I read A LOT of business books and listen to a bunch of Podcasts about marketing, business and overall productivity. (I list my current Podcast subscriptions below). I LOVE the “Getting Things Done” (GTD) philosophy, so much that I ususally use the hashtag #GTD on 90% of my tweets (@adamsilver and @kitchensinkwp)
One of the main themes that I’ve noticed in regards to running a business and growing that business is the need to outsource. I know, you’re thinking that outsourcing hurts the economy and that you’ll lose control. Actually, If you think about it, the opposite is true. If you are providing income for another, that’s awesome. Right? They can spend the money on what they need (food, clothes, shelter). As far as losing control, lets take a look at that.
Is working 100 hrs a week on “your business” really making you in control? There are way to many things for 1 person to do in a single day, week, month to really manage it all AND make a living. If you are a content creator, then you are juggling the tasks of researching, writing, editing, uploading, emails, billing, marketing, sales… you get the idea.
In the podcasts I listen to, when there is an interview, most people answer the question posed “What advice do you say to new people starting a small business, or side venture…” Almost 100% of the answers are, “I wish I outsourced sooner”.
So that said, I just wanted to give my recent experience with outsourcing. Just last week I “hired” someone to do a small project. Could I have done it myself? Yes, without a doubt. I’m creative and rather quick with photoshop, but I also have a deadline (self-imposed) for something to go live on March 1st, and there are other pieces to the overall proejct in question that only I can do.
Having an account with the service in question, I found someone, in this case US based, and submitted my request. I answered the typical questions for the project type and was told there was a 5 day turnaround.
A couple days go bye, and I finally get an update from my hired help. Apparently his computer crashed and he was a few days behind schedule. Honestly, this didn’t upset me, as I used to be in “I.T.” I said no problem, just keep me appraised of the timeline. Few more days, I reached out again. He did reply fairly quickly (few hours) with the update that “a new computer delivered today, project to be done tonight” As it happens, it was an extra day there as he had to install all the software and re-sync to cloud services.
How did the project turn out? Well…(sigh).. Time will tell.. What I mean is that what I got back wasn’t all that great. I was hoping for a bit more “pop” and “wow”. I did mention this with an added “idea” for a revision (per the contract). So like I said earlier, time will tell. Luckily I have time where this piece of the puzzle won’t be need for a few more weeks.
So, will I outsource again in the future? Yep. Sure will. I may hedge my bets and try to build up a team/roster of people – whose work I like for the service in question (creative, video editing) versus just having 1 person, who may not be readily available for my schedule etc.
At this point in my life, I know my strengths. (StrengthsFinder 2.0 totally helped!. Scary how accurate it is!) The key is to do just those and I look forward to the time where I’ll have the business I want to do those things and hire/outsource the rest. A bonus will be the ability to employ others and let them do what they like doing. It’ll be a win-win-win situation. For me. For My clients. For my team.
Final thought: If you are stressed about your workload, learn to say “no” and/or outsource. It really is that easy!
Business & Marketing Podcasts I currently subscribe to and listen to! Seriously. I consume a lot of content!
- Starve the Doubts by Jared Easley (LOVE LOVE LOVE this podcast!. By far my one of all time favorites! )
- The UnPodcast – Scott Stratten & Alison Kramer (Funny stuff on marketing in the world these days!. Scott is an awesome keynote speaker & He wrote “QR Codes Kill Kittens” because someone had to! My opinion!
- The Work Talk Show – Hosted by DJ Waldow & Nick Westergaard. Great conversation & interviews
- Beyond The To Do List – Hosted by Erik J. Fisher. I’m a sucker for GTD!
- #Think Digital – Hosted by Justin Wise. Great insight into Social media.
- The Entrepreneur Showdown– Host by Dan Franks & Joe Cassandra. Interesting “battle” and debate about current state of affairs in marketing and the web.
- Internent Business Mastery– Hosted by Jeremy Frandsen & Jason Van Orden. The classic! Grandma said so. Trust me.
- ShovelCloud Show – Hosted by Chris Murphy. Great interviews with creatives and do’ers.
- The Human Business Way – Hosted by Chris Brogan. An honest look at the marketing and getting the work done. Note: This may be ending soon, but he has “Owner Magazine” and perhaps a new podcast.
Bonus: I like the concept of living with less these days. Trying to get wife on board! Check out
- Simple Life Together with Dan & Vanessa Hayes. Already on board with the 333 Project and 2014 Edit & Forget it Challenge