A forgotten secret to success.

Quick! What’s the key to being a successful entrepreneur?


If you answered “drive” or “confidence” or “competitiveness,” you might be right. If you thought “someone who takes risks,” Malcolm Gladwell makes a fascinating case in the January issue of the New Yorker magazine that you’re probably wrong. The one vital but often forgotten quality of people who succeed in building a business is a willingness and ability to delegate.

As mentioned in past blogs, being a jack or jill of all trades is a fact of life for most small business owners – especially those just starting out. You may have launched your business with the intention of selling widgets, but you’re probably finding yourself doing a lot of non-widget-selling activities, like accounting, marketing, shipping, printing, installing new software and even writing your own blog. Juggling all these support tasks is often unavoidable, but if at all possible, consider delegating them to people who offer their own expertise.

Think about it: If you’re spending 15 hours-a-week filling out spreadsheets or writing your own press releases, that’s 15 hours that you could be spending on the phone or meeting with potential clients – or even relaxing with your family.

Wikihow.com offers 9 straightforward tips to help you learn how to delegate and be more productive. Among them:
· Lose the ego: If you think it’s easier for you to do the task than to explain it to someone else, you’re probably wrong – certainly in the long run. After the initial investment of time, you’ll appreciate getting it off your plate, “and (don’t gasp) they might even do it faster or better than you.”

· Ask: While most people are happy to help and some may even willingly raise their hand, many simply want to be asked. So grant them their wish. And, “if you see asking for help as some form of weakness, you need to get over that… trying to do everything yourself is a weakness.”

· Don’t micromanage: Explain what the objective is, offer them the tools and a deadline and let them do it themselves.

· Say thank you: It’s amazing how basic this is and how often it’s neglected. People like to be acknowledged and appreciated – don’t you?

What can you start delegating today? What’s keeping you from delegating more?

By Adam

February 12, 2010