Also known as…
“My life changed the day I hired a cleaner”
The hustle of owning a small business and still managing friends and family is a continuous juggle which can sometimes feel like a black hole of late nights on the laptop after the household is asleep, guilt beyond anything healthy, endless scheduling of social media posts, and temporarily medicating oneself with too much wine, coffee, pastries and chocolate. All to find you are behind in every area of your life. The bathroom stinks (you’ve no memory of the last time the towels were changed), your comfy jeans don’t fit anymore, your friends are asking where you’ve been and you’re not sure which work has been paid for because the endless unreconciled transactions on Xero have piled up so much you’re embarrassed for anyone else to see it.
Welcome to the art of letting go! While you may find this blog post brutal, we are here in your corner offering some helpful solutions to common objections you may have thought of while considering outsourcing.
Objection 1: “It’s all about the Money, money, It’s all about the Pri-ice Tag…”
Why pay someone else when I can still do the job?
Agreed, this can be a substantial objection – and I can completely understand it. You can do the job for free, while someone else costs you your beer tokens.
But how much is your time worth in the business? Would you be earning more doing the stuff you love, while a professional in their field can be doing the job quicker for you?
Perfect example is my amazing hero, Julie who cleans my house. She comes every fortnight to clean my bathrooms as well as wash and vacuum my floors. She does all this in 2 hours! I can guarantee these jobs take me at least twice as long and I would have to fit them in on my weekends. My time is more financially beneficial investing that time (a minimum 4 hours) in my Flairy clients with strategy, creativity, and copywriting. Plus, I get to spend that weekend time with my family and friends. Win-win!
The other major bonus I see in this is that I am supporting another small business. The reality that I’m contributing towards their kids going to school, or music lessons, or even just towards living expenses – this is the circle of life that I am keen to be generous with!
When my kids were little and our small photography business was struggling, I cannot tell you how much we appreciated the little jobs that clients would give our business. Some weeks this work would pay for the meals on the table, or even clothe our babies. I tear up just thinking about it. So now, if I have the means to pay someone to do it quicker than me, I am more likely to choose supporting their business!
Objection 2: It’s my duty/responsibility to do it…
My business, I should do it – but who is actually the best person for the job?
What are your primary duties/responsibilities?
Home truth time – your holistic health is highest priority! If you are not eating well, sleeping well, exercising often, doing something for your soul and something for your mind, you can kiss your small business goodbye! You are not giving anything or anyone your best and you need to find some new life choices. I’m sorry if this is harsh, but work smarter to incorporate these vital elements into your life, or else your business will not be sustainable or healthy for anyone!
Secondly, what priorities do you want to invest in? If it’s your business, then kudos to you! But if personal priorities like family or friends are slotted in your second place – this is not a bad thing, but it does mean your choices affect those around you.
I had to learn to share what I perceived as my responsibilities and duties. Just because other mums live the perfect Barbie dreamhouse life, does not mean I have to! My family shares the load (usually!). When I decided to start Flair with the amazing superwoman, Heather, I also had to check my household was going to support me. Of course, they did (because they love me!), but I was not naïve in assuming starting Flair would not happen without some cost to them. And so, this meant the folding wasn’t magically done each week (and sometimes one may just have to spray their uniform one day a week until we get to do a load of washing!), dinners are a whole family responsibility (my 11y/o can make Hello Fresh dinners like a pro!), and if you see the mess, you clean it up. I’m the first to admit, this is not a well-oiled machine and our household often has to go scratching through the washing basket on the couch to find clean undies! My 12y/o has had to juggle her extensive high school homework around the household chores. Can I suggest this is a positive? We have found this is building resilience, resourcefulness and independence in our whole household – so again, I’m going with this as a parenting win, not a fail.
(I have found this objection tends to affect those of us without the Y chromosome more often than not!)
Are you the most experienced person for this job?
As I mentioned above, Julie cleans my house much quicker than I can. She knows what products will work best where and what will give the best clean. Part of the reason I take so long is I must google the right vinegar to bicarb ratios and then find the old toothbrushes in the back of the cupboard.
Or someone mows your lawn. Old mate turns up with his industrial lawnmower and that smell of fresh cut grass reaches your nose in a quarter of the time without the swearing at machinery or the quick run out to get petrol.
My favourite example is our accountant. She is SO good! I have been grumbling at Xero for nearly half a day, I send her an email and the problem has magically been fixed within minutes. WHY DIDN’T I EMAIL EARLIER???? My warped sense of “I can do it” has cost me half a day that I could have been doing the stuff I love! WHY? (*Shrug*)
Objection 3: “No one can do it as well as I can!”
Translation = “I’m a control freak having trouble letting things go!”
Ok, so if you’re still finding your inner control freak taking over, work on baby steps. What’s a job you least care about that you can give to someone else?
Other members of my household may not be the greatest at hanging out washing on the line. But an incredibly wise friend said to me once “Would you rather have the help and let go of your high standard, or be stuck with all the jobs and let go of time to enjoy your family/friends etc? Which do you want to let go of?”
So our washing may take extra time to dry, it may be incredibly crinkled when it’s off the line, but the job is done, and I’ve had more time spent with the people I love!
So what are the jobs others can do (perhaps not as well) that free the time to do the jobs you enjoy? We can start simple. Is your bookkeeping something that can be handed to someone else? Or even collaborate with someone on your social media (*cough cough* like a professional kick-ass marketing and PR company…)?
The importance of your village
Just a side tangent worth noting here – do you have a little village to support you? This goes both ways. Sometimes this means babysitting or school runs or dinners are miraculously made for you when your business is super busy. Sometimes this means having a glass of wine on the back deck with friends while there’s a couple of baskets washing not folded and put away, or a cup of tea in the backyard of unmown grass. Let’s be clear – you also make the time to reciprocate the favour. Community is important – always invest in your people!
As you relinquish control, you are able to take time out with your people who can help you with your household through the generosity of their time. (Thanks B for folding the undies while I make dinner!)
Objection 4: My time isn’t worth that much
Use your time more wisely in what you are great at! Do you actually enjoy doing that task?
Full confession here – Heather hates to write. She is our numbers and data girl – this is one of a plethora of reasons we love her so much! Why would we waste her time with writing when she hates that job? So, we get the information for the blog post from Heather’s brain much more easily! One of the Flairy copy-writing team chats with her, or gets dot point ideas from her, then does what they love…writing.
We at the Flairy Brains Trust have many things that we will still hold onto. We still like to approach our digital marketing with a quality not quantity approach. We still make time to meet with our clients and check in that all are on the same page with the marketing and PR platforms and strategy.
But I can tell you after hiring my precious hero, Julie the cleaning lady, paying $10/week extra to get my fruit & vegetables delivered to my home, that letting go of my high standard of house work so everyone in our family contributes, has meant I’ve been able to be a part of the kick-ass business Flair Marketing and PR has become, have the freedom to do the jobs I love, and also stay a kick-ass mum, wife and friend too!