Want to Become a Delegation Ninja?
Summer is coming, my friends! Wouldn’t it be nice to clear your plate of tedious tasks and pile it high with BBQ, fruit salads and fun instead? Cheesy Memorial Day puns aside, what would you do if you could work less and play more this summer . . . and still get everything done? If you weren’t up to your eyeballs in tiresome chores and tiny to-dos? What would you create? Who would you spend time with?
The more important question: how much is your time worth?
Seriously, calculate it. What is your billable rate if you break down your income on an hourly basis? Does it still make sense for you to spend hours researching flight costs and travel dates only to save $150 on the ticket if you have spent $1,000 worth of your time? What would you rather have done instead? Where else could you have directed that big brain of yours to have earned an extra $1,000 instead of the frustrating feeling of frittering it away?
Time is the most finite resource we have. None of us is getting out of this life game alive. You can earn more money, but you can’t earn more time. However, you can get smarter about how you spend that time.
If you know you’re ready to become a Delegation Ninja, you can skip reading the rest (look at you already saving time!) and sign-up here:
Have you hit The Wall?
As I’ve said on many a podcast, pivots are often a product of our success, not an indication that we’ve done anything wrong. You are not delusional or destined to be unhappy. You’re just experiencing the growing pains of being ready for even greater learning and impact.
One of the biggest pain points that I have encountered, and that I see many pivoters running into when they reach a certain level of career success, is hitting the wall. It’s their success, not any failure or personal shortcoming, that shouts, “What got you here won’t get you there!” It is time to stretch, and that often means prying our greasy little meathooks off of all the tiny responsibilities that helped us get where we are, then bringing on people to help us get to where we want to go next. And even more importantly: learning to enjoy it once we’re there.
You know you’ve hit the wall when you are wiped out from spinning in a hamster wheel of your own making, running and running just to keep up with the basics of life and work (or a new position, business, side hustle, product launch, or even relationship), but never quite feeling like there is time to rest or get ahead.
If only I could clone myself! We joke to friends and family, only half kidding. Information and inboxes are piling high. We can’t keep up. Yet we somehow expect ourselves to, and we berate ourselves every day, day after day, when we fall short. Maintenance mode is challenging enough, so how can we possibly envision what truly strategic, creative thinking and building look like?
Ladies and gents, I am going to teach you how to clone yourself.*
In 2005, Tim Ferriss pitched an underdog book proposal that was rejected 27 times. Finally, one publisher said yes. That book, The Four-Hour Work Week, went on to become a mega-bestseller that sold gajillions of copies and inspired thousands of people to quit their jobs, outsource everything, and work from the beaches of Thailand sipping coconuts.
Record scratch. That path worked for some, but not for others. At least not without a little help.
Many people got stuck at the step on building a “passive income muse business,” and some even felt the book's title sold them a false bill of goods—they’d be lucky to hit a four-hour work day, let alone week. No offense to Tim! I love his work and am an avid fan to this day. But I can say that even though I read 4HWW nearly ten years ago, and have been self-employed for six, I only juuuuust cracked the code on how to achieve back-to-back four-hour work weeks (while doubling my income). It’s nearly impossible without one crucial skill:
Some people love delegating and are already ninjas at it, while others are intimidated—paralyzed by questions and reservations to the point of doing nothing. Sure, delegating and freeing up my time sounds nice, but . . .
- I don’t have enough time to delegate. It requires more work than it’s worth.
- I don’t know who to hire. Should it be someone here or overseas? How will I find this person?
- I probably can't afford it. How much money will I need to pay? Will this break the bank?
- Once I do find someone, can I trust them with my tasks? My personal information? My credit card?
- I'm too picky. Nothing is ever done up to my standards, anyway. I can do most tasks better myself.
I used to believe all these little white lies that I told myself. It was my inner perfectionist talking, rearing her head and leading me straight back down the path to burnout, where I had been too many times before. Even I am not immune to falling into the “But I can’t delegate this!” trap and treading water again. But all of these fears are a myth.
Although I always have room to grow in this area, and I enjoy creatively crafting new systems as I go, delegation is what resuscitated my business from the brink of collapse in 2013. Delegation is what helped me triple my income in 2014 from the three years prior, and delegation is what has helped me earn more so far this year, as I write this in May, than the previous three years combined.
It is time for an intervention.
If you are stressed, tired, overworked, and overwhelmed, I hate to say it, but you may be the (unintentional) bottleneck. It is time to free yourself from those shackles and expectations and get to work . . . on delegating more so that you can do less. And so that the work you do is on strategic, creative, fun projects and tasks that you and only you can do.
Let me tell you about my most recent dip and how delegation pulled me out of it.
Six months ago, Pivot launched. Two months ago, I felt like I was failing at everything except keynote speaking. I was traveling almost every week, sometimes across the country in less than 24 hours. I moved in with a man I love (my first time living with someone!) and I was succeeding at landing clients and speaking gigs, but—for one of the first times in a long time—I was dropping the ball on absolutely everything else.
I felt like I was failing spectacularly at keeping up with email, calling friends and family frequently enough, seeing friends in person, getting enough sleep, and even, much to my disappointment, exercising—a critical sanity staple that keeps me from devolving into a cranky curmudgeon. On top of all this, my mojo for getting the basics done in terms of maintaining lower priority items my business disappeared. Working on the book for three years wiped me out completely. Tasks piled up. I barely had the energy to look at them. Every week I reset and lowered expectations for myself, then struggled and beat myself up as I fell short yet again.
And then I remembered my own motto: stress is a systems problem.
So you know what I did? I challenged myself to delegate even more. I dropped my expectations of juggling it all and asked for more help. I translated my shortcomings into tasks and delegated them to team members and service-based apps.
One hilarious-only-because-it-worked-out example? I showed up at an event to do a keynote speech and book signing . . . then to my mortification, realized only upon arrival with 15 minutes before going on stage that I forgot to bring the books. So, in the next ten minutes, I ordered a Task Rabbit for the very first time, with no clue if it would work. Five minutes before starting my speech, I was assigned a Task Rabbit who picked the books up from my apartment and delivered them to the venue while I was on stage. The books arrived with ten minutes to spare before I headed over to the signing table. Crisis averted. I happily signed and sold them all.
Hiring more help, while it does make a dent in the budget, has helped me far outearn the cost of creating a team that I know I can rely on—and no one on my team works full-time. I have one Virtual Assistant team contributing 10 hours a month, and my Director of Communications, Marisol, works about 40 to 50 hours each month. Even your teams can get more done in less time than you might think, without breaking the bank.
*I told you earlier I was going to teach you how to clone yourself.
Not exactly, but close. I am going to help free up so much of your time that you feel like a new person, with twice as much open space to work on what you want, when you want to, and have the option not to work at all on days (or weeks or months!) where you need a break.
What would be possible if you could delegate 20% of what’s currently on your plate, personally and professionally? What about 50%? 80%? These leaps are not impossible, they just require a little bit of systems thinking and experimentation.
Enter the 8-week Delegation Ninja course, one of the workshops I am most excited to teach in 10+ years of running an online platform.
By the end of this course you will:
- Free up a minimum of two to five hours a week. Depending on your budget, interest and involvement, you can easily free up ten hours a week or more
- Feel lighter and freer, more available for the activities and people you really care about
- Drop the guilt of not getting everything done; relax more and deliver . . . with the help of delegation
- Be able to easily choose and hire an assistant (or combination of online services) that fits your personal and professional goals for moving your most important tasks forward
- Delegate easily and effectively, building trust and increasing the complexity of tasks you assign along the way
- Ensure that the output of what you ask for is exactly what you’re looking for
- Build even more creative systems that help you scale yourself so that you work less and earn (and play) more
About the Format
After you enroll, you will fill out a delegation intake form that will help me understand your specific strengths, struggles, and pain points to ensure I deliver resources that best meet your needs.
After that, every week you will get:
- An mp3 lesson that you can listen to at your leisure, even while getting other things done—two birds, one stone!—listen while walking, working out, commuting, etc.
- Small assignments to help you identify what to delegate and to whom
- Templates to save you time as you set up your delegation systems
In addition to the core course materials, I will host two live Q&A calls, one each month, where you can ask me anything in real-time to ensure that every single one of your delegation questions gets answered! If you can’t make the call live, you can submit questions in advance and listen to the recording. No question is too big or too small, too detailed or personal.
About the Content
The course kicks off on June 5 and will run until the end of July. You can keep up with all of the materials as you go, and if you don’t get a chance to review during the scheduled dates, you will have lifetime access to revisit the course materials at any time.
Week 1: Mindset and Barriers
What’s more important to you than busywork? Identify areas in life and work where you may be unintentionally “bottlenecking,” and start identifying ways to relieve the pressure. We’ll talk about common barriers to delegation (whether you’re already delegating some tasks or just starting out), and the mindset reminders that will help you move forward in spite of any reservations.
Week 2: What to Delegate
What can you and only you do? How can you drop or delegate the rest? We’ll talk about how to identify the T’s: tasks that are tiny, tedious, time-consuming, teachable, or that you’re just downright terrible at. I’ll share examples of dozens of tasks, large and small, across personal and professional that I have delegated in the last five years. You’ll come up with your own list of “low hanging fruit” tasks, easy experiments to start with, even if you don’t yet know exactly how or who to delegate them to.
Week 3: How to Delegate
How can you delegate most clearly and effectively to get the results you want? What are common delegation pitfalls to avoid? You will learn how to write task descriptions that are crystal clear and provide exactly the output you need to move forward with ease. You’ll also learn how to map out each month in terms of what opportunities to delegate are coming up.
Week 4: Live Q&A Call
What’s on your mind? What delegation wins are you celebrating? What challenges are you facing? Ask me anything! Our first Q&A call will be on 6/27 at 1pm ET. You can submit questions in advance, and the call will be recorded for those of you who can’t make it.
Week 5: Who to Hire
Who is the perfect person or team to help you get the job done on the home and work front? How can you build trust in the beginning? This week we’ll talk about how to write a job description for the perfect helper/s, and how to go about finding them. I’ll share options for how to find a long-term team member and delegation options and services for one-off tasks or projects.
Week 6: Tools and Apps
What can you automate? What services can help when you’re in a pinch, in person and online? This week we geek out on one of my favorite subjects: tools and apps to help you get way more done in way less time, even at the very last minute! I’ll share all the ways I use apps to help me delegate quickly, clearly, keep up with tasks, and get things done at home and in my business.
Week 7: Delegation 201—Advanced Tips and Tricks
How can you build systems to smoothly transition tasks between team members? How can you create more scale? What next-level, even-more-strategic tasks can you release your (recovering) perfectionist grip on? Time to get fancy! I’ll be sharing expert-level pointers for how to make the most out of your delegation relationships once you have the basics underway.
Week 8: Live Q&A Call
As we wrap up, what haven’t I covered that you would love to hear more about? Now that we’re near the end, what delegation wins are you celebrating? What challenges are you still facing? Ask me anything! Our second Q&A call will be on 7/25 at 1pm ET. You can submit questions in advance, and the call will be recorded for those of you who can’t make it live.
One of my mottos for any project? Let it be easy, let it be fun.
Are you ready to stress less and enjoy life and work more? If so, it’s time to become a Delegation Ninja. Start cooking up that summer list of what you’d love to do with an extra 5 to 10 hours a week and let’s make it happen!
P.S. As a special bonus, my longtime Virtual Assistant and superwoman Mandi Holmes has agreed to do a private 30-minute delegation consultation with the first 15 people who enroll. You’ll share your life and business goals, and she will recommend next steps and even who you might be able to work with moving forward (as she isn’t always taking on new clients). You can book your session with Mandi at any point throughout the course.
P.P.S. Extra bonus points for anyone who delegates taking this course in the first place, perhaps signing up an existing team member as your surrogate who can proactively suggest notes on what new tasks to take off your plate ;)