Part of running a company is figuring out what needs to be done, by you, and then what should be handled by others. Founders are notoriously unwilling to let other people have important responsibilities. But to expand, you need to find your purpose and then delegate.
It’s impossible for you as an owner to handle everything, no matter how hard you try. By holding onto power for too long and refusing to share, you are only going to create resentment and end up with subpar performance.
If you want your company to succeed, you need to find your purpose and be willing to outsource the rest to employees, contractors or other companies that are more specialized.
The intersection of interest and competency
Imagine a Venn diagram of all of the things that interest you and another with all of the things where you are competent. Your goal is to find the intersection of those two — that is, the things which you are interested in and also skilled at.
But that doesn’t mean it’s your purpose. There are plenty of things that interest you are and also where you’re competent, but finding the intersection is the first step in finding your purpose — and even decide what others should do.
It might seem trivial, but having interest in your work is crucial. Most business owners are tenacious, but eventually that hard work will start to dwindle. It’s critical you have an interest in your work so you can keep going. If you don’t, you’ll find it hard to get back on track when the going gets tough.
Similarly, you need to be competent with whatever you are doing. It might seem appealing to take on the responsibility of an important task within your company, but if you aren’t qualified for it you are going to end up with disappointing results. Instead, you should focus your time on tasks in which you are skilled.
Where to find your purpose
Once you’ve identified some of the tasks that you are both interested in and competent at, you must decide what your purpose is. This question, “Where to find your purpose?” sounds deep and meaningful, but it’s really about figuring out where you provide the most value.
You might be interested in writing code for the websites that your company builds — and you’re probably pretty good at it, but that’s unlikely to be your purpose. Why? It’s doubtful that writing code is where you can bring the most value to your company.
Instead, your purpose should be a role which you are a world leader, something you can do better than anybody else in your company.
But what if you’re not a world leader at any particular task? In that case, you must find purpose in a role for which you can’t hire. This position is very often brainstorming, business development and product innovation. Business owners typically handle these tasks personally because they understand the industry and their products better than anybody else in the company.
Why should you outsource?
Plenty of founders are unwilling to outsource because they don’t want to lose control over their company. The truth is, every successful founder has to give up some amount of power. Otherwise, they will be unable to grow.
The reason why you should outsource is simple: you aren’t the best at everything.
There are other people out there who can perform tasks more efficiently than you, and your goal as a business owner should be to hire those people. Not only will this allow you to create a better product or service, but it also frees up your time so you can provide value in the areas where you find your purpose.
Outsource the rest
It’s easy to see why founders don’t want to delegate when they first start their companies. It’s likely they had to handle every part themselves. Most companies don’t begin with tens of employees. Instead, the owner bootstraps it themselves and has complete control.
Hopefully, this discussion helped you find your purpose. Now, compare that to each of the roles you are either performing currently or have performed in the past. Everything that doesn’t match up perfectly to your purpose, you can outsource. Unless you don’t have the money, everything outside of your purpose should be outsourced. You aren’t the best at it, and there are better uses of your time.
Bringing it all together
Once you decide to outsource certain parts of your company, you will need to figure out how you will outsource, who to, and how it can be best integrated into your current system. Outsourcing is done in three different ways:
- You can hire your employees.
- You could contract freelancers.
- You can engage a business who specializes in the task.
Neither of these is a bad option, but some are better in different situations.
Depending on the tasks you are trying to outsource, you need to draw up a cost and benefit analysis to see which is the most straightforward option and which will cost you the least.
Just as important as the monetary cost is integration with your workflow. Hiring employees is often much cheaper than working with another company, but you will be responsible for monitoring their time and dealing with paperwork.
To find your purpose is critical for the longevity and success of your company, but it’s also vital for your mental health. It’s not sustainable for you as a founder to handle everything, and it’s probably not healthy.
You must strive to find your purpose and regularly audit yourself to ensure that you are focusing on only working within your purpose and not demanding control. Be willing to outsource the rest, and with enough patience, you will find people whose purpose has no overlap with yours. That’s how you magnify your output and grow your business.