You are the seed of your own business. Often times, that’s why you hear very early stage startups receiving “seed money”.
Think about a seed—it’s a densely packed nugget of DNA or information perfectly instructed to grow a certain way. Isn’t that you in a lot of ways? You’re just so packed with information, ideas, and energy that you’re ready to just grow!
However, a seed cannot grow and therefore realize the fruits of its own labour without the aid of soil, water, and the sun’s energy.
Your business is a plant ready to blossom into an amazing flower full of fruits to provide for the world’s consumption, yet it needs a certain amount of nutrients and energy to nurture its growth properly.
People are your energy source and can bring those much needed “nutrients” in the form of additional skills, time, and ideas that you don’t have. Do not be the plant in a dark, arid desert or you may wind up being a prickly ole’ cactus!
Fact is, you can leverage the expertise and ideas of others to help you grow. If a client is currently paying you $1,000 per week for your services that work takes you 40 hours to fulfil, then you’re making $25/hour (not too shabby).
It might make sense to track how many hours you spend on each task and figure out how to delegate that task to an employee or freelancer.
“But Clint, I’ll make less money that way.”
Yes and no.
See, if you find that 20 hours of your work are spent on design and you’re just bad at it, then have an expert do the design. The work will likely take them half the time at just 10 hours (or maybe even 5 hours). In economics, this is a term called specialization, a term used to describe leveraging the skill-set of another person or entity as a means to facilitate business growth. If you pay that person $25/hour at 10 hours per week, you’re now making $750 in profit per week ($1,000 in client payment- $250 in payment to employee).
You’ve now saved yourself 20 hours of design work and only work 20 hours for this same client.
Your hourly rate is now ($750 profit/20 hours spent per week working) $37.50 per hour! Now, you can go ahead and get another 40 hour per week client at $1,000 and delegate another 20 hours out to your employee.
In total, you’re now generating $1,500 ($750 net profit * 2 clients) per week for those same 40 hours!
Hiring on employees is just one example in the power of people.
As an only child, my alone time is very much valued, but I could have never created and sold 3 businesses by the time I was 28 without the help of experienced mentors.
They knew more than me. They’ve been there and done that. Why not leverage their experience? Here’s a cool nugget of insight.
It took some of my mentors 15 – 20 years or more of making mistakes for them to finally get it right.
I avoided many of those common pitfalls in 15 – 20 minutes of talking with them! Basically, I leveraged their experiences to benefit my own business. Why make the same mistakes when I don’t have to?
In short, employees are powerful and amazing people (first and foremost), but can also be a point of leverage to help grow your business. Mentors can be the ultimate form of leverage.
Take some time out today to figure what you’re really really good at and keep doing that. As for everything else, get the help you need.
Be a plant, not a cactus.