary role is to develop efficient systems around himself that will help carry out the necessary business tasks smoothly.
Your success in the long run is closely linked to where you spend every hour of your time. Doing everything on your own can not only deplete your time and energy in business, but also your bank account. For example, if one hour of your time is worth 400 AED and you spend most of your time doing 20-30 USD admin tasks, you are essentially losing money because you have not yet figured out the best use of your time. If you hired an assistant at 80 AED per hour to handle the admin task and you used the freed up time to focus on higher value tasks, you will quickly start to experience a shift in your mindset as well as your income. This might sound like commonsense but many entrepreneurs do not learn that lesson until it’s too late.
It is very tempting to try to do everything when you are just starting out. To help you avoid this common pitfall, I encourage you to keep an activity log of the time spent working on your business. Record how much time you spend doing typical activities every day. Now divide all tasks into three categories in accordance with your ability to perform them as follows: incompetent, competent and brilliant.
In the incompetent category, list all tasks that you are not good at and will never be good at. You should never be attempting to do any of those tasks on your own. In the competent category, put all the tasks that you can get by with but they always deplete your energy. You should be delegating tasks in this category to others. In the brilliant category, list all tasks that you can do all day long without feeling tired. These are tasks that you would do anyway even if you did not get paid for it. This is your sweet spot where you should spend most of your working time.
The bottom line is the more you operate inside your sweet spot, the more your financial rewards will be because you produce your best results when you apply your most natural talents.