The Lifetime Achievement Award for Doing Things Yourself goes to….. YOU!
This year, one of my friends and I both began working for ourselves. We aren’t working with each other; we are just navigating our personalized Entrepreneur 101 lives on a similar timeline. She has more clients than I do. I have more time alone than she does. She spends more time in face-to-face meetings. I do everything I can to ensure my internet is rock solid so I never have to leave the house. We’re each in our element.
We’re both awake and moving around at the same time each day. It isn’t unusual for us to text one another early in the morning. This morning, her texts were in blocks and spelled correctly, which means she was using voice to text. In our world, that means something’s wrong.
“I am almost to my office and just realized I forgot my computer I am not thinking this is a good sign for how my days going to go because I don’t have time to go back and get it. And I have zoom meetings from 11 to 1 which I guess I can use my phone but I just I don’t know this is where working for yourself again sucks.”
By then I was sitting on my couch, coffee in hand, thinking about the client I needed to check in with, the book I want to read today, and pieces I want to write. After 10 more messages about her day being hosed in one way or another, I uttered those three little words that people seem to hate to hear:
“Can I help?”
I don’t know when people started hating this phrase. We’ve developed a plethora of ways to ignore it or act like the crisis that we just spent a solid 10 minutes complaining about isn’t a big deal. Today, she ignored it. I got to hear about everything BUT getting her computer. Later that morning, she rushed home for the left-behinds and back to her office, whipped herself up into a frenzy over not being able to find something she needed, began blasting herself for being stupid, and hating all of this.
For people with the drive to start their own ventures, I often wonder if accepting help goes against their wiring – to the point that doing so would trigger self-criticism.
Why are we so bad at saying, “yes, please” to an offer to make our days easier?
At the end of my life will there be an awards ceremony? “The Lifetime Achievement Award for Doing Things Yourself goes to….. YOU! Congratulations, You!”
Do you see yourself on the stage?
Year after year, I’d bleed myself dry of energy by not accepting help – and not asking for help, either. I partially blame my family, but I also squarely blame Enjoli. If you watched TV in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, I’m sure you can sing the Enjoli commercial. “I can bring home the
bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let you forget you’re a contributing member of this household who can do laundry and make sure the kids get a meal.”
Look, maybe you’re a little like me and thinking, “I can do it myself! Bug off!” I will tell you this: I don’t have any desire to act like I can do everything and never let my blue eyeshadow and 8-hour perfume fade. Here’s my list of things I say YES to budgeting for and getting help with:
1. Cleaning the house.
I have a superhuman ability to not see dust or clutter. And I’m adding yard care to this list as well. Allergies. Enough said.
I am not an accountant and I don’t care how “easy” it can be to do my own. Bonus! I found another woman-owned small business who loves the stuff!
3. Errands, shopping, and automation.
If it can land on my doorstep, inbox, or social media account magically and I don’t have to buy it, search for it, or post it myself, yes please.
4. My Brand.
While I’m the steward of what my brand is, I am not a brand expert. I will budget for help beforehand. It’s the frame and foundation of my house, and probably more than a few walls. In my brand bucket are logos, photos, headshots, websites, and taglines.
5. Last but not least, business coaching.
Marketing and networking is not my strong suit, and business coaching also reinforces camaraderie with other entrepreneurs, plus an objective pro who knows my blind spots and can guide me through them.
What’s on your list of things that you don’t need to do yourself?
Is it a courier service for notary work? Could it be something as simple as home delivery for your groceries to knock that task off your list?
You’ve chosen a path that will require a great deal of your energy, time, and love. Identify the little things you can get help with and focus to your To Do’s.
What do you outsource? Who are the companies you love? Let me know in the comments!