Momentum Podcast: 78
Delegate Anything Successfully
by Alex Charfen
Last week, I had massive, overwhelming anxiety. Here's why, I was sick. I was actually sick from before the 1st of July, until about Saturday or Sunday, so over seven days.
The vast majority of entrepreneurs are caught in a trap. What we want to do requires far more help than the average person, but any request for help makes us feel vulnerable and exposed. On top of that many of us aren't great at interpersonal communication.
We are misunderstood, often trust the wrong people, and end up feeling taken advantage of. This is what stops the majority of entrepreneurs from experiencing success. 22 million of the 29 million businesses in the United States make less than $100,000 a year.
Sometimes I am called a natural born entrepreneur, but what came naturally to me in life was failure. I had trouble in school, was always a behavioral disorder, and had a hard time making any system work for me. The only way I haven't been able to achieve massive outcomes in my life is by creating teams of people who are capable of doing what I can't do. This is the process I have used to delegate just about anything successfully, as you'll see I have a different take on delegation.
Full Audio Transcript
I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum Podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trail blazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off, and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum, so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution.
Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat, because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution, and we always will be.
Welcome to this episode of the Momentum Podcast. This is Delegate Anything Successfully.
I've talked about this a lot recently, about having a team, about growing a team. I don't love the term delegate, but I love the term co-create. But I want you to understand, when it comes to delegation, when it comes to co-creation, when it comes to getting help, that is something I've had to do my entire career. I think that the vast majority of entrepreneurs are holding themselves back from success, because they fail to get help early, and they fail to get help for as much as they need, because we can't see how to do that.
We have this blind spot to getting help, because we all suffer from the entrepreneur's dilemma. We need far more help than the average person to reach the outcomes we want, yet any request for help makes us feel vulnerable and exposed. We're in this place where we have this feeling of vulnerability every time we ask for help, and so we don't. We convince ourselves we can't. In fact, I talk to entrepreneurs all the time that have overwhelmed themselves to the point where they don't get help because they don't feel like they have time. If you're there, if you're in a place where you don't have the help you need, maybe you have a team, but maybe you haven't built the processes, the systems around you you really want. Maybe you're in a place where you know you could be doing more. You're leaving money on the table.
I want you to start thinking about delegating, about handing things off in a different way, because here's what we do as entrepreneurs. We look up, and we say, "What can I hand off in a complete way? What can I hand off in a way that it just goes away from me? What can I hand off ..." and we start looking for packages of things to give people. We think we have to perfect it before we hand it to them, just like I said in my podcast about letting your people build the processes.
Well, here's another strategy to delegate, to get help. First step of this process is you ask yourself, where are you uncomfortable on a daily basis? You write those things down. You figure out where you're uncomfortable in the business, and even where you're uncomfortable in your life. Write those things down. Look at them. Now, some of the things on that list, you're not going to be able to do anything about. I write down when one of my daughters is sick, or when something's frustrating me, I'll write it down, because getting it out is so much better than what we do as entrepreneurs to stuff it down.
I'll write down everything, but when I find something in the business that I need help with, or when I find something that I want to get done over and over again, when I want to make sure that something happens over and over, I don't always delegate to a person. Now, this is going to make me sound crazy, but work through this with me. See, as an example, let's say that I want to make sure that I'm hydrated every morning. Well, I will put that on my morning routine, because I'm delegating it to myself, but when I make it part of one of three things, then things change. See, first, you can delegate to a process. Second, you can delegate to a project, and third, you can delegate to a person, but let's talk about the first two.
In processes, I mean processes like morning routines, checklists, process documents in your company. If you have something in your business that's making you uncomfortable, first ask the question, "Do I solve this with a process, with a project, or with a person?" As an example, in your business, let's say that you've come to the office three times now in the morning, and it wasn't closed down right the day before. I wouldn't necessarily delegate that to a person. I'd build it into some type of a process within the business that anyone could handle. If you're working by yourself, and you have stuff in the business that you need to do, delegate it to a checklist. Delegate it to a process document, because you know what a process document or a checklist does for you? That's something you can now outsource to a person. That's something you can now give somebody else to do for you.
The challenge for most entrepreneurs is we have so much going on, we don't have clear processes, clear, sorry ... clear processes or checklists for anybody to take over for us, and so as a result, we just keep doing everything. But if you're willing to start looking at where you're uncomfortable, and one, build a process. Put it on a process document. What are the things in your life that aren't working right now that are repeatedly making you uncomfortable, and build a process around it.
I shared one of my processes, my morning routine. By the time I'm done with my written morning routine, I have taken care of myself physiologically, cognitively, and chemically. I've covered the basis of breathing, hydration, nutrition, and movement. By the time I sit down at my desk, I've done more than most people will do all day. That's a process delegation.
In a business, it's the same thing. Now, in a business, the second place you might delegate to, when you ask where are you uncomfortable, is a project. You're uncomfortable you're not making enough revenue. Well, you might have a project to have an event or a new product. You're uncomfortable that something's going on in the business. You might need to change your marketing initiative, or do something new in the organization. That is a project, not a process. Now you can delegate it to a project. What is it that you want to do? Create a project around it. Clarify what the milestones of that project are. What is going to happen if that project is successful? This will let you clarify all of the things in your business, in your life right now, fit into one of these three things. The third thing that you can delegate to is to a person.
The way I think about things, it's always the last place I look, because if I can delegate something simple to process, I always will. As an example, if I've got something that I want to make sure happens each morning for my business, like I'm going to do a Facebook live every morning, I just delegate it to my morning routine. If I want to make sure that we have a really incredible event next January when our private clients come in, we're going to delegate that to a project, and there will be multiple people involved in it.
The last place I delegate is to a person, because it's a lot easier to either have a process or a project, and then the last place is I'll go to a person, and say, "Hey, I need help with this," and then a lot of times, when I'm working with a person, and we're creating processes, we're creating projects, but this thinking process helps me eliminate where I'm uncomfortable. It helps me clarify the noise of everything that I want to get done, and I will hand somebody something and say, "Make this part of this process," or "Make this part of this project," but I want you to understand something.
I shared a little bit of this in the podcast that I did on building processes. I'm not good at leading or managing people. I'm good at leading from stage. I'm good at helping people see greater outcomes. But when it's one on one, person to person, I have a hard time with that. I have to actually think through how I'm going to talk to somebody about something, and when I just go and say, "Hey, there, here's all this stuff," it's really hard.
So, I think about, when I'm uncomfortable, am I going to delegate this to a process? What's the outcome I want? Am I going to get it through a process? Am I going to get it through adding this, or creating a project, or am I going to get it through interacting with a person?
As an introvert, it's probably my nature that I want to interact with a person last, but I've now tested this over and over and over again, and this is how everyone should think about it. First, is there a process somewhere that I can delegate this to, or somebody else can put it on, like Justin, who's on our team, runs our daily huddle, and that is a process. It's the same every day. It's exactly identical to the day before, unless I call Justin and say, "Hey, I want this process changed. I want this shifted," and so there I'm delegating the entire process to a person.
But one of the challenges, I think, that holds us all back, is that we look at our lives, we look at our to-do lists, we look at everything going on around us, and we think, there's no way I can carve anything out here. If I try to slow down enough to carve something out, to delegate it or have somebody help me with it, then everything else would fall apart. If you start thinking about everything in your life in this way -- is it a process, is it a project, or is it a person -- here's what ends up happening.
If you build processes in your business, these days, you can go hire people for very, very affordable rates by the hour. A couple hours a week, a couple hours a month, whatever you want, is available today, and if you have a clear enough process, they can help you with it. If you delegate to a project, and you create what you want the project to look like, the outcome, you have clarity around it, you know that this is something that should be happening in your business, and you give someone a clear outcome, and you have them tell you how they're going to get there, and then you coach success along the way, you get leveraged results.
Then, when you delegate to a person, give them clear outcome, clear measurements, and then an idea of exactly what they're going to ... help them understand exactly what they're going to do, and what the people around them are going to do.
I think that far too many of us stifle our growth, stunt our businesses, and limit the contribution we can make because we never make the commitment to delegation. I think I was lucky. I'm good at some things, but I'm challenged by so many, that I had to delegate. So I want you to start thinking about that the same ... what's going on in your business the same say.
If you couldn't do it all, what would you start delegating to a process, or to a project, or to a person? If you couldn't get to all of it, what would you put on a checklist? What would you make part of some project? What would you make sure was an outcome that you were aimed at, and then last case, then you bring in people to help you with it. I think far too many of us, statistically, get no help or don't get anywhere near enough, and this will help you get there. It's a game changer if you let it be.
So, I just want to thank you. A couple podcasts ago, I said we hadn't had our hundredth review, but we broke a hundred reviews, and I also want to let everyone who listens to this podcast -- because I consider this more of a membership than an audience, it's been so amazing, creating this and putting this out there -- that we've just broken 66,000 downloads today, so thank you all. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support and your help with this podcast, sharing it and reviewing it on iTunes to help us get the exposure. I appreciate you for your help, and in the future, when it goes to figuring out what you're going to do with everything going on in your worlds, start thinking, is this a process? Do I delegate this to a process? Do I delegate this to a project? Or do I bring in a person?
If bringing in the person scares you, go to my podcast on successfully leading anyone, or lead anyone successfully, because it'll show you how you can bring the right people in and have them create the process for you. So, thanks for being here with me tonight. I appreciate you sharing the podcasts with anyone you think could use it, and I'll see you again soon.