Let me share a big secret with you that all successful retailers know: If you want to have an ideal business, work less and make a whole lot more, I can assure you that you CANNOT do it by yourself. You must delegate!
How do I know this? Because for years, I tried! For years, I told myself that no one could do it as well as I could and so I did so much myself. But you know what? It didn’t work. I kept being busier and busier while my staff had less and less to do! I was totally overwhelmed. I wanted everything done right and well and…I know that you can understand, right?
My mentor gave me this quote last year: “Frank Sinatra didn’t move his own pianos.”
Such amazing truth. I can see clearly how I spent years trying to “move my own piano”, instead of focusing on my true brilliance and my “genius” work – the stuff that I’m good at and that only *I* can do in my business. I recognized it on a different level at the time I had my store and did change the way I ran my stores and I started DELEGATING different aspects of the store to others. And I can report that it made a monumental change in my profits, sales and peace of mind!!
The plain and simple fact is that you cannot do it all on your own. No matter how much you like to think that you can do it better, faster and more efficiently than anyone else, the fact remains that you will eventually burn out.
You MUST learn to leverage YOUR time and resources if you are serious about running a successful store, getting more profits and finally making the income that you deserve. There’s just no way around it. And getting it ALL done means you have to eventually start delegating – and even outsourcing.
I can hear you saying, “Right, but Cathy, you don’t understand my people”.or is it that I don’t understand your situation…or is it that you are brilliant at every aspect of retail? Pardon my sarcasm but we both know you won’t get ahead until you identify what your exceptional talents are and learn to delegate your weaknesses.
If you are like the majority of us, your weaknesses come quickly to mind while your strengths are something you have to search for. It is vital that you discover your strengths. In truth, it is our strengths that define us and give us the freedom to express ourselves in a manner that is easy and natural. Using our strengths gives us energy and affirms what we were born to do. However, it has been noted in a number of studies that most of us only use our strengths 20% of the time
After reading Catherine Nomura’s book Unique Ability: Creating the Life You Want, I realized we have it all wrong…well, to a certain extent. To summarize Nomuras’s book, people do not take enough time to maximize this incredible force called “Unique Ability.” It’s a combination of your personal talents, passions, and skills. You’ve always had this ability, but you may never have stopped to clearly identify it. Rather, we as a society focus on an individual’s weaknesses and try to strengthen those.
Delegating allows you to strengthen your strengths, instead of trying to “better” your weaknesses. It means only working on your “Unique Ability” – your core competencies and focusing on your brilliance and genius work. In turn, you’ll get more done, you’ll make more money, and you’ll enjoy more time off for the important things in life (like your family, your friends, you know, the important stuff.)
What to delegate? Start with this list and look for specific things to delegate to someone who’s happy to do them for you:
- Stuff you’re not good at
- Stuff you don’t know how to do
- Stuff you don’t have time to do
- Anything outside of your brilliance/genius (meaning, everything other than the stuff only you can do in your business)
For me, I was able to delegate so much of the everyday routine work which freed me up to drive my business. I guarantee that you too will catapult your profits as you focus more and more on business strategy and marketing, as well as your genius work. You won’t believe you ever did it any other way.
© 2011 Cathy Donovan Wagner, RETAIL Mavens