Authored by Belinda Wasser
I was in Rosie’s on Elm Street last Thursday, enjoying a few quiet minutes at the end of the day with my friend Jennifer. We were talking about the usual things – business, kids, weather and more business.
And then she said, “It seems like you have no problem spending money to make money.”
I don’t, but I was definitely surprised to hear her say that. To me, this isn’t just a good approach; it’s the only approach that really works if you want to grow your business.
Here are some of the things I had mentioned during our conversation which prompted her to say what she said:
“Debbie Faye is working with me on improving my speaking presentation.”
“I hired a business coach, Jane Pollak, to help me reach my goals for the year.”
“I’m working with Scarlett DeBease to update my wardrobe.”
“I’m interviewing new accountants to help me organize my business.”
Later, as I was driving home, I realized how happy I am about what has now become my standard approach: Paying wonderful, capable people to help me work better, faster and smarter.
In other words, instead of doing everything myself (the way I did for years), I surround myself with experts. That’s real leverage.
Unfortunately, lots of solo professionals don’t see the world this way. To them, spending money (especially if things are feeling financially tight) feels like an extravagance. What I’ve found, though, is that you have to spend it to make it!
When is it time to get help?
In almost all cases, the answer is: Sooner than you think! In my experience, people wait way too long to bring in support, often putting it off until things have gotten really bad with missed deadlines and worse.
So, here are two questions to get you started:
- Are you doing work you’re not really qualified for?
Tinkering with your website, doing your own taxes, setting up an email newsletter are all business essentials best handled by experts. Maybe you’re good at some of these things, but many people aren’t, resulting in poor quality work that takes a lot of time to complete.
- Are you doing work that’s below your pay grade?
There’s nothing shameful about putting together your own client gifts or running down to Kinkos to make a bunch of copies for tonight’s presentation. But much of this work can be done less expensively by somebody else. If you’re spending time on this, you’re not spending time doing higher value tasks.
Simply put, you can’t build much of a business if you’re not willing to rely on other people. Find others to support the high quality – high paying! – work you do best and pretty soon you’ll also be spending money to make money.