Can anybody forget the power, the soul, and the glamour that is Chaka Khan? She is truly magnificent from her hair down to that signature smile. Her voice can transport you to another place. Don’t believe me? Go listen to the Reading Rainbow theme song ( yes, that WAS Chaka Khan’s voice encouraging you to look in a book). One of my favorite songs in her catalog tells us that she is every woman. I dream of being that girl. I can do it all, I don’t bat a sweat or get tired or get discouraged. Everything, anything you want, I can do it naturally. It’s all in me. That sounds great, doesn’t it?
Come back, girl. Come back to reality. That only sounds good in a song for a reason. Real life isn’t like music, and even Chaka isn’t every woman. Because she shouldn’t be. Nobody CAN be. We are all gloriously talented in our own way, and I am not trying to limit you when I say: you’ve got to learn to delegate. When is the last time that you have slept, or taken a break, or did something with your friends or family without feeling guilty for the time you spent away from your family? If you cannot remember, it is time for you to reconsider the “it’s all in me” approach to life.
Delegation is difficult, I totally understand that. When you believe you are every woman, you believe that nobody else can do what you do, and you live in the constant fear of things not being just right. Guess what, girl? If you are too exhausted to produce quality work, it STILL won’t be just right. You won’t even notice because you’ll be falling asleep over your 20th cup of coffee. Ladies, you deserve to conquer the world without sacrificing all of your time and your sanity. Here are some great tips to delegating for first time delegators.
- Give clear instructions - I know you have a vision, and you’d love to supervise every second of your helper’s production, but it just isn’t realistic. Let’s do something better: give them clear instructions. One of the best projects I ever worked on was one where the customer gave me a huge email with examples of work she admired and we met twice before I started to see how we wanted to proceed. It sounds a little controlling, but we had the very best time working together, and she was satisfied with her results.
- Once your instructions are clear, step away - This is the part that can be difficult for most of us. Resist the urge to check in on your assistant. It is not delegation if you are repeatedly checking in. What that is is micromanagement, and nobody (including you) enjoys working with a micromanager. It is time for you to give this relaxing thing a real try. After all, isn’t hiring someone and then working with them every step of the day more like you paying someone for you to do the work? Don’t do that.
- Fill that new found time in your schedule with something besides work - You’re a busy entrepreneur, and I know that you have some work you could fill this new schedule with, but I want you to consider something: what if you didn’t fill the time with work? Remember when you initially dreamed of owning your own business? I bet you planned for at least some of your time to be free to enjoy more than work. Don’t trade your 9-5 in just to burn yourself out for your business. That simply isn’t fair.
Take this advice to heart, my friend. Burnout is waiting for you if you do not take the time to learn how to delegate. It seems like it is just too hard, but I PROMISE you that you will get the hang of this in no time. Trust me.