Sarah & I often wonder if we might be somewhat unusual. Well, she wonders, I know. Yes, we are a bit off center. Specifically, we seem to be unusually comfortable with our faults. We were wondering yesterday morning if this comfort is something that has come with age. We settled on experience. Big fat life experience. And not the good stuff. The things that sent us off course, spiraling out of control and face to face with the most hideous of beasts have taught us the most valuable of lessons. We have been down in the hole. We know the way out.
Sarah and I came to the conclusion that it is this experience that has helped us to realize that we do not have to DO everything. We do not want to do everything and we do not need to have ownership over everything. Its okay to be bad at something. It's actually great to be bad at something. Cross it off the list as something I have to do myself and hire it out.
A few years back when I was interviewing for psych internships I told a potential supervisor that I was capable of doing the job that the position entailed. Her next question was, "Well, do you want to?" At the time they were one in the same, but now years later the difference is startling. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Or even want to! This letting go is crucial when running a small business. We simply cannot DO everything and be successful. It's recipe for disaster.
So how do we discover what we are bad at? Trial and error. A good friend putting their hand on your shoulder and saying, "Hey, your website sucks." Taking stock of what we absolutely HATE doing when it comes to the ins and outs of our business. One of the great joys in life is how different we all are. For every task that you cannot stand to do, the ones that take you twice as long as they should, there is someone who loves it and has made a living out of completing that task. I'll use myself as an example.
Even as a scientist I hate math. I'm pretty sure I have shared my math rant with you before, but here's a recap. Yes it's necessary, but no I do not want to do it. Inventory for me was always a nightmare because of this. I refused to set up the system that I really needed to because it meant spreadsheets and lots of numbers. Augh. After being constantly stressed about knowing I had to have a better system in place but just being unable to do it, I finally decided to hire out my weakness and sign on to Stitch Labs inventory management system. Next on my list, hiring a bookkeeper.
I think the best and safest place to start is making a list of all the things you leave until last minute in your business. What do you procrastinate about. Procrastination is usually a good sign that you feel like you are in over your head with a task, or you just plain hate it.
What are you willing to let go of?