Procrastinate less, outsource more
Current status: Procrastinating and daydreaming about sunrises instead of working.
Being a solopreneur and working with solopreneurs means wearing a bunch of different hats. On any given day I could be designing a website, automating email campaigns, copywriting landing pages, designing graphics with Photoshop, editing videos, getting outside to capture stunning images, replying to customer emails, or anything and everything in-between.
I find that I do most of my procrasting when I’m doing something slightly outside my current skill level and don’t feel like learning more about it in that moment, or when I’m not interested in that thing on that day. But it happens most frequently when I’m doing the things I’m just not super excited about it in general. For example: video editing — the thing I hate most (even more than having to actually be in the video).
Know when to outsource
Another part of being an entrepreneur of any size is knowing when to outsource and when to do it yourself or keep it in-house. As a solopreneur, in-house means do it yourself. And if it’s something you really don’t want to do, you have to be honest with yourself and decide whether you should keep ramming your head against a wall or pay someone else and outsource it. The strong business owners know this line and know when someone else can do it even better.
Fears of outsourcing
Outsourcing can be terrifying. For one, you might not have the budget. What if you hire someone with money you really shouldn’t be spending and then it turns out bad? For two, what if the person you hire just doesn’t share the same vision as you and then you end up doing it yourself anyways? In either case, you’ve just wasted time and money — the two things you really can’t afford to waste as I’ve just said.
Both fears are valid, but you must also be open to it in order to save your time and sanity of doing a job you don’t like. When it goes well, it allows you to attack the things you are truly passionate about in your business. It frees up your time and your brain space to add the most value to your product or service. And it will add more value to your overall project than if you were to save $50, $100, or $1,000 by spending endless, endless hours trying to do it yourself (and probably not even doing it very well in the end).
Outsource Intelligently: pay your contractors
Once you’ve made the decision to pay someone else to free up your time, make sure you pay for QUALITY work.
With sources like Upwork and Fiverr, it’s incredibly tempting to pay someone $5 to do a $500 job, but I can tell you from experience (as a contractor carrying out the work and as an entrepreneur hiring someone else to do my work), TAKE THE $500 OPTION!
When you pay garbage prices, you typically get garbage results. Or you spend so much time managing and arguing over the results and revisions that you should have done it yourself anyways.
When to use Fiverr and Upwork
Nevertheless, there are still times using Fiverr and Upwork make sense. I’ve used them for very specific, very low-skilled tasks like transcription and logo design when I already know what I want the logo to look like and just need someone to get it done quickly in Photoshop. (If I needed the designer to create a logo and visual representation of my brand based on how they viewed it, I would pay more for an actual graphic design professional.)
Know yourself, know your project, know your ROI
It’s also a matter of knowing the project and expected ROI. The video I’m editing right now is a free YouTube video. I might make a few bucks off of it with Google AdSense over time, but if I paid someone else to edit it, there’s no way I’d get my money back. It’s nothing that I will be using for a direct marketing campaign or something I’m relying on in order to make a direct sale. If that were the case, I would absolutely outsource it, but since it’s not, I shall continue to force myself to do it.
Even then, it still sounds pretty silly because I’d rather spend my time working on something else and increasing my value in other, more effective ways. I cannot stress enough how much time = money, and entrepreneurs must be more keenly aware of that than anyone else. Sometimes money will be more important than time, and sometimes time will be more important than money. Knowing when to prioritize one over the other is of utmost importance to entrepreneurs. And for me, money beats time in this moment.
So then why not Fiverr or Upwork for my video? Because the amount of time it would take to package the raw video files in a way that I could send them to someone (well over 40 Gb in size), find someone I deem good enough at a low enough price, explain to them my vision, and then manage them, probably still outweighs my time to actually complete it myself.
I will outsource in 2018
In 2018, I intend on outsourcing two major facets of my business. I know my limitations. I know my likes, my dislikes, and I know that paying someone else to do them will get me better results; thereby improving my brand as a whole and increasing revenue.
I’ve already hired a brand consultant. Yes, I freelance in this area and am quite good at branding for other businesses, but like most people, I’m quite blind when it comes to myself. Knowing that limitation, and knowing I want to accelerate my growth in 2018, means I am HAPPY to pay another professional.
The other service I intend to outsource in 2018 is my community engagement. In creating content and telling stories, I know that I do it exceptionally well. But when it comes to the day-to-day interaction, I know someone else can do it even better than me when it comes to my own brand.
By outsourcing these two things, it’s going to free up my time, free up my mental space, allow me to grow faster, and hopefully, someday, that will allow me to outsource editing free YouTube videos.
What will you outsource in 2018?
I’m currently focusing my efforts in helping people strategize and coordinate their entire marketing efforts across all online resources (social media strategies, advertising, email and content marketing), offering product launch marketing design, and building or updating websites for optimal conversions (sales, sign-ups, and engagement).
If you’d rather spend your time developing and improving your product or service instead of beating your head against the wall in how to get more sales or grow your brand, let’s get in touch and see how we can make 2018 a great year together.