For many years, I’ve lived with a stigma. The expectation that because I’m a woman, I *should* be good at (and even enjoy) home-maker tasks. My mom loves baking, sewing and is her mad OCD cleaning skills would make her the dream employee of any lab with a “clean room.”
The truth is, I struggle with these tasks… a lot. It’s not just because I travel and work. The hardcore truth of it is, something inside me despises being a homemaker and always has.
Recently, my mom reminded me of an incident when I was a kid… She had asked me to clean my room and I immediately challenged her on it. As many parents do, she got frustrated, then as many strong-willed children do, I surprised her. I shouted back, “When I grow up I’m going to pay someone ELSE to clean my room!” Then I huffed, puffed and piddled around pretending to pick up my toys.
A future lesson…
Fast-forward to when I first went full-time with my business… Every time I passed the dirty bathroom, it taunted me. Every pile of laundry screamed at me to wash it. Every dirty dish begged me to come make them shiny again. And me? I walked around the house cringing, trying to focus on my work but being torn from what I LOVED to do to what I thought I *should* do.
Finally, I had enough. I found someone else to clean my house. Someone who LOVED to do laundry, dishes, dust and scrub floors (God bless ‘em). And the big surprise to me? My business income tripled that month… TRIPLED!!!
I made a crucial discovery in my first exercise in outsourcing work. First, when I focus on what I’m great at, I excel in that area. My business kept growing and now I run a half-million-dollar company with team members who love what they excel at as well. (Especially when I leave them alone to do their jobs.) I also discovered a myth I told myself… a lot.
The BIG discovery…
Just because I don’t like doing something doesn’t mean everybody hates it. Believe it or not, there are people who LOVE tasks I despise. People who LOVE cleaning. Who get a thrill out of washing clothes. Who love to cook and watch the faces of those who eat their food light up. And there are people who LOVE customer service, LOVE tech tasks like troubleshooting websites, and LOVE running ads and nerding out with statistics.
And if I’m so wrapped up in projecting tasks I dislike onto others, I’ll keep being miserable doing them and I won’t give others the chance to do what they’re really good at and love to do.
The BIG secret…
The secret to growing your reach, spending more time writing books, and enjoying your life is simple… outsourcing! Even if you only have small tasks you think you *should* be able to handle or that no-one else would be willing to take over, consider what you could do if those tasks are taken off your plate.
Because a bunch of “little” tasks add up to big ones… and when you outsource a task to someone you may find other things they enjoy doing that can help you out as well.
Like the awesome lady in my kitchen right now making me an amazing salad for lunch… I hired her to help me with my monstrous laundry pile… and now she’s doing dishes, cleaning my kitchen, cleaning my bathroom, cooking me lunch… in addition to the laundry. And she’s smiling and LOVING every minute of it! Not to mention giving me a huge peace of mind.
If it weren’t for her being here right now, I wouldn’t have been able to write this blog post to encourage you to audit the tasks in your own life and business. I wouldn’t have written and pre-scheduled emails to go out over the weekend so I could spend time with family at a kiddo’s birthday party tomorrow.
And I’d still be stressed wondering how I can get the entire house cleaned up in time should someone at the party tomorrow need to use the bathroom… and thus walk in on my mess.
Your next important step
I outsourced my first not-in-my-wheelhouse task when my business was barely making $1,000 per month and my income immediately tripled, only to keep growing as I outsourced more.
It’s time for you to stop *should*ing on yourself for tasks you think only YOU can or *should* do and look for ways you can get others involved to help you focus in areas where YOU EXCEL. More than the size of the tasks themselves, think about the mental energy you’re giving to them. Because if you’re focused on doing tasks not in your wheelhouse just for the sake of saving (or even making) money, I guarantee it’s costing you in time spent doing things you LOVE, mental stress, and increasing the stress of others around you feeling your negative energy.
And if you need someone to help you figure that out, I’m just an on-demand laser coaching session away. 😉
JamieOctober 3, 2016
I have found that the same solution of having a housekeeper works for me! I was more productive at many other things, and it really was a waste of my time! Plus, I resented working AND doing all the housework, which was not good for my attitude. Fortunately, my husband, who does NO housework, agreed with my assessment! I DO love to cook and bake, when I want to, though!I cooked a full major Southern meal tonight, which my husband said was the best meal he’d had in about a year, since the last time I cooked! (A little exaggeration!) It’s just too easy to pick up take out, or eat simply without really cooking, when there are just two people home!
Kristen JoyOctober 5, 2016 Jamie
I understand the ease of eating out for sure. Kudos to you for living where you excel and finding your joy in cooking and baking again, as well as your work!
Rona GofsteinOctober 2, 2016
This is great, Kristen! New list going in the bullet journal — what do I want to “outsource”.
John ChangOctober 2, 2016
When my brother wondered whether he could afford to pay a gardener $20 an hour to cut the grass, I asked him how much he earned per hour as a six-figure radiologist. That was pretty much the end of that discussion.
Unfortunately, a lot of times it’s less obvious to the rest of us – especially creatives and freelancers, who aren’t earning that kind of money or don’t make a steady income.
But maybe it helps is to keep in mind that time spend on task that sucks your energy will not only take away time from projects in your “zone of genius,” but also reduce your “life level” (aka willpower) for creativity.
Kristen JoyOctober 5, 2016 John Chang
These are excellent insights John! Thanks for sharing!
MamaRedOctober 1, 2016
Oh yeah, I soooooooooooo hear ya! I do those housekeeping tasks well (my mom made sure I knew how to do them to perfection). And I hate doing them. There, I said it and you gave me the courage to say it. The only time I clean is when someone else is coming (although I do a decent job with the laundry).
Now that I’ve got a full time gig and my health issues are starting to recede, you’ve got me thinking on what I can have others do.
You rock socks Kristen (and congrats on your recent nuptials!)
Hugs & Blessings. MamaRed.
Kristen JoyOctober 5, 2016 MamaRed
Thanks Mama Red! 😉 I’m so excited you’re feeling better and getting active in work again!