Business is not about busy-ness. To reduce your personal workload, you first have to do some things which appear to be “extra work”.
Why It Takes Extra Effort to Transition to a Scalable System
Imagine you are running your own business (and show). Maybe you’re a freelance designer, a consultant, a creator of … it doesn’t matter really.
You’re doing a good job – maybe a great job, actually. Your business grows. You bring in more revenue. Whatever you’re doing works.
You’re getting busy. Depending on how much control you have in your system, you will soon be working at full capacity, or even above that at times. Now you have money, but you’re short on time, and even shorter on freedom. You probably wanted to build a flywheel, but you end up in a hamster wheel. This can only be sustained for so long.
What I am describing is the situation that many of my clients are in. Here’s what they might say: “I have to do everything myself. I wish I could delegate or automate some things, but I don’t know where to start. Also, it’s complicated because when I’m doing things myself I simply use X and do Y, but if I were to hire an assistant or bring in any other kind of help, there are issues: no documentation, no briefings, little trust and security, added friction, the need to coordinate, etc.
And paying someone else equals me making less money".
I am not really arguing with that. But look beyond.
The uncomfortable truth is this: to get to being less busy, less things depending on you, and all the advantages of a scalable and sustainable system from something that you can run yourself at full capacity is going to take extra effort, unfortunately.
You will actually need to put in extra effort to delegate anything or to build a good, reliable system. This is going to either slow you down temporarily because you have to set resources aside to build it, or you can try to “push through”, if you like. Take on more work. Crank up your personal workload to more than 100 %. That is not impossible. It’s fragile, though. Some minor disturbance and you can easily “break”.
In an ideal world you would use time and other resources before you hit the 100 % personal capacity ceiling to design, build, streamline and expand your system.
Most people at most times miss that opportunity when presented with it.
There are only so many things you can do by yourself (working hard or working smart). Some ways out of that dilemma are hiring or automating / productizing. So either you throw more humans at the problem (hiring), which usually comes with managing them, or you automate / productize. It’s the agency model versus building a product. (And it’s not really either/or, but theses are the directions.)
I have worked in an agency, and never wanted to run or own one. A product gives you much more leverage and freedom. But that‘s another topic all together.
Back to the dilemma explained above, the hamster wheel.
What you want is an easy solution and little or no change. Forget it. What you need is to get outside of your business, meaning, reduce your “busy-ness” and build a system that works while you don’t.