One of my favorite parts about my first two years as a solopreneur was the feeling of freedom. In particular, I LOVED not having a manager breathing down my neck about deadlines or clients.
I was in charge of every client and task in my online business, and I loved keeping MYSELF accountable to every last moving piece. But the thought of turning around and being a manager myself — completely intimidated me.
But that’s exactly what I had to do if I wanted my online business to grow and THRIVE. Successful, profitable businesses are made up of teams led by managers. And if I didn’t want to have a manager, I had to grow my team and BE one.
Here are the top 3 obstacles I encountered (and overcame!) as I grew my team and fully embraced delegation in my online business.
Giving up control and “being the expert”
This was the first and HARDEST obstacle for me to overcome. Mostly because I had to fully embraced the “bootstrapping” lifestyle of an online service provider during my first two years in business.
I LOVED having all the answers. I loved having the wherewithal to figure out something I didn’t fully understand. And I loved being “the one” my clients turned to for nuanced, complicated projects.
But I could only be “the one” to a very limited number of clients. And if your aim is to grow your business revenue (and your profits) year after year, being “the one” to a handful of clients just isn’t going to cut it.
And while it was hard in the beginning, I slowly start flexing my delegation muscles. I started by handing over simple tasks, then more nuanced projects, then training one team member after another to be “the one” for their own roster of clients. And you know what? I couldn’t be happier with my team of experts — and I’ve NEVER had more freedom, flexibility, or PROFITS in all the days of my online biz!
Accept that delegation will be more work in the short term
When I was a solopreneur, I didn’t have to carve out time for team meetings every day. Every time I hire on a new team member, there is a certain amount of training that goes into making their transition into my business a smooth one.
But here’s the thing. I know SO MANY entrepreneurs who think that delegation is supposed to make their lives easier and kill the overwhelm overnight. These are also the entrepreneurs who have a new VA every 3 months and don’t have a single team member who’s been with their biz for over a year. And it shows in their biz.
If you want to grow your business, you MUST start delegating. But if you want to start delegating, you MUST be ready to hustle. (Tweet it!)
I poured my heart and soul into training my lead OBM. She’s been with my biz for coming up on two years now and she can handle a full roster of clients on her own. In essence, I’ve cloned myself.
But her first 9 months on my team? THEY WERE A HUSTLE. But when I look back on those months and look around at my biz these days, it’s the best investment of my time I’ve ever made!
Learning from experience & embracing flexibility
The way that I delegated to my first team member is drastically different from the way I delegate to that same team member years later. And the way that I delegate to brand new hires? Totally different than the way I was doing things when I was just starting to build my team.
For over a year — I had daily meetings with my core team members. But those daily hours were bleeding over most days. We were getting caught up in the details, and some team members were sitting through 20 minutes of conversation that they really didn’t need to be in on.
And while I was totally attached to those daily meetings and that final bit of daily “control”, I realized that they were my security blanket. My full time team member wanted to use those hours to take on a new client. And none of my team members really needed that daily check-in anymore. They were more profitable to my business when they joined me for twice-weekly team meetings and 1:1 chats when necessary.
Just because something works for your team today, doesn’t mean it will work forever. Be flexible as your team grows with your biz!
Now over to you: What’s your #1 obstacle to proper delegation in your online biz this year?