Most startups are launched on a shoestring budget. Run by an owner with frazzled hair from wearing too many hats. But even if you get really good at running the shop alone, there comes a point where you’ll have to loosen your grip.
Whether it’s for your health, social life, or because your business is growing; you’ll need an extra pair of hands. But, if you’re the kind of person (like me) who needs to oversee every little detail in your business, it’s going to be hard to let go of control. Trust me. I know this.
I spent some time living the college student lifestyle. Away from home, eating 2-minute noodles and going to the library to warm up because the heating was too expensive. This taught me some valuable lessons that have really helped me in business. (As well as some not-so-valuable ones I need to learn to let go.)
What I Learned From Being on a College Student Budget:
- I learned that I could do pretty much everything myself.
- I learned to always eat the most expensive item on the plate first.
- I learned to spend my time doing the most important things so I could have time to play.
- I learned that it was more time/effective to ask for help when I needed.
- I learned that you can live on very little.
- I learned that relationships are key: the more friends you have, the bigger your network.
- I learned the importance of putting a budget together.
- I learned that we waste a lot of money on unnecessary things.
What Does All This Mean to Me in Business?
I have learned how to be resourceful and to pick up any skill, from building a website, to designing a logo, or managing the company finances. Heck, I can even network with the best of them. You could say, I’m a serial hat wearer, of sorts.
It means that I learned to work hard and play hard too, and to ask for help when I need it. I also learned that I work well on a budget and don’t like being wasteful.
What it stopped me from doing for a long time, was letting go of control and wanting to do everything myself.
I would create a website or a video because it would save us money. But it wasn’t always the best way, and it would take me a lot of time. I’d spend hours doing the research, watching video tutorials, and getting too close to the project. Working in the business rather than working on the business.
Time to Let Go
This all helped at the beginning, until it all got a bit much and I figured something out — Time is more precious than money. I mean, money is pretty important too, but while you can make an extra dollar here and there; you can never make up for lost time.
So, it was time to start asking for help and outsourcing. I was scared. I had always learned to do something and then run it myself. I wasn’t sure if we had the budget for it. I wasn’t sure I wanted to let go of control. I mean, surely it was quicker just doing it myself than explaining to someone else how to do it, right?
Wrong. Here are a few important things to keep in mind when you start your relationship with outsourcing:
- No one will ever do it the way you want them to
- But the outcome is often the same
- Let go of control and watch your time free grow
These days, outsourcing is becoming more and more common — and more and more affordable and available. You can outsource everything from admin to accounts, content creation to content editing, marketing to sales, and pretty much everything in between. But you have to learn to deal with your inner control freak first.
Here Are My Tips for Outsourcing and Letting Go of Control:
- Know your outcome and purpose for outsourcing.
- 2. Research who to outsource to. Do background checks and know their track record.
3 Define your project accurately.
4 Start small.
5 Start with getting a cleaner (unless you love cleaning).
6 Know your hourly rate. If you did the task, ask yourself how much it would cost you.
7 Use your time wisely once outsourced.
8 You can outsource almost everything, think outside the norm.
9 Don’t outsource your decision making; don’t lose all control of your business.
10 Stop being distracted by small tasks — You get paid for the strategic thinking.
11 Keep an eye on your budget and manage well. Have agreements in place.
12 Know and follow the rules. Do your research.
13 Trust the process and know it may not be perfect first time, adjust your standards.
14 Treat them like employees, ask questions, give and invite feedback.
15 Give it a go.
The main thing about starting something new, is just to go ahead and start it. I went from being someone who was used to doing it all, to someone who is slowly letting go of control. I’m creating jobs for others and loving my extra time to work on the business, instead of in it. So take a tip from me – get started and give it a go.