How to Get More Done in Your Business and Get Your Time Back.
If you’re a business owner or CEO, you’ve got your hands full - constantly! You’ve probably dreamed of breakthrough technology to clone yourself so that you can do more with less time, drive your company forward and exceed the year’s financial projections.
As cloning yourself isn’t quite yet possible, there are a few things you can do to “clone” yourself in business so that you get more done with less time. Implementing the following strategies will have you generating more business for your company, all while learning the value of smart work over hard work.
1. Hire a Clone.
I was sitting down with one of my friends who made billions in real estate when I asked him, “How the heck do you get so much done? You run 6 different companies and invest in over 500 properties per year! I struggle to just manage one!”
His response baffled me.
He said “you need to clone yourself and the first way to do that is to have an amazing EA. She (or he) is the most important person in your life because she will protect you from the constant distractions and people asking you for things. Everyone has a problem for you to solve because they don’t want to solve it themselves, so of course they are going to want your help! People don’t like holding the hot potato. They want to pass it on!”
Since that day, I’ve implemented this wisdom and it is embedded in my mind.
So, the next time someone asks you for help as a leader, don’t give them the answer. Make them come up with their own answer by providing coaching and guidance (and patience!).
We had a situation where an internet troll jumped on our social media and left a false negative review. Their words were angry and inflammatory. Yet, we had never done business with this person before - they came in left-field. What did I do? I immediately bypassed the process and stepped in to manage the issue.
But when my team found out...
They became annoyed as I had done more damage than good - even though I had the best of intentions!
So next time we had an inflammatory comment and my team asked me how to respond I said,
“Look, I can’t answer that question, but here are the fundamentals of protecting our brand and reputation. I’m happy to read your response if you feel you need it however, I trust you to respond how you need to”.
That’s scary! It takes courage! You have to empower people to fail, because this builds trust in you as a leader. People that feel empowered will generate greater outputs and it will lead to higher retention rates. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and let your people do what you pay them to do.
I remember looking in the mirror and asking myself “am I going to be the type of leader that allows people to take risks and fail, or am I going to be one that tries to control everything and thus become less effective?”
Truth is, most business leaders hire an assistant a touch too late. The mentality of “I can manage my emails, it doesn’t take much time” is common among most leaders, and spending money on hiring someone to manage it is often viewed as wasted resource.
However the biggest asset to any business - new, small, medium and even large, global enterprise, is the senior team or the individuals who grew the company from the ground up. They have the biggest influence in generating new business - they should be building relationships and winning deals.
Many companies also operate under the mindset that an assistant will cost them money as they have to budget for the assistant's salary. But a good Executive Assistant will generate more money for your business as you will have more time and energy to focus on making your time and energy investment go further.
Einstein coined the phrase “thinking is the hard work, that’s why so few do it”.
Hiring an assistant to save you from doing ONE hour of transactional tasks gives you an hour back to think. Don’t do anything for 30 minutes. Just sit there and think. I use a simple a thinking practice that has changed my life, if you want it, reach out and we can send it to you.
Of course, your assistant is only as good as the instructions you give them and the tasks you delegate. Be clear about where your focus needs to be and communicate to your assistant how they can help you achieve that. If you’re interested in learning whether hiring on talent or attitude is more important, check out Guts or Glory? How to Hire Better Staff
Your assistant doesn’t need to be a full-time hire, either. Many companies leverage the help of virtual assistants who can manage the work remotely. Services like UpWork, FreeeUp and Freelancer can connect you with talented people based on the services you need.
2. Teach Tour Team to Make Better Decisions.
Like I said before, people love to pass off the hot potato, and it’s likely to end up in your lap. The best way to ensure you scale your time is to ensure your team members take full accountability of managing the potato.
You can coach, guide and counsel but NEVER make the decisions on their behalf . Unless of course you never want your employees to learn to make decisions on their own, but this is not advisable.
One of my friends calculated that every decision he makes is worth about $50,000. Any decision smaller than that can be delegated. Make less decisions, empower more people and you’ll be able to grow your worth.
If you’re signing off on absolutely every decision in your business, you’re not being very efficient. You’re also not leveraging the talent you have at your disposal.
We get it! Your business is your like your ‘baby’. But just like any ‘parent’, you need to let your baby ‘grow up’ and mature so that it can function independently of you. Otherwise, it won’t survive without you. So in order to facilitate your company’s growth and make solid plans on that holiday you’ve been meaning to take for the last 2 years, you must equip your team with the right decision-making skills.
There’s an emerging trend where companies are positioning their values front and centre on their website. This way, their clients know exactly what they are about and can easily differentiate the company from its competitors.
A good way to encourage problem-solving among your staff is to document how your company values tie into the decision-making process. Values-based decision-making in business is a way for you to maximise the full use of your team to uphold the company with integrity - even in your absence! It leaves no grey areas and offers full transparency into the way you conduct business as the head of the company.
Equipping your staff with an understanding of how you ultimately make decisions will also promote creativity during those more challenging scenarios (for example when company values conflict with a potentially profitable venture). Rather than abandoning company values or a new business deal entirely, your staff will be more adept at problem-solving to find a better solution than A or B.
Looks like you can book that holiday in after all! And if you’ve ever considered a permanent holiday, here’s some tips on how to manage a team remotely in the same city. Offices are over-rated.
5 Minute Transformation Exercise:
IF you were only allowed to do ONE THING for your business, what would that ONE THING be?
Truth be told, the owner or CEO is the bottleneck in every company. If the company isn’t growing as fast as possible, it’s the CEO’s fault. If a CEO is working on a task, then the flow is like molasses rather than water.
If you adopt the mindset of “I’m standing in the way of work being done”, reserve yourself for the highest and most productive tasks, and learn to manage your energy properly, then there’s no limit on what you could achieve. You could be like Elon Musk or Richard Branson if you wanted to pay the price of doing so. But not many people are that obsessed.
What is the one thing in the whole world you’re best at that no one can do like you? Well, that’s exactly what you should spend most of your time doing. Delegate everything else and apply management to those things you’ve delegated. IF you don’t delegate properly then you will never be able to scale yourself. Delegation is actually a complete skill to master.
Write down a list of 5 things you need to “stop doing”
Create a step-by-step procedure for how to complete those tasks, hand them off to someone, hold their hand the first time they complete the task and then make them responsible for that task in future.
If you want to run a well-oiled organisation, you must be exceptional at management and delegation, that’s how Richard Branson is able to run over 300 brands. Remember, he started out just like you, but he remained committed to the basics and that’s how he has been able to build his empire.
3. Outsource the Work
Many business owners think they can only leverage the talent within the business to propel the company forward. But this kind of thinking places a massive bottleneck in your business. Going through the motions of hiring and training an employee can take more time than outsourcing the work to experts and reaping the maximum rewards.
For example, at Growthly, we work with businesses with (or without) existing marketing divisions operating within them. As an outsider to your company, we take a close look at your marketing strategy and provide detailed insights on whether your marketing message is resonating with your ideal audience. From there, we deploy a strategy to get your ideal audience interested in you and your message. This venture makes efficient use of resources and keeps your marketing and HR teams productive.
You can also consider outsourcing tasks outside of work so that you can spend more time doing the things that you enjoy - whether that be spending more time with the family, your friends - basically the things that bring joy in life!
If you take a look at the people who manage to maintain a high level of energy at an old age (over 70), they prioritise that work-life balance. No one will do that on your behalf. You must look after your mental health and the only way to do that is to leverage the people around you to lift the load. Trust and accountability.
Spend some time considering your personal values to determine how you want to spend your time when you’re not working. What household tasks do you enjoy doing? Which ones can you outsource to a professional so that you can invest the time (and money) towards “free time” - doing things which are meaningful to you such as spending quality time with your kids, taking your partner out for a long overdue date night or volunteering for a cause that’s close to your heart.
Seriously think about that for a moment. Life flashes by so fast. I bet you can remember being a teenager just like it was yesterday. The twinkle in your eye from the monumental opportunity in front of you. Sometimes as adults we forget to analyse and look at how much opportunity is around if we continually get bogged down into the work. That’s the problem.
Hard work is not the solution. Hard work needs to be in your DNA but smart work needs to be modus operandi.
Of course, time management is absolutely essential to ensuring you get the most out of each day - but energy management is the key to increasing your productivity. Find out what they didn’t teach you in school about productivity here.
So there you have it! With these tips, you’ll proudly find your staff representing your company to the highest of standards - because they are your standards. Who knows, your office doppelganger might even pop up!