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Warning! When to Ignore Warnings & Promises!

When a warning comes on a package or from some trusted source, you should pay attention to those warnings. A lot of times it’s the same with a promise.

Bleach for example. Promise: Will whiten things. Warning: Don’t ingest, it’ll kill you.

What happens when you get promises and warnings from sources you don’t know anything about. Like an email from some professional you’ve never met. Like this. Promise: We can get you to rank highly and give you a huge increase in customers. Warning: Google will kill you if you don’t fix these issues. It goes without question, you really should just ignore that email and just have a trusted professional look over your site for potential improvement or errors.

What about the more subtle salesman? Not the spamsman above. A more subtle thing. Maybe an ad on facebook or something you found on Google. Someone who promises vague improvement and lets you draw the conclusions about what can be gained and what you’re going to lose. Never the less, it’s some sort of miracle cure for your ailing business, or maybe if your business is well, it’s a chance for you to get richer quicker.

What do you do then?

  1. Check out the reviews
  2. Check out their competitors
  3. Get a second opinion
  4. Ask yourself “Do I generally spend money on things and not get the returns I expected” THIS ONE IS IMPORTANT because if you have a habit of buying things or investing in things that don’t pan out there’s a deeper problem here and your best bet is #3.

All the success stories I know of consist of consistent improvement over time. No shortcuts. Just doing what needs to be don according to well established standards.

I know… Boring right? Like eating veggies and getting sleep. But the sooner you integrate those boring aspects (perhaps in an exciting way if you want. That’s my approach) the sooner you can reach your goals.

EXAMPLE: Blogging is a good way to keep your site active. Most people don’t do it because it’s tedious and they think they have to write some profound thing each time. I tell people, write about whatever you feel like writing about. It doesn’t have to be long or short or about your business if you don’t want it to be. Just do it.

So the next time you get a warning about your website being a catastrophic disaster from someone you don’t know or you get a promise of unimaginable success from an add or maybe you get an email about yet another millionaire in Nigeria who wants to give you his money, maybe just ignore and think to yourself “What boring thing am I forgetting to do?” Or “Have I recently ignored a professionals opinion recently because I know better than they do?”

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Grow

This is just kinda fun really. I honestly forgot why I started this post. Good thing I left this link in it as a reminder.

https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

I took this test and found parts of it to be accurate. It helped put into words and really help cement the idea that I need help in certain areas. There’s an old saying right? You’re only as strong as your weakest link. What if you could hire someone to be that link for you.

That is to say, what if your weakest point could just be outsourced to someone else? You’d be a lot stronger.

If you know your failings, take the test anyway and then think about who you are working with now (or who you aren’t working with) that could help fill the voids. You want to provide a good service.

If I wanted to bake cakes, but I was terrible as making good flour, I’d either buy the flower or hire someone or some service to make it for me. I know I’d feel more special if I made the flower, but let’s be honest, the cakes would suck. That’s not to say I can’t learn more as I go, but I don’t want to be selling people something that isn’t good. Period.

Are you cheating others, or yourself, by not accepting that you can’t do everything?

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Outsourcing & Partnering

Do you ever feel like you wear too many hats? That you spread yourself too thin focusing on aspects of your business or your life that you really don’t know much about? If you do, then you know the feeling you get when you are doing something to “save money” or perhaps “keep more” of the money from a project. You go over and over the thing you’re working on (that isn’t your specialty) to make it as good as the rest of your project (which is your specialty) all the while you watch the hours tick away. You stay up late (or get up early) to compensate. In reality, while your intentions are good, you’re wasting time and lowering the quality of the overall project. Don’t believe me? Make a short version of whatever you’re working on (be it a video, a photo, an audio recording, content or pricing or maybe even sales). If it’s a 30 minute video, for example, take the intro or one of the complicated parts, go on Upwork and ask someone to give you a sample of what they can do with it OR give them $50 to get a good quality version to you and compare what you did to what they did. Don’t you think the client would prefer their video over yours?

Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Allows you to spend more times on your specialty
  • Produces a better product or service (because specialists are performing their specialty)
  • Save a LOT of time
  • Helps you move forward at a rapid pace
  • Greatly increases you chances of overall success
  • Helps you learn (you can dissecting the work done by the hired hand)
  • You’re going to have to do it sooner or later

Cons

  • You’re using money you could keep for yourself
  • There’s a chance the hired hand won’t do a good job (reduce this risk by reading their reviews and looking at sample works)
  • You need to know WHAT to outsource. That takes time to put together/figure out
  • It can feel like you’re cheating the client (even though the overall project comes out better)
  • Sometimes it takes an upfront investment and you need that money NOW

Back to the practical application

The video example above. Think how long would it take you to make that $50 back doing what you do best (your area of expertise)? Yes, you’ve used money, but you can make more now. Consider your hourly pay. Let’s say you have a project or a service you are providing and you make $100. You can do it on your own and it’ll take you 30 minutes to do the things you know, but it takes you 2 hours and 30 minutes to to do the part you don’t know how to do very well. Congrats, you only made $33.33 an hour. Now let’s say you spend 20 minutes on the part you know and spend $50 + 10 minutes of your time (for easy math) outsourcing. You made $50 an hour and you have 2 hours to spare, which you can now use on other projects.

There are times, especially in the beginning when you have to do things by yourself, just so you can figure out what needs to be done, but once you know what needs to be done, there’s no reason to continue struggling with tasks you aren’t so great at. Let’s face it, you’re also producing a lower quality product. If you don’t realize that, then you’re either working with the wrong people or you likely have an overly high opinion of yourself.

I know you might also enjoy doing things yourself and there’s a satisfaction in doing it yourself as well, but let’s be real. It’s a lower quality product overall because you could be spending MORE time performing your specialty. (don’t worry, you can still be well rounded and a specialist). That alone creates a better product. You’re also wasting time by not working wisely. That’s something you cannot get back and it’s something that is finite. Every day has the same number of hours in it (weeks too) and no mater how hard you work, you can’t change that.

What does outsourcing/partnering look like?

Ok, so now that you know it’s reasonable to outsource or find a partner to work with (whichever you prefer). It may not look like what you think it does. In my case it looks like this. I go to Upwork, I look for a specialist, reviewing their reviews and sampe work, and I say “I am redesigning this site. I need you to transfer all the material from site x to site y. How much will this cost?” Sometimes I create a base design prior to the transfer so that the person doing the transfer can put the content into the new design. That’s normally the case for bigger projects.

To get to that point I needed to know specifically what I needed, what was more or less the best order to do it in and where to look.

What this may look like for you.

In your case, it may be like this “Hey, I need help with my website. It’s not performing well and needs some updates. I’d also like it to perform better. What can be done?” In this case, you don’t even need to know what needs to happen. You just know what you want to happen. Before you know it, and sometimes it’s little by little, you have a specialist working on your website, it’s performing better and it’s reached heights you never new it could. In many cases you can even say “Hey, this is my budget, let’s prioritize.” Believe it or not, that’s outsourcing. That’s partnering.

What can I outsource?

Well, I don’t like billing, book keeping and taxes. I outsource that to a CPA.

I also find that, in all honesty, I’m a better advisor than I am a sales person, so I let other people sell my services in return for a small fee. That can be expensive but in all honesty, I partner with very talented people who share my values and I get tremendous/wonderful clients that I couldn’t imagine not having having.

Editing and proof reading is also a good thing to outsource.

You can also meet with someone and outsource the task of finding what to outsource. You would be outsourcing the process of finding out how to make your business more efficient.

You may want to outsource you strategic planning. I have an advisor that helps me with that (he’s on the home page). THIS however is more difficult for some people because you have to find someone who fits your values and then accept that THEY KNOW BETTER THAN YOU DO! Or at least they do in the strategic planning area. I know, it sounds like I’m saying “give up your values and do things you don’t think are right.” What I’m really saying is “Seriously, you don’t always know what’s best, otherwise you wouldn’t be looking for help.” I’m putting it bluntly because if you aren’t where you want to be, you need to be aware that you are responsible for that. NOTE: Don’t pick just anyone or the first person who comes to your door with a cool presentation that appeals to your eyes and tickles your ears.

Chances are you’ve tried listening to people before and you did one of 3 things: 1) You listened and did what they said until you disagreed 2) You followed things according to your own interpretation 3) You did everything 100% and it went wrong. In all 3 of these cases, if you still aren’t where you want to be, the answer is still “find someone who fits your values and then accept that THEY KNOW BETTER THAN YOU DO!” Granted, you really should have an open ended conversation with them so that things can be adjusted as needed. That is part of following through.

Sounds like a cop out, I know, but how many people do you work with who would do better if they listened to you?

Good luck! Get crackin’. Things won’t outsource themselves and unless you are able to clone yourself, I don’t see any other option.