I recently attended a webinar hosted by Enoch Sears founder of the Business of Architecture (BOA). The webinar was called “Remove Stress by Doing Less: Time Mastery for Busy Architects“.
In previous years, Enoch hosted two day events entitled the BOA Architecture Summit. Throughout the two days, attendees are treated to ten or twelve webinars aimed at small business and sole practitioner architects. I have found these webinars to be of great value even for non architects.
Today, I wanted to share with you the general idea of BOA’s most recent webinar. It’s an idea that pertains to many different businesses.
Admittedly, the title is a little kitschy, but the concept makes a great deal of sense.
Small business owners are very busy. We are responsible for every aspect of our business. Accounting, personnel, marketing, operations, sales, and delivery all falls on the business owner.
Prioritizing all of those responsibilities can be very daunting. I know I’m not telling you something you don’t know.
Many of us fall into the trap of wanting to control all of those things ourselves. The problem is we are neither experts nor do we have the time to become experts in all of those tasks. In addition, each of these tasks are mired in mundane and repetitive work. The message of Enoch’s webinar is that we need to make the most of our time by eliminating the tasks that are not high value work.
I can hear the chuckles already!
How does one accomplish such a miraculous task?
Sounds simple to do, but for many of us, delegating work is either logistically impossible, or intellectually daunting. I don’t expect you or I will be able to exclusively spend our time on high value work, but I do want to pass along the idea so it’s front-of-mind as you go through your day.
If you’re like me (a company of one) and you have no one to delegate to, you may wonder how this can be done. The answer for you may be to delegate to a third party. While the cost of this may scare or intimidate you, consider the following:
If you spend 1 hour at a networking event and that activity leads to new business, the value of that 1 hour is worth to the amount of revenue you generated!
If you are spending that hour bookkeeping or making copies, you are actually loosing revenue.
For new entrepreneurs like myself this requires a shift in thinking.
I have worked in many lean environments where rolling up your sleeves and doing whatever it takes was praised. I grew up with that mindset at home. My parents were both blue collar, do-it-yourself type people.
I AM very much a do-it-yourselfer.
The notion that I am wasting time by performing simple or mundane tasks is contrary to my natural thought process. To me the idea of paying somebody to make copies seems wasteful. Saving money by taking on tasks I can do myself is a more natural thought.
Another obstacle one may experience is the notion of giving up control.
Many of us struggle with our need to be involved in the details. This kind of thinking is bred in us. Architects are especially hindered by this thinking. The details of our designs are often scrutinized and picked apart in school.
Our education and training drives us to be detail oriented. I’m sure this is true for other professions as well.
We are trained to be involved in every detail.
Our early successes are the result of extremely detailed work. Our career progression is driven by our ability to get every aspect of our work perfect.
So how does one shift from being involved in every detail to giving that responsibility to someone else?
It is a struggle that many of us will need to face. The success of our business depends on it.
For me, this blog is my version of $1000 work.
Having adopted a content marketing strategy, I’m vested in this blog as a vehicle for developing an audience.
As I continued to build my audience, I will have to face the reality that I won’t be able to be involved in every detail. I know I will struggle with that.
So what is $1000 work in your business? Are you mired in menial and repetitive tasks in your work? Have you overcome the need to be involved in every detail? How long did it take you to get there?