Warren Buffett said, “The rich invest in time, the poor invest in money.” One of the ways an entrepreneur invests in time is by learning to delegate.
How I Learned to Make My Business Grow
As soon as I could afford it, I hired Fede. After a few years in business, I was having a hard time keeping up with my business and my life. So I hired Fede to run errands, do grocery shopping—essentially anything and everything that took me away from my core business.
I could trust her implicitly. I gave her my credit cards, a key to my house and anything else she needed to make my life run more efficiently. She was amazing, but I soon realized I had a few things to learn about delegation.
I gave her a grocery list and when she returned with the “wrong” brands, sizes and types, I realized I was falling down on my job of communicating. “No, not this one,” I said, taking out one of the jars. “The one with red and yellow on the label. You know, it has big letters right here.”
We both started laughing because we instantly recognized my mistake. I could not expect her to know these things. And my vague descriptions after the fact did nothing to remedy the problem of a whole bag of groceries sitting on my dining room table that I didn’t really want. It was an “aha” moment for me. I realized how much detail needs to be communicated just to make a simple grocery run. Fortunately, my delegation skills have improved over time.
Entrepreneurs are often reluctant to delegate, but here are 7 reasons you need to value it and learn to do it well.
- I believe most things in life are learned, but learning takes time. Is learning to do the task a better use of your time or learning to delegate? In 10 years, do you want to be doing that task? Tasks are quickly outdated. An important task today may not even exist in five years. Knowing how to delegate will always be a valued skill.
- You cannot be an expert in everything. Every minute you spend on a non-related task, is a minute you are not spending on being your best in your chosen field and becoming a recognized expert in your own right.
- Your entrepreneurial enterprise will never grow beyond you unless you learn to delegate and delegate well. You have something to offer the world and more people can benefit if you learn to delegate. There is only so much a “one man show” can accomplish. Your enterprise will grow in direct proportion to the amount of time and money you can afford to spend on delegation.
- The more money you make, the more you should delegate. In the start-up phase there is precious little you can delegate. You will probably be doing everything yourself, which is why startups are so tough. Think of delegation as a funnel whose bottom tip starts where you are now. As you grow “up,” the funnel gets wider and wider. More and more people and tasks are filling that funnel pushing out more and more. The goal is a highly productive “funnel.”
- Start now to think about this important question: What tasks can only be done by you and what tasks can be done by someone else? Over time, the answer changes. You will not always be accurate in your answer. But the mental exercise should be started immediately and practiced constantly.
- If you have experienced poor results due to delegation, don’t blame the practice, blame the practitioner. That would be you….and me. Value the practice and give practice to the practitioner. Even delegating grocery shopping can be a lesson.
- And finally,always value time over money. It is an essential characteristic of an entrepreneur and of the wealthy. On Shark Tank, Mark Cuban always discusses “Time Profit” in his negotiations. The more successful you become, the more valuable will be your time.
Your Ascent to Success & Wealth
During your “ascent to success,” you will have to learn to make constant trade-offs between time and money. You will have to learn to carefully manage both resources. It is sometimes hard to switch from the “trade-off” mentality to “time is always more valuable.” But as your income increases, you must make the switch.
When positive people speak of “no limits,” I understand their intent of wanting to rise high, accomplish anything, and take on the world. I applaud the outlook, but in fact, life is full of limits. And it’s learning to live with those limits that often make the difference between success and failure.
Time is one of those limits. It is finite. You will never have more of it. Delegate often and well for maximum success and wealth.