It’s Time to Give Up
How Letting Go Will Let You Grow
A few years ago, “outsource” was still the “F-word" of the photography industry. It seemed that no self-respecting artist would hand over creative control over any portion of their artistic process and if they did, they would never tell anyone about their shameful behavior.
At the point when my business was starting to take off and we began shooting over twenty weddings a year as a studio, all while I was working a very full-time, demanding job, I knew that I had to change something about my weighty workflow. It was taking me too long to turn my work around for my clients for my liking and I was way too tied to my computer to have a life. I had two choices. I could be artistically indignant, insist on doing it all by myself, and burn out in another year. Or, I could explore ways to give me back more time, allow people and companies who specialize to take on different aspects of my workflow, and ultimately, give both my clients and myself a better life experience.
Hopefully, by now you believe that I’m smart enough to have chosen option 2. One of the most valuable decisions that I ever made for my company and myself was to let go of the tasks that I hate, that hold me back, or that I don't do well. Now, three years later, I'm always on the lookout for an opportunity to create a leaner workflow for myself and my team. I've even taken these business practices and applied to my personal life.
So, if you think you're ready to quit--quit staring at catalogues of images, quit sending unnecessarily customized emails, quit writing your blog posts, quit doing your laundry--here are a few steps for you to consider.
1. Write out your task list.
What do you do in your business? What should you be doing in your business, but you don't for lack of time or knowledge? What do you love about your business? You might wind up with a few different categories of activity.
- Things I love doing in my business and wouldn't give up for any reason VS Things I hate doing in my business but I do, because I must.
- Work that requires my personal time and attention VS Busy work that a robot could do
- Tasks that directly lead to income VS Tasks that don't directly lead to more money for my company
Those first group of things that you love, that make you money, and that require your own personal time, probably consist of less than half of your average workload, but these are the key things that you should be doing to grow and nurture your small business. Keep doing these things and you will continue marching on to success.
The second list of jobs--the jobs you hate and don't make you money, that a robot could do. . . That's where step two comes in.
2. Let it gooooooo.
Yeah, I went there. Get up from your computer, put on a YouTube video of Ice Queen Idina Menzel rocking it out, and belt your little heart out for a moment. Then come back to your list and find a way to get rid of as many of these tasks as you possibly can. The more you take off of your plate, the more time you have to dance around in circles wailing out Disney songs. If that isn't motivating to you. . . think of something better (as if there is anything better).
Need an example? If you terrible with words? Find a copywriter, ghost writer, or blogging specialist. Too broke to pay someone all of the time? Try reaching out to others in your industry with fantastic blogs and invite them to be a guest writer on your blog. Share them and cross-promote on your social media. Then use the time you saved to take them out to lunch and network with them. It's a win-win situation! You have killer content, are building up other small business owners, and made the time to foster a great relationship.
3. Have a plan.
Maybe I sound like a broken record. And if I don't sound like a broken record yet, read a few more posts. For every task that you outsource, you need a plan to use that time for profitable activity or to improve your life. Go back to your budget and think about how much you would need to make to cover the fees that you are spending to outsource. Write a plan and set a goal to cover that expense. Do you need the time to be able to develop yourself? Write a plan and set a goal for what you will accomplish with your time and how it will further your career. Is outsourcing the thing that will allow you the freedom to be with your friends or family? Set a date, schedule a vacation, or commit to a social event on the regular so that you can truly appreciate your new found time.
Are you a photographer who is finally ready to give in and give up? Use our coupon code (RefweTPT9u5) for Photographer's Edit (Ashley Gerrity Photography's long term color correction partner) and save 20% off your first color correction. And then, use the time that you've saved to listen to CEO Nathan Holritz's new podcast, with an episode (Starbucks & Fifty Weddings) featuring me and my husband. Hopefully that will help you to understand how seriously outsourcing has improved my life, personally.