It was nearly four years before I got someone to help me with invoicing. Four long years doing something that I was terrible at, didn’t enjoy, and wasn’t worth my time.
What a dummy I was!
I was “living the dream”…but spending way too much time doing things I didn’t like.
Perhaps you’ve heard this before:
“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Sure, it sounds great on a Tweet and looks good on some motivational Instagram post, but this is a total lie.
Even people who do what they love for a living will tell you that sometimes it just feels like work. No matter what, you can’t avoid some of the “worky” stuff. There will always be taxes, deadlines to meet, problems that pop up, annoying clients or customers, forms to fill out, and more.
However, there are some very easy ways to cut down on the “worky” stuff, especially as it relates to creative jobs, careers and businesses.
One secret is delegation.
Now, delegation is just a fancy word for “asking someone else to help you with a task.” It’s no more complex than that.
Creatives need to begin thinking about delegation as soon as possible. Your time is your most precious and limited resource, and delegation is how you spend your time doing the things that matter most.
Delegation isn’t just something that CEOs and managers at big companies do.
Anyone can delegate.
As your creative business grows, you can begin to delegate to partners, collaborators, contractors, and eventually interns, part-time employees and finally full-time employees.
For most freelancers and solopreneurs, delegation usually means paying someone to do something. If you’re worried about the cost, think about it the opportunity cost:
“Is it worth my time to do [this thing I don’t like/am not good at/or anyone could do] when I could be doing [this thing I like/am awesome at/or uniquely I can do]?
Here’s a simple guide to delegation:
- Can someone else do this task? If yes, consider delegating it.
- Am I bad at this task? If yes, consider delegating it.
- Do I hate doing this kind of task? If yes, consider delegating it.
- Is this task going to take up too much time? If yes, consider delegating it.
How can you, as a creative, delegate effectively? Here are some examples:
- Tax preparation – There are tons of people and companies who are willing and able to help you with your taxes.
- Doing paperwork (like setting up a business entity, like an LLC) – There are plenty of accountants, websites and law firms who can do this for you in no time (and for cheaper than you might realize).
- Creative work you’re not great at – For me, it’s video editing. Whenever we make a marketing or sales video for The Sketch Effect that uses live action footage and editing, I delegate this to a few trusted video editing partners.
- Creative work that you’re good at…but might not be worth your time – If you’re an amazing animator, but are spending too much time doing sound editing, you might consider paying a friend to do it.
Here’s some real talk:
One of my biggest regrets was not delegating certain things sooner.
I mentioned invoicing earlier, but there are countless of other things I held on to for far too long.
As soon as I delegated a few key parts of my creative business, the business began to explode in growth. Why? I was spending more of my time on what matters, and less of my time on things I wasn’t great at or passionate about.
Don’t be a dummy and wait too long to delegate. Delegate as soon as you reasonably can. Delegate something today.
CREATIVE CALL TO ACTION:
What is one thing you can delegate to someone else today?